The future of work is remote
The past decade, more work is done remotely than every before, all fueled by technology and globalization. Companies facilitate working from home, outsource more and move work offshore. I think it fits us humans. Before the industrial revolution, there were no offices. People worked from home. Our ancestors were chasing deer in the forest and would probably think we’re crazy sitting inside a cubicle all day long. Working from home gives more freedom, time with your family and less distractions.
Companies that are able to work with people from home, are also able to work with people from any other location on earth. This brings enormous potential. For any job, you can find the best available person, be it an employee, a freelancer or a consultant. You tap into the global talent pool instead of your small local pond. For any project, you can find the best available team, wherever they are.
Today, many companies are still using the traditional way of working: everybody in the office. Even companies that enable their employees to work from home, feel uncomfortable working with people from other countries. But it’s all a matter of training. The more you do it, the easier it gets. The more people do it, the more normal it becomes.
Sometimes I walk around in companies that offshore parts of their work and I am astonished by what’s possible. Not only do they engage people from dozens of nationalities remotely, those people also regularly walk around in the local offices. It becomes a melting pot of talent and nationalities. Offshoring is second nature, business as usual. They don’t think in terms of local employees, but about getting the jobs done. And for getting a job done you need good people, wherever they are.
You see that some multinationals are very mature in engaging offshore and nearshore people. Some are still in the learning stages. But all of them do it. All of them become better over time. And all of them do more of it over time.
The next decade we will see a substantial increase of remote collaboration in many forms. Company boundaries will evaporate, collaborating with people from all over the world will become business as usual.