Early times

Before the Industrial revolution, everyone worked out of their home and sold their goods from there. With the Industrial Revolution came the need for automation and factories, and employees had to commute to a factory to complete their work.

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Career

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Just after WW2, there was a rise in corporate headquarters and larger office spaces and cubicles. During this time, the 8-hour workday was established.

Then came the advancements in computers and technology that lead to remote workers of today. The internet and public WiFi allowed employees to do everything they would in their cubicle, but outside the office. They can also work all hours of the day.

4.3 million people currently work from home in the United States at least half of the time, and this figure has grown by 150% in the last 13 years.  

Remote workers tend to have higher engagement rates and higher productivity levels. Once they switch to remote work, they rarely want to become office bound again.

48% of companies are currently using freelancers. Many are seeing positive results. Remote workers are more productive and accomplish more in less time.

With a growing suite of tools, remote work life is better for both employees and employers.

  • Team collaboration tools combine the virtual office and water cooler, as the team can touch base with other employees working across the globe.
  • Project management tools create a digital to-do list that keeps everyone on the team in the know.
  • Virtual conference calls ensure "face-to-face" collaborations.

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Video calls and other forms of synchronous communication still serves a function. However, synchronous communication should be made available asynchronously:

  • For occasional synchronous meetings, find reasonable time for everyone. Ensure ideal time slots are rotated between team members.
  • Try having everyone call in from their respective desks and computers to eliminate side conversations.
  • Record video calls and make them available for viewing later in a central place for all team members.

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In-office employees that transition to remote work need to be equipped. Spending recommendations are:

  • A one-time stipend to purchase some office furniture and other miscellaneous work equipment.
  • Basic ergonomic training.
  • The same class of laptop or workstation they'd get in the office.
  • A monthly stipend to offset some or all home broadband costs.
  • IT support costs.
  • Basic, yet complete tech loadout, such as laptop, secondary monitor, mouse, keyboard, wired earbuds, USB hub, chair that meets ergonomic needs.

For the whole idea of remote work to actually work, you have to develop a remote culture for your team.
And that means having a shared context: everyone plays by the same rules, you have to understand your team's practices and everybody has to have an overall feeling that you are working in an equitable environment.

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