Will Office-less Working Become Normal for Businesses in the Future?
In the last few years in the UK we have seen the number of businesses offering remote working and flexible working options on the rise. Remote working has become increasingly popular as it has been shown to benefit productivity and staff wellbeing alike. While remote working is a great development in the balance between our work and home lives, to say remote working gets people out of the office isn’t strictly true. More often than not the reality of remote working is it gets workers out of the office at company HQ and into a smaller office at home.
While this is a big step forward, and gets rid of common grievances like the commute to work, technological advances mean one day we could be free from the office entirely.
How Mobile Data Will Change Remote Working
In its short history, the effect the internet has had on our work lives has been great. For better or worse the internet, and email in particular, has blurred the line between our home and work lives. While the barrage of work related emails across the weekend can be frustrating, it will likely be developments in internet technology that will free us from the office altogether.
Mobile internet was something of a novelty when it first appeared on mobile phones in the early 2000s, but it has already advanced to the point where a mobile phone with 4G used as a Wi-Fi hotspot can provide sufficient bandwidth for most remote workers to perform effectively without a wired internet connection. As this technology advances further and data costs come down, the need for a modem and wired internet connection will seem increasingly old fashioned. Combine this with cloud storage and outsourced call handling services and there will soon be no reason entire businesses can’t be run completely remotely.
The Nomadic Freelancers
While travelling the world making a living on our own terms might seem like a pipe dream for most of us, for a growing group of young creatives this dream is already a reality. The creative minds drawn to careers like web development, copy writing, and graphic design are taking advantage of the startup boom and its need for content creators to fund a lifestyle of travel and exploration.
This new demographic of nomadic freelancers are drawing up the blueprint for a new relationship between work life and home life that is the envy of anyone chained to a desk. Just reading the blog of a nomadic freelancer like Frankie Thompson shows how rewarding an office-less work life can be, and how the productivity new technology has afforded freelancers means it doesn’t have to be a hand to mouth existence.
Essential Services for Office-less Working
While it was technology that initially allowed for nomadic freelancing, many businesses have capitalised on this new trend by designing essential services for an office-less work life.
It is now easier than ever for freelancers to find work through websites like Upwork, Copify, and peopleperhour. Traditionally freelancers would have to work for years to build up a book of clients through face to face meetings and many hours of networking. With the advent of online networking and freelancing sites, anyone with a strong portfolio can compete for jobs around the world. Finding clients online has been key for many freelancers to establish themselves without an office.
Another service that helps to establish a successful office-less business is outsourced call handling. Outsourcing calls means that while an office-less designer finalises a brochure from a working holiday in Thailand, prospective client’s calls are answered by professional office staff from a dedicated UK call centre. And customer impression isn’t the only benefit from outsourcing call handling.
Many freelancers are creatives with a passion for the work they do. Imagine then the disappointment as establishing their own business sees freelancers pulled away from the work they love. Admin, customer service, and answering the phone are all necessary evils that eat away at the time freelancers can concentrate on their vocation.
Call handling means people can concentrate on doing the work they set out to do without regular intervals to take calls. For anyone striving for an office-less work life, call handling is a key part of freeing yourself from normal office life.
While office-less working might still be out of reach for most of us, a new wave of up and coming self-starters are showing that with enough conviction, we can address our relationship with work and the office. Technological advances mean for the first time it’s possible for people to work without an office, whether on company property or at home. As more industries come to realise this, it’s possible office-less working could become a reality for many more of us.
Reuben Singh is one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs with over 20 years’ experience founding and directing industry leading businesses.