Remote Workers Paving the Way to an Officeless Future
18:22 09 November 2019
Silicon Valley tech giants and smaller tech startups are changing the way software development companies are looked at and the way their development teams function. Developers are no longer stuck to office desks that have to be provided by the hiring company.
They are increasingly mobile, working using their own equipment and operating systems of choice, and coming from all walks of life and regions of the world. IT outsource services are increasingly proving to be more viable for tech companies than hiring teams of in-house developers.
Outsourcing not only saves companies from looking for more office space or incurring in equipment costs. It also offers other advantages, such as having a much larger talent pool from where to pick professionals to work in different projects.
More developers than ever are working remotely and this trend will not slow down anytime soon. As high-speed Internet continues to advance through more rural regions and third-world countries around the world, remote development work will continue to grow.
Telecommuting Often Benefits Both Developers & Companies
Companies are finding that they have to worry less about looking for local talent and offering perks for their office spaces as they outsource software development work. The reason for this is that vendors or IT staffing companies work out the hiring process themselves for anyone searching for development talent. The labor pool is also very scalable, so companies can use its services without long-term worry when it comes the time to scale back development.
It’s worth noting that remote work is becoming more popular across a wide range of areas and departments, from graphic design and copywriting to software development. This means that a paradigm shift on how people working is happening as you read this.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2018, more than 26 million Americans and 16% of the total workforce now functions remotely. Such a number may be even higher this year as this trend is only growing on an annual basis.
However, the statistics may come with a bit of a catch as they also include people that are working from home on a part-time basis. Thus, a lot of people may be splitting their time between the office and telecommuting. Either way, the numbers speak for themselves.
Starting from Scratch & Becoming a Highly-Sought Software Developer Is Possible
It’s not just remote work that is transforming the workplace for developers and other professionals - education is doing it too. More colleges than ever are now offering online careers and degrees. Companies like Udemy are also offering courses that students can take at their own time.
Thus, being able to learn to program remotely is also possible. This is opening up entire markets to people living in rural regions of the U.S. with little to no schooling in something like software development or with zero experience in the coding world.
The gig economy is also booming, with many people turning from night-time programming hobbyists to professional coders over time. They often start by supplementing their main income with programming gigs across various job boards while developing their skills and experience to move into development full time.
IT Leads the Way as Other Industries Are Following
The world is becoming more globalized and flexible in terms of remote work. However, it’s still not there for all industries. For instance, a quick search on journalismjobs.com shows just how little freelance positions are available in journalism. Software development, on the other hand, is an industry where remote work is becoming a standard and expanding in a huge way.
Part of the reason for this is the incredible scouring for top talent and need for good developers. Companies are catering to these experts in any way they can to keep them on the payroll and avoid them leaving for rivals.
That doesn’t mean that software development is the only field using remote workers. The trend is being used across a wide range of industries, especially in creative sectors like graphic design and photography. When hiring remote workers worldwide, companies have less of a hassle of having to pay for fixes costs, sick leaves or having a two-week grace period when they need to scale back and lay someone off.
There Is Still a Die-Hard Office Culture
There are still many issues to deal with, though. Some of these include unfavorable taxing in countries where a dual tax system exists, language and cultural barriers preventing effective communication, and tech gaps in computing equipment or programming software available to the developers.
This is becoming less of an issue as companies and developers are both finding they benefit from such a work arrangement. With IT staffing companies and various vendors and analysts available to smooth the process out, now is a great time to look into expanding a development team with a worldwide talent pool.
Remote Work Offers Flexibility & a Diverse Talent Pool
As software development becomes more diverse, remote work should also increase. Women, for instance, can work remotely while still being moms at home and spending time for their kids. Not being tied to a specific office schedule can go a long way in finding this diverse talent pool and making it easier for them to be as productive as possible.
However, there is still the aspect of overcoming cultural and corporate barriers for telecommuting and outsource development work to truly take off. Many times companies require an in-house period of several months or years before entrusting someone to work remotely. They still look at it as a perk rather than another option for developers, which comes to show that some people aren’t yet ready for a trend that’s here to stay.