Have We Matured Enough to have a Distributed Workforce?
We talk about advancing technologies, wearable devices, automated homes, self driving cars and even bots that have been shut down because they invented their own languages. But when it comes to ground reality, have we all made optimum use of technology? Personally, we feel that most of us are leveraging only 30 to 35% of the true potential of technology. And we are talking about productivity and not entertainment here.
Today, our job roles have become more sophisticated, niche and at par with the evolving technology. But the real impact of technology is yet to reach the employee at the last chain of hierarchy. One of the major reasons we thought of penning on this was because we could do more and even up open up newer dimensions in setting up workplace environments and work culture if we all could make the most of existing technology in hand.
Why We Still Don’t have a Distributed Workforce in Place
One of the major advantages of technology is the amount of convenience and independence it offers in terms of location and workflow. With a laptop and an internet connection, anyone can work from any part of the world and get substantial things done from remote. This is beneficial not just for the location independent employee but for companies as well.
When you’re running a startup, especially, this helps you to save on overhead expenses and operational expenses. You don’t need to have a fancy office space in place when you are bootstrapped or growing. You need a few employees who would get things done no matter on what geographic location they are in.
By going for a distributed workforce model, you are also uncovering hidden talent and pool of employees who are bound by their own personal and geographical frontiers. Married women who have taken a sabbatical and looking forward to getting back in the job market but cannot commute everyday to work are one of the most ideal segments for a distributed workforce. Freelancers are already implementing location independence and cubicle-free liaisons with their work.
However, most of the companies still don’t have the trust that is required to set up a distributed workforce. There is no doubt that an in-house team is convenient in multiple aspects and that time zones could be a major constraint in this model. But constraints and loopholes are prominent in any existing work culture or model for that instance. There are instances of unannounced absenteeism from workplaces, attrition because of distance and commute, tired employees are some of the major factors that we don’t tend to pay attention to.
These factors work at psychological levels to stall productivity and in such cases, companies should be proactive in fostering an environment where location independence is possible. Referring to the work of freelancers again, we have seen them talk to clients from around the world and sharing their expertise with them on multiple projects. We know that such a system when brought into practice would work and be beneficial. The only concern is we are not ready to explore the uncharted path.
Location independence and distributed workforce will be key in the years to come and we would see a major chunk of the world treating their home as their office spaces. Our tech and markets have matured to adopt this trend. It lies in the mindset of companies and their understanding of it for this concept to become a substantial reality.