In the business world, it’s all about efficiency. And in an age where technology has made it easier than ever to connect with others around the globe, distributed work is becoming an increasingly popular way to get things done. What is distributed work? Simply put, it’s a way of working that doesn’t require everyone to be in the same physical space. Thanks to advances in technology, it’s now possible for people to collaborate on projects from anywhere in the world. In this blog post, we will explore the rise of distributed work and discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks of this growing trend.
In 2011, Marc Andreesen wrote: Why Software is Eating the World—and it has. Over the last 10 years everyone company that matters has morphed into a software company.
In the same way the 2010’s were eaten by software, the 2020s are being consumed by distributed work, decentralization, and access to opportunity.
Every day, another company announces its intention to offer remote work. Companies of all sizes are realising that remote working is here to stay and embracing it before it is forced upon them, from the biggest corporations in the world to the latest startups. Make no mistake, elite individuals who expect more trust, control, flexibility, and autonomy in their professional lives are driving this transformation. When businesses refuse to offer it to them, they move to their biggest competitor. This could result in the greatest workplace transformation in history.
In short, distributed work is eating the world.
Why The Sudden Rise In Distributed Work
Telecommuting has existed for at least ten years, if not for the previous twenty years, thus distributive working is not a new concept. The issue is that technology hasn’t advanced sufficiently to make it seamless. It was untenable due to a lack of a lightning-fast internet connection and software that complicated collaboration, communication, and access to information and documents. Some businesses may be wondering if this is just a risky new bubble because of the wounds left by their experiences with it: “Is distributive working the new telecommuting?”
That problem has now been solved. We feel that the evolution of technology has made remote working not only conceivable, but also unavoidable.
On the other side, middle management loathes remote working. The reality is that while offices are fantastic for some populations, they are horrible for others. If you talk to such folks, they will usually defend the environment and culture because everyone there is just like them. Instead than considering your degree of performance, promotion decisions are based on who you drink beer with after work. For many businesses, time spent at the office continues to be the KPI. Offices do a poor job of facilitating and encouraging greater diversity, but we keep doing the same things and are shocked when we see the same results.
Trust is a major issue in the discussion of whether a corporation should permit distributive work; how can we be sure that our employees will complete their tasks at home? In fact, the opposite is frequently true; the difficulty with distributive work is not that individuals don’t work enough but rather that they work too much and become exhausted.
Companies across all industries are gradually realising what has been obvious for at least five years. With distributed work, they may reduce real estate costs, hire productive workforce, increase engagement, and do all of this while reducing turnover.
Smaller tech startups who no longer want to compete for talent in big cities with large tech corporations that monopolise talent are the ones making the change first. Every industry will be affected by distributed work over the next ten years, with organisations who adapt first having a major benefit to keep their best employees, expand their hiring pool beyond a limited 30-mile radius around the office, and hire top talent from competitors.
Why is this happening now?
Over 20 million people currently work remotely across the EU and the USA, an increase from 9 million ten years ago; by 2029, that number is expected to reach 40 million. Any of the 255 million desk jobs worldwide will eventually be remote-workable. Broadband internet is presently used by 4.5 billion people worldwide. Each and every one of them has the chance to take part in a decentralised global economy as a cloud-native worker.
A worldwide workforce that understands the same software and internet-based services means that the technical debt that must be paid in the form of training is effectively negligible. It is not necessary to invest in new infrastructure and tools. Companies merely add an additional seat to an already-existing SaaS platform, and the employee uses the same tool they would if they worked for another company or in an office. They have a minimal setup and learning curve.
Today’s most innovative businesses are shifting to a distributed model of working.
Mozilla, the creator of open-source browser Firefox, is fully distributed.
InVision, one of the leading design products on the planet, is fully distributed.
GitLab, one of the leading developer repository tools, is fully distributed.
Figma, Automattic, Basecamp, HubSpot, Hubstaff, Upwork, Airtable, Github, Elastic, Buffer, Zapier, Auth0, Stripe, Gitlab, Trello, Doist, and Remote are a few other forward-thinking businesses that offer a superior quality of life to their employees.
Distributed work is here, it’s just not very evenly distributed yet
The biggest is that when we work remotely, we reproduce the negative aspects of office jobs. Since there is such enthusiasm in this area, more businesses that have never worked remotely are developing solutions for remote teams. It is not opportunistic development that misses the point, but rather a fundamental appreciation of the special difficulties posed by remote working that is required.
For instance, asynchronous working is a requirement for deep work. Isolation is a benefit of working remotely, not a problem. However, a lot of the new tools emphasise “synchronous collaboration” and support a culture of surveillance. This may be excellent for those seeking immediate satisfaction and middle managers who believe that the amount of time spent at the office is a good indicator of performance, but it is terrible for those carrying out the actual work. If you still need persuasion while working in an office, count how many people are wearing headphones.
There are challenges that must be overcome. The benefits of distributive work are immense, the problems of traditional office employment are pervasive, and any difficulties will be overcome. Allowing everyone to work remotely from their homes and addressing remote work’s problems is far simpler than addressing concerns with office-based operations. It is important to understand that commuting affects people’s quality of life. We must recognise that their preference for more control, flexibility, autonomy, and trust will eventually benefit the businesses that offer it through better work created by happy teams.
Distributed work is an increasingly popular way of doing business, and it’s becoming clear that its benefits are greater than its drawbacks. Companies that embrace remote work are able to tap into a larger pool of global talent, save costs on office space, and give employees more control, flexibility, autonomy, and trust. However, it is important to recognize that for remote work to be successful companies must understand and address the challenges associated with distributed teams. Remote work can be an effective way of doing business if companies are willing to invest in the right tools, processes, and practices. With a greater understanding of the potential benefits and challenges associated with remote work, businesses can reap the rewards of having a global workforce
Whether it’s a software startup or an existing business embracing digital transformation, a company’s capacity to manage distributed teams will be crucial to its success in the future. How you adjust to this new reality will influence the rate of your transition as well as your ability to attract and retain great personnel. You have access to the top programmers and tech expertise on the planet. Start employing them to unleash a world of new opportunities. If you want to know more about developing a distributed development team, or if your company is struggling to locate top-tier developers locally, we can help you build your A-Team as experts in building dedicated engineering teams in the United Kingdom. Feel free to reach out to us by filling out the contact form.