Will Remote Working Ever Completely Replace the Office?

In 2016, an analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that more and more people are working from home. In fact, one in three Australian employees now works from home on a regular basis.

This statistic shows a sharp increase. A mere 15 years ago, only 20% of the Australian worked from home regularly. Will this trend continue? Will remote working ever completely replace the office?

Employment Flexibility

For many people, working remotely gives them more flexibility in their lives, even if they only work from home one or two days each week.

For example, some Australians work from home occasionally to save time. If you have a long commute, you can save a few hours each week simply by doing your work from home. Some people work from home at least part-time in order to spend more time with their children. When you can be available for their school concerts and eat lunch with your family, life can seem richer and more rewarding.

Having flexibility in your employment can also reduce stress and allow you to pursue other interests. Working remotely can offer this flexibility.

Decreased Expenses

Saving money on fuel, parking fees and public transportation fares is another appealing benefit of working remotely at times. You might also need fewer items in your professional wardrobe if you only go into the office once or twice a week.

Expenses can be less for employers as well as employees. Perhaps employers don’t have to rent as much workspace if most employees will be working remotely. When employees are working rent-free from home, the entire organisation saves money.

Work-Life Balance

When you spend most of your waking hours in an office, it can seem as though work consumes your entire life. Having the option of working remotely, whether you work in your home, a coffee shop or somewhere else can help you to attain a healthier work-life balance.

Some people feel that they can concentrate on their work better when they’re not in the office. When you’re at home alone, no one can stop by your desk and ask about the meeting on Thursday. If you face too many interruptions at the office, working remotely can be an effective solution.

The Future of Remote Working

While more and more people are working remotely at least part of the time, most well-known businesses in Australia aren’t closing up their offices and sending everyone home with laptops. Instead, many businesses are working hard to create workplaces that people want to come to and spend time in.

Back in 2012, Julia Gillard set a goal for the Australian Public Sector to increase the number of employees working remotely once a week. They aim to increase this number from 4% to 12% by 2020. It’s important to note that this goal doesn’t aim to increase the number of employees who never come into the office at all.

Some companies, in fact, have banned employees from working from home 100% of the time. Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer decided in 2013 that no Yahoo employees would be working from home. She felt that innovation would be stifled without the simple, informal conversations that happen around the office.

The Best of Both Worlds

With the software, communications and devices available for working remotely, many people are finding now that they like to have the best of both worlds. They like to be in their offices to collaborate with team members and meet about projects, and they also like having the flexibility to work from home or other locations at times.

Many employers find that it’s best to make decisions about remote working on a case-by-case situation. Some workers are needed in the office more often than others, and some employees need long stretches of solitude and concentration for their work, which is perfect for working remotely.

For assistance with designing your office so it’s a great place to work while your employees are all together, get in touch with us at Portable Partitions. We’d love to help you create the perfect workspaces with our office partitions and privacy screens for all of your employees.