If you are reading these words on your Internet browser, you are doing something that wasn’t possible 25 years ago. Two decades ago, the web was a project only just being born, and the only way to read the news was in printed newspapers. Today, you can access the same information from your laptop, desktop, tablet or Smartphone in a dynamic and convenient way no matter where you are.
Some technological changes are more obvious and visible than others. In the last few decades, the computer has become a fundamental instrument in the workplace. Music has shifted from CDs to digital format. The telephone became first a distinctly mobile and personal tool, and later a platform for applications. And such are the changes taking place in the workplace: along with CDs, printed newspapers and landline telephones, office buildings are beginning to disappear.
The emergence of new technologies is generating a revolution that can permanently change the workplace and business world. Through work management platforms on the web, companies can hire staff located anywhere in the world in a safe and transparent way, with maximum control. Gone are the limits imposed by distance: your business can be in Miami and you can hire a graphic designer in Hamburg, monitor his tasks and follow-up with assignments in real time through the Internet.
In this way, work has gone from being considered a place to being seen as it really is: an activity. The job market has become truly global, where professionals can offer their talents with no limits or borders, and companies can have access to the best professionals in an easy and dynamic way.
In 2012, the mobile job force will reach 1.2 billion people across the world. This means that 35% of workers in the world will complete their tasks outside the office at least one day a week, and that 7% will do so regularly as telecommuters. This tendency is reinforced as more companies and more workers have access to technological tools that allow them to take advantage of a new labor paradigm, one that is more dynamic, less structured and more efficient.
A change that benefits all
What is fascinating about this new working world is that its advantages expand in multiple directions. Employers benefit because, by using these new online tools, they can reach talent spanned throughout the world with dynamism and speed, adapting their business to the necessities of a changing business world.
Employees also benefit since the system of telecommuting allows them to optimize their time management and more. According to a study by IPSOS, 78% of workers believe that telecommuting gives them the possibility to better balance their professional and private lives. And this statistic doesn’t consider the considerable amount of time that they save by not having to commute to the office: on average 1.5 hours per day, which adds up to 15 days per year. Working from where one wants to, not having to travel, and being able to flexibly manage agendas also have a positive effect on health: 73% of telecommuters affirm that their eating habits became more healthy and their levels of stress were reduced by 25%.
And, moreover, our planet benefits. According to a report by Cisco, if 50 million people in the United States worked part-time from home this would represent a reduction in contaminating gas emissions of up to 51 million tons per year, or the equivalent of removing 10 million cars from the roads.
Why is the moment now
The advantages of telecommuting are not exactly novel. But if all this is so obvious, why didn’t this revolution begin earlier? Simply because the necessary tools did not exist. In the past, the productivity of an employee was very difficult to measure, today, web-based business management tools are able to precisely measure the efficiency of an employee. We can know what hours were worked, on which project, and with what level of effectiveness, no matter whether the employee is located on the other end of the planet or in the same office as us.
And these platforms also allow professionals to complete their tasks through the web no matter where he or she is: at home, at the beach or in a park. There is a greater freedom to administrate the balance between personal time and working time in a flexible and satisfying way: in one moment they can be working and, the next minute, helping their children with their homework without causing losses to the employer.
We are leaving behind the old labor model of a large corporate building in which we spend eight or nine hours a day, many of which are unproductive. The new digital tools are helping create a new working paradigm in which there are no more offices, fixed hours, dress codes and never-ending commutes. Thanks to technology, we are living a change that will benefit all and will revolutionize our lives.