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Opinions, Important Information and Real Answers to Tough Questions

Working Remotely—Here to Stay or Passing Trend?


The office worker of 2017 no longer requires an office. A laptop, access to cloud software, and secure high-speed internet connection, and you’re good to go.

There are a good number of jobs that can never be done remotely.  You can’t treat a medical emergency or work on engineering equipment away from the factory floor, or a hospital with state of the art diagnostic equipment.

According to the Conference Board of Canada, the way for employers to attract new talent from the millennial pool is by allowing them to work from home.

James Costa, founder of Phuse, a digital design agency in Toronto, has never met some of his 12 employees. Costa uses instant messaging, video chat platforms such as Skype, and project management software to keep in touch with his staff,

“We’re not spending $24,000 a year on office space. We get to choose the best people from anywhere in the world. And I get to spend so much time with my son,” Costa enthuses from his home office. “It’s the best decision I’ve ever made”.

The modern open office plan is not for everyone

Many companies are moving towards open-concept spaces and clusters of tables for work stations.  Gone are the cubicles and personal offices. The open office was sold as, a means to encourage interaction and collaboration, in the hopes of fostering new ideas. An innovation “think tank” if you will.

However, for many, that is not the case. It may even result in the opposite effect with people being afraid to interrupt their co-workers or have a conversation when others are listening. The reality is that for many it has become a stressful place, full of distractions, and numerous interruptions to concentration, and with all the charm of a high-school cafeteria, with just about as much useful work being done.

Considering working from home?

Here are some jobs that can be done remotely:

  • Customer service reps
  • Recruitment researchers
  • Administrative support workers: bookkeepers, financial clerks,
  • Graphic designers
  • IT professionals
  • Translators and interpreters
  • Public relations professionals
  • Online instructors and tutors

Benefits of working from home:

  • More flexibility on daily schedule, work hours
  • Feeling more productive in an environment you have set up and decorated to your own preferences
  • Many workers working remotely feel more engaged.
  • No parking fees, no daily commute, and associated costs: gas, vehicle maintenance or owning a vehicle at all.
  • No geographical restrictions as to where or for whom you can work

Downside of working from home

You may:

  • miss out on stimulation that an office environment can provide
  • begin to feel “stale”, need to schedule trips out of the house
  • find that family and friends don’t take your work seriously because you do it from home.
  • gain weight due to the proximity of the fridge!
  • deal with other noise distractions like construction, noisy neighbors, attention-seeking friends, pets and other family members who don’t understand that you are working


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