The concept of “remote work ” is increasingly being used in current debates. Access to a more flexible way of working is very present among employees who desire the ability to work from a distance. Thanks to digitalization, it is now possible to access information at any time without any restrictions on equipment. This means that everyone with a computer and an Internet connection can benefit from more autonomy and flexibility – both in terms of location and work schedule.

A better quality of life for more productivity?

To alleviate city congestion and avoid increasingly frequent stress factors caused by high pollution levels, heat waves, public transit problems, and traffic jams, working from home could completely transform the “classic” way of working in the years to come. According to studies, such flexibility could increase employee productivity by up to 30%.

While the average frequency of telecommuting in France is one day per week, some companies are 100% remote, in other words, the work is entirely performed from a remote location.

For digital nomads – or those who wish to become one – staying connected from home is not the only alternative available. With digital innovation and the immersion of collaborative tools like Slack, Google Hangouts, etc. the life of a true digital nomad, who travels all over the world while performing job functions, may seem ideal. However, permanent travel and a lack of contact with colleagues can cause negative effects such as a sense of isolation. To avoid all this, there is a practical and simple solution: coworking.

Les espaces de coworking – le nouveau digital workplace

Coworking areas – the new digital workplace

Statistics show a clear trend in France. In only five years, the number of coworking spaces or ‘coffices’ (English. coffee+office) has increased tenfold.
According to this coworking map, there are currently 728 spaces in France dedicated to collective remote working, 218 of which are located in the Ile-de-France. This number is likely to increase in the near future, especially in regions such as Brittany, Picardy, Poitou-Charente and Champagne-Ardennes, where the coworking concept is still relatively new.

So why choose to work remotely – or not? Here are some explanations:

Advantages:

  • More flexibility and productivity
  • Less work absences
  • Lower turnover rate
  • Less tiredness and transport-related stress
  • Less distraction
  • Less pollution
  • Reduction of energy consumption
  • Better work/life balance
  • Alleviation of congested metropolitan areas

Disadvantages:

  • Boundaries between work and private life become increasingly blurred
  • “Hyper-connection”
  • Indefinite working hours
  • Solitude/ Isolation

It should be noted that remote working is only suitable for a certain type of job where presence in an office is not always required. Here are some of the areas concerned: digital communication, growth hacking, SEO, web development, graphic design, web copywriting, etc.

Although the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, this work approach may not be suitable for everyone. The temptation to wander the streets or watch television (or YouTube) can be very high, so this kind of work requires a lot of discipline. Therefore, the essential requirements are a passionate interest in your job and a solid basis of trust with your employer. These aspects combined with an entrepreneurial and autonomous employee attitude are elements to consider when choosing remote work as a useful alternative.

In short, telecommuting could create a win-win situation for both employees and companies. Increased productivity, mitigation of city congestion, and reduced absences due to illness would play an important role in the long-term wellbeing of society. Therefore, the question is not whether this approach can be applied, but at what point will it be accessible to the large majority of employees.