With the recent announcement of Amazon Go, it’s never been more evident how quickly our world is changing. It’s affecting the way we buy our products. It’s affecting the way we consume our information. And it should come as no surprise that it’s revolutionizing the way we do our jobs.
Companies are utilizing social media as a means to interact with their markets. Previously, we discussed how profound of an impact social media can have on sales. More and more, we can see the way we communicate becoming digitized. And it's whittling away at our need for constant face-to-face interaction. A 2015 survey from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics found that “38 percent of workers in management, business, and financial operations occupations, and 35 percent of those employed in professional and related occupations, did some or all of their work from home.” With the rise of automated services, that number will only be going up.
Many companies are already reporting increased productivity through the use of remote work. But it's not just productivity that has the potential to increase - it's led to a general uptick in employee happiness as well. A study by Forbes reported that employees working remotely felt more valued and effective than their at-office counterparts. Hubstaff came to similar conclusions. In a study published in July of 2016, they measured productivity based on eight factors. Remote workers took the edge on every one of them, from performance to collaboration to hours logged.
So it’s no wonder that remote work is seen as such a desirable alternative. For employees, it means a paradigm shift from the 9 to 5 business world. It allows for flexibility and the opportunity to better balance careers with personal engagements. And it cuts down on unnecessary expenses, too. Workers save time and money from commuting, while employers eschew the need for a physical office. Global Workplace Analytics' latest statistics found typical businesses saving $11,000 a year per employee, and the average telecommuter saving between $2,000 to $7,000 in expenses.
Remote work can mean the introduction of a vast network of talent, regardless of people's physical locations and constraints. Earlier this month, we told the story of a programmer with autism who was able to change our company without once stepping foot into an office. His social anxieties has previously limited his job prospects in the traditional working world. But programs like Slack and DaPulse gave him a new opportunity. They allow for seamless communication between all stages of a thriving business, creating a digital forum where all levels of management can delineate essential responsibilities.
Online technology is changing our assumptions on how workers need to interact. And it’s already revolutionizing the way we do our business.