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Why Remote Work is the Future of Work: A Comprehensive Guide

Remote Work.

Remote work is the future of jobs! And it's here to stay.

Back in the day, let's say 20 years behind, or even nowadays, the routine was always the same:

  • Wake up early
  • Go to a 9 to 5 office job
  • Go back home
    • Repeat all over again

Nonetheless, with the arrival of technology, bosses and workers see different routines. Remote work opened other productivity gates that allowed both spectrums of the labor chain to have a more relaxed lifestyle while building a productive professional life.

We see how agencies or companies work almost entirely in a remote style without getting any economic loss, and we also see how freelancers spread all over the world, working from every corner just with the help of Wii Fii connectivity.

Since COVID, it looks like other pandemics began as workers became more used to remote work, and by 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2% work a hybrid model. Now, while the great majority of workers 59.1% still work in-office, it is interesting to point out that 98% of workers want to work remotely at least some of the time, which may be the reason why many experts state that remote work could be the future—all this information found in Forbes.

Whether you are a business owner or a worker, we expect that both parties have different views on remote work. While on the one hand, some could think that this modality eliminates efficiency, others may have tried and liked it. In any case, in this article, we will go deep into questions like how remote work started. What are their benefits and challenges to help you determine whether this work methodology is an excellent fit for you?

Let's go right into it!

The History of Remote Work.

While so many blogs may argue that the beginning of remote work came after the COVID-19 pandemic, it's fair to say that many people were already working remotely even before the pandemic. Of course, this global health crisis did impact how we are more used to this modality nowadays, but there's more history behind it.

So, if we go way back behind, being the Middle Ages, it's comprehensive to say that most jobs were at home. Most people made a living from their house chores, farm and agriculture, while only the crown and their servants were the ones working "in the office."

Curiously, an in-office job is more of a recent trend that started with the Industrial Revolution. It means we became more used to the 9 to 5 job just a century ago, which is just a bit in historical terms. With companies opening, it became more productive for farmers and other "in-home employees" to go to the factories, where the typical job model was born. 

In addition, the Second World War moved the global economy abruptly, bringing the stock market crash and the Great Depression to the United States, which returned everyone to working hard in the offices. However, the war also caused other economic changes, as explained in "A Consumer's Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America," in which Lizabeth Cohen informs that by 1945, Americans were saving around 21 percent of their disposable income, compared to only 3 percent in the 1920s. Consequently, citizens wanted to spend their savings on all types of properties, cars, and luxuries, which evidently fueled the fire of all the office production jobs.

But, during these times, remote work wasn't even a remote possibility as, to do it, companies needed more technology. That's why, with the Internet Age, everything gave a complete turnaround.

By the 1990s, some people could buy a personal computer, and with the advances in the 2000s, few companies in the U.S. allowed their employees to work remotely.

With wireless internet and WiFi, the internet became the most accessible source for many people; with the arrival of social media and smartphones with access to the World Wide Web, employees could start working from the comfort of their homes.

To remark that remote work isn't a COVID consequence, it is good to direct attention that by 2017, 40% more U.S. employers offered flexible workplace options than they did in 2010, said GWA and FlexJobs, and in 2019, the year before the big global health issue, Buffer found that 99% of existing remote workers would like to work remotely, at least some of the time.

Of course, we cannot take credit away from COVID-19 for the significant impact it caused on remote work. During these lockdown times, remote work's effectiveness was tested since it was the only way to carry out most jobs. And not only remote work but also business models like QCommerce, a practice that allows us to buy everything - almost literally everything - by delivery.

COVID changed things completely, and since the entire productive apparatus got used to two years of doing things remotely, there is no way to remove that chip from today's society.

The Benefits of Remote Work.

The office routine tends to tire most employees. For example, we hear a lot about how societies as highly hard-working as Japan, which have an almost absurd work pace, end up damaging the mental health of all their workers and causing terrible burnout.

Meanwhile, in the first instance, we can deduce that remote work allows employees to organize their time, and this flexibility gives them more motivation to do quality work.

Now, there are specific jobs that are more suitable for being remote. According to the list provided by a Forbes article, these are:

  1. Computer and IT
  2. Marketing
  3. Accounting and Finance
  4. Project Management
  5. Medical and Health
  6. HR and Recruiting
  7. Customer Service

Also, the same article says that the highest demographic for remote workers are people from 24 to 35 - millennials in its majority - 39% work remotely full time, and 25% do so part-time, and probably coming generations will stick to this productivity trend.

With this information in hand, we move on to explain what the benefits of remote work are.


The job routine is something that puts most employees in a bad mood. 

Waking up very early, if you work far from home, taking public transportation, which, depending on your city, can be stressful or dangerous, finally arrive at the office to fulfill job hours, even if they have already finished their duties early. 

And while companies can offer some entertainment and "pizza or tacos" as a bonification, some workers dislike this repetitive routine.

Remote work can remove some of this monotony and thus streamline the work process.

When they are the ones who decide their schedule, they can choose those hours in which they are most productive and thus do a job well done, rather than a job rushed just because they had to comply with their schedule. You will always set the deadline as the boss, but even so, they can deliver something done with more heart than done out of obligation.

Another side effect that we must take into account is the issue of transportation. As we said before, employees may live very far from the company. This habit requires a sacrifice on their part in getting up early, having to deal with traffic and other issues on the street, and, as a result, they may arrive at work feeling burned out, which will be detrimental to their productivity.

In addition, the lower use of means of transportation causes a benefit to the environment. A study by FlexJobs and GWA confirms this fact as vehicles didn't travel  7.8 billion vehicle miles, and $980 million was saved on oil costs thanks to remote workers.

The Benefits Of Remote Work - A person working outdoors

The Benefits Of Remote Work - Flexibility

Increased Productivity

Throughout the article, we will see a debate regarding productivity. Some say remote work helps employees focus more, while another school will say the opposite. In this case, we will stick to the positive. Since workers have more mobility and balance between their personal and professional lives, this gives them a boost of energy that can make them feel better. As a result, they perform tasks with more optimism and productivity. To further support this argument, researchers discovered that the pace of work in an office, where the boss is on top of his employees so that they finish tasks faster and faster, can cause more stress for them, which translates into less productivity.

Cost Savings

This benefit is one of the most striking sections, and the best part is that it helps both employers and employees in this regard. 

Let's go first with the most obvious: real estate, food, and transportation expenses. 

By opting for a remote modality as a business owner, you save valuable income on renting offices and other furniture. Meanwhile, employees also save money by not having to spend on their lunches, snacks, and transportation. 

Well, this sounds fantastic, but there is something that business owners may not have come to expect, and that is that by working remotely, even employees would be willing to receive less salary. This part may be controversial, but studies conducted by Qualtrics and Accel Partners show 76% of millennials would take a 3% pay cut to work for a company that offered flexible office hours. Meanwhile, 32% of hybrid workers report they would take a pay cut to work remotely full time, says PR Newswire.

Remote Workers Earn More Money.

That's right, remote work can be an even quicker shortcut to employee financial independence. But be careful; this has specific details.

According to data from WFH Research, remote workers make an average of $19,000 more than their in-office counterparts. The article tells us that remote workers make an average of $74,000, while in-office workers typically have an average salary of $55,000. However, the big winner of the contest goes to the hybrid workers, who make a total of $80,000. The factor behind these salaries may be that remote work and flexibility allow them to apply for several jobs simultaneously, increasing their pay.

Create a Multicultural Team.

Remote work opens the doors to the entire world; this modality allows anyone on the planet to apply to your team.

This benefit helps you expand your company's horizons further and, in this way, learn from high-quality professionals who give you insight into their professional areas.

At Codedesign, we are practitioners of the remote work culture, and we are proud to have a multicultural team with talents from different countries, such as Portugal, India, and Venezuela, among others.

The Challenges of Remote Work.

We have to talk about the counterpart since, although the future of work seems to point towards the remote, or perhaps the hybrid model, many employers still refuse to adopt it.

Of course, like anything in life, remote work has problems that make people not want to change the switch completely.

First and foremost, specialists from McKinsey & Company noticed since the beginning of the pandemic that there are jobs that necessarily have to be done in person or are more effective when done this way.

Back in 2020, when remote work was still being studied as something new, several professionals noticed that some jobs would not work remotely. Some are more obvious than others, but among the list we have:

  • Coaching and consulting
  • Building customer and colleague relationships
  • Teaching and training
  • Lawyers
  • Equipment, materials, and machinery.

With this in mind, we can move on to study what the challenges or drawbacks of remote work are.

Constant Distraction.

As we said, we would have the counterpart of the benefits.

And yes, working at home can also increase workers' distraction.

When you are at home, endless entertainment comes to mind that you have easier access to: Checking social networks, playing video games, watching series or movies, among others.

Then, other more serious distractions may appear, such as taking care of children or pets, home or relationship problems, etc.

However, the issue of distraction goes far beyond the environment. For example, some people have ADHD and will be distracted in both environments.

Likewise, contact with coworkers can distract the workflow between jokes, comments, or any rest break.

In this part, as a boss, you must understand that workers are also humans and not machines; therefore, it is harmful to demand that they work as such.

Ultimately, each worker must carry with them the quality of their work, so they must demonstrate that despite distractions, they can achieve the assigned tasks optimally.

It's Harder to Build a Company Culture.

Person-to-person contact builds stronger bonds, and there is no doubt about that. A work team that is seen every day at work has more bonding than one that is only seen on screens.

Remotely, they can also work quite effectively, believe it, but even so, it can be said that the bond of work friendship is a little more "artificial."

In any case, technology brings excellent project management tools so that teams can work efficiently and orderly, so the pace of work can be the same or as effective as in-person work. Some examples are Asana or Basecamp.

If you want to build ties, you can hold face-to-face meetings if the workers live in the same country.

Rise In Loneliness.

In the absence of contact with coworkers, this can increase feelings of loneliness and sadness in workers.

Humans are sociable creatures, and interacting with other humans gives us the most meaning to our existence.

However, we should analyze the issue of loneliness more carefully.

Feelings of loneliness or loneliness may be more associated with depression, a mental illness that neither office nor remote work will solve. That is, this is a separate case.

If workers have chosen to work remotely, they know how to lead that lifestyle and have the company they need at home to feel less alone. Or, with the flexibility that remote work offers, you even have more time to go out with friends.

Working remotely and being alone could amplify feelings of sadness and loneliness. However, remote work itself is not the cause of this mood.

Difficulty Across Time Zones.

One problem with having an international team is that it can be challenging to fit meetings into a comfortable time for everyone.

Despite this difference in schedules, perhaps the most sensible thing is to organize your team so that those close to your time zone are people close to you, and those who can maneuver more freely are from more distant countries. Likewise, remote workers often adapt to their bosses' schedules.

Once you go Full Remote, it isn't Easy to Go Back.

You shouldn't decide to go fully remote lightly.

The most prudent thing is to take some steps forward with hybrid flexibility to see if remote work is profitable for you. We do not recommend doing it all at once since if it does not work, turning back means taking away that "routine" that your employees have already built, and that can generate quite uncomfortable friction within the company.

Is Remote Work Effective?

This answer depends on your situation, but before going to that part, let's see what some data tells us about it.

First, we cite the Prodoscore study, which showed that during the pandemic, remote workers' productivity increased by 47% during March and April of 2020, finding that communication activities such as emailing (up 57 percent), telephoning (up 230 percent) and chat messaging (up 9 percent) all climbed.

 Meanwhile, Buffer’s 2023 State of Remote Work report found that 91 percent of survey respondents enjoyed working remotely, with flexibility listed as the most significant benefit. As the last piece of evidence for this article, we want to mention a McKinsey survey of 25,000 workers across a range of industries about their remote work experience. The study discovered that the top reason for seeking a new job was to find flexible work environments with better pay hours and career opportunities. In the study, they saw that when offered a chance to remote work, 87% of respondents would take it.

So, is it effective or not?

As we see, many employees think it is worth it, but ultimately, as a business owner, you have to evaluate if it fixes your company's style. In the end, remote work may not be for every industry, so you have to evaluate very carefully before making a decision. 

However, whether you like the modality or not, it is good to note that the vast majority of new employees seek and long for this type of work modality, which can confirm that, in fact, the future of work will be remote. In any case, it is best to evaluate your options and see how all these trends develop, and then make decisions that adapt to the needs of your business.

Final thoughts.

Unlike what many old-school entrepreneurs may think, remote work has really achieved wonders for companies and employee performance, which is why, every day, we see more and more companies joining this type of work.

Over time, customs change, and as business owners, the only thing we have to do is adapt to these new trends and see how we can take advantage of them or not. If you need more advice on how to manage your business in the digital world, contact us at Codesign to help you!

FAQS - Frequently Asked Questions

What historical factors contributed to the rise of remote work?

The rise of remote work is deeply rooted in several historical factors, with technological advancements being a pivotal contributor. Prior to the internet era, the concept of working outside a traditional office was largely impractical for most industries. However, the development of the internet and subsequent technologies such as broadband connectivity, cloud computing, and mobile devices enabled real-time communication and access to work-related documents from anywhere in the world. Additionally, economic shifts towards knowledge-based industries, which inherently require less physical presence, have further facilitated this trend. Globalization has also played a significant role, with companies seeking talent globally and individuals seeking flexible work arrangements to achieve a better work-life balance. The recent pandemic dramatically accelerated the acceptance and implementation of remote work, showcasing its viability across various sectors.

How has technology facilitated the shift towards remote work?

Technology has been the cornerstone of the shift towards remote work, enabling seamless communication, collaboration, and efficiency regardless of geographical locations. Key technological advancements include high-speed internet, which allows for instant communication; collaboration tools like Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams, which enable team meetings and daily check-ins; cloud computing services like Google Drive and Dropbox, which provide access to files and work documents from anywhere; and project management tools such as Asana and Trello, which help in tracking progress on tasks and projects. These technologies have not only made remote work possible but also efficient and productive, breaking down the traditional barriers of office-centric work.

What are the primary benefits of remote work for both employees and employers?

Remote work offers a plethora of benefits for both employees and employers. For employees, it provides flexibility in work hours and location, leading to improved work-life balance and reduced stress from commuting. This flexibility can result in higher job satisfaction and productivity. For employers, the advantages include access to a broader talent pool unconstrained by geographical limitations, potentially lower overhead costs due to reduced need for physical office space, and increased employee retention through higher job satisfaction. Additionally, remote work can lead to a reduction in carbon footprint associated with commuting, aligning with corporate sustainability goals. For instance, Codedesign, a digital marketing agency, leverages remote work to tap into global talent, driving innovation and efficiency in their projects.

Can remote work contribute to environmental sustainability?

Yes, remote work can significantly contribute to environmental sustainability. By reducing or eliminating the need for daily commuting, remote work decreases carbon emissions from vehicles, a major contributor to air pollution and climate change. Moreover, with fewer employees on-site, organizations can downsize their office spaces, leading to lower energy consumption for heating, cooling, and lighting. A study by Global Workplace Analytics estimated that if those with remote-compatible jobs worked remotely half the time, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be equivalent to taking the entire New York State workforce off the road. This shift not only aids in reducing an organization's carbon footprint but also supports global efforts to combat climate change.

What challenges do remote workers face, and how can they be mitigated?

Remote workers face several challenges, including isolation, communication hurdles, and difficulty in separating work from personal life. To mitigate these, implementing regular video calls can help maintain personal connections and foster team cohesion. Utilizing collaboration tools can enhance communication and ensure everyone is aligned on tasks and objectives. To address work-life balance, establishing clear boundaries between work hours and personal time is vital, as is creating a dedicated workspace at home. Companies can support their employees by offering training on time management and providing resources for mental health and well-being.

How does remote work impact company culture and team dynamics?

Remote work can both challenge and enrich company culture and team dynamics. On one hand, the lack of physical presence can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnect, making it harder to build relationships and maintain a cohesive team spirit. On the other hand, it offers opportunities to foster a culture of trust, autonomy, and results-oriented performance. Companies can strengthen their culture by intentionally creating virtual spaces for casual interactions, celebrating team achievements, and ensuring transparent communication. Emphasizing outcomes over hours worked encourages accountability and can lead to a more engaged and motivated team. Cultivating a positive remote work culture requires deliberate effort and strategies tailored to the virtual environment.

What strategies can companies use to effectively manage remote teams?

Effective management of remote teams involves a combination of clear communication, trust-building, and the use of technology. Establishing clear goals, expectations, and deadlines helps ensure everyone is aligned and accountable. Regular check-ins and feedback sessions can foster a sense of inclusion and provide opportunities for addressing any concerns. Leveraging digital tools for project management and communication is crucial for keeping team members connected and informed. Additionally, promoting a culture of trust, where employees feel empowered to manage their time and tasks, can enhance productivity and job satisfaction. Training managers to lead remote teams effectively, focusing on outcomes rather than activity, can further contribute to a successful remote work environment.

How can individuals prepare for a remote work lifestyle to ensure productivity and work-life balance?

Individuals can prepare for a remote work lifestyle by creating a dedicated workspace that is comfortable and free from distractions. Establishing a routine that mimics a traditional workday can help in maintaining productivity and separating work from personal time. Setting clear boundaries with household members during work hours is also important. Investing in reliable technology and high-speed internet ensures smooth communication and access to work resources. Additionally, taking regular breaks and practicing self-care can prevent burnout. Engaging in professional networks or communities can mitigate feelings of isolation and keep one connected with industry trends and opportunities.

What types of jobs and industries are most conducive to remote work?

Jobs and industries that primarily rely on digital tools and platforms are most conducive to remote work. This includes fields such as information technology, digital marketing, software development, graphic design, content writing, and data analysis. Industries like technology, finance, education (through e-learning), and marketing have seen a significant shift towards remote work. For example, digital marketing agencies like Codedesign often operate with remote or hybrid teams to deliver projects globally, leveraging digital skills that are inherently suited to remote work. The nature of these jobs, which rely more on intellectual and creative output than physical presence, makes them ideal for remote work settings.

How might the landscape of remote work evolve in the future?

The landscape of remote work is likely to evolve with further technological advancements and a shift in corporate culture towards more flexible work arrangements. We may see an increase in hybrid models, where employees split their time between working remotely and in-office, allowing for the benefits of both arrangements. Virtual reality and augmented reality technologies could enhance remote collaboration, making virtual meetings more interactive and engaging. There's also a growing emphasis on work-life integration, with companies becoming more outcome-focused rather than hours-focused. As companies continue to see the value in remote work, such as access to a wider talent pool and reduced operational costs, it's expected that remote work will become an integral part of many organizations' operational strategies.

About Bruno Gavino

Bruno Gavino is the CEO and partner of Codedesign, a digital marketing agency with a strong international presence. Based in Lisbon, Portugal, with offices in Boston, Singapore, and Manchester (UK) Codedesign has been recognized as one of the top interactive agencies and eCommerce agencies. Awarded Top B2B Company in Europe and Top B2C company in retail, Codedesign aims to foster personal relationships with clients and create a positive work environment for its team.  

He emphasizes the need for digital agencies to focus on data optimization and performance to meet the increasingly results-driven demands of clients. His experience in digital marketing, combined with a unique background that includes engineering and data, contributes to his effective and multifaceted leadership style.

Follow Bruno Gavino on Linkedin

About Codedesign

Codedesign is a digital marketing agency with a strong multicultural and international presence, offering expert services in digital marketing. Our digital agency in Lisbon, Boston, and Manchester enables us to provide market-ready strategies that suit a wide range of clients across the globe (both B2B and B2C). We specialize in creating impactful online experiences, focusing on making your digital presence strong and efficient. Our approach is straightforward and effective, ensuring that every client receives a personalized service that truly meets their needs.

Our digital agency is committed to using the latest data and technology to help your business stand out. Whether you're looking to increase your online visibility, connect better with your audience, get more leads, or grow your online sales. For more information, read our Digital Strategy Blog or to start your journey with us, please feel free to contact us.

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