Although it is -2 degree outside, I am loving being in my London home-work office and not having to negotiate the icy streets and rush hour commute. Having returned to my home-work office after 4 weeks working out in sunny Egypt, I realised that my annual working retreat to the sun is essential to the mental and emotional health of my business. It is clear that flexible working is on the evolving and growing.
This is a growing trend with businesses hiring freelancer’s online increase of 46%. The study from Upwork and the Freelancers Union revealed that 63 percent of independent workers started freelancing by choice, as opposed to necessity. That’s up 10 percentage points since 2014. Having a diversified portfolio of clients makes freelancers feel more secure than having just one employer, the research showed. Specifically, nearly 80 percent of the independent workers surveyed said they view freelancing as better than working a traditional job. In addition, half of those surveyed said they wouldn’t go back to a traditional job, no matter how much money they were offered.
We now have more technology in our homes and access to faster network speeds than some traditional working environment. With on-demand services at our finger-tips, it is easy to see why home-working is on the increase.
A survey summarised the benefits of working from home in the Microsoft whitepaper Work Without Walls:
10) Environmentally friendly (23%)
9) More time with family (29%)
8) Less stressful environment (38%)
7) Quieter atmosphere (43%)
6) Eliminate long commute (44%)
5) Less distractions (44%)
4) More productive (45%)
3) Avoid traffic (47%)
2) Save gas (55%)
1) Work/home balance (60%)
While I was in Egypt I discovered Marianne Cantwell book Be A Free Range Human, on how to make a living without an office or a boss, and creating a free range career as your own boss.
I support what I do is something in-between freelance and free-range., more a mobile training and consultancy business, home-based but mobile flexible with at least one quarter of the year conducting from another country. Over the years I have trained my family, friends and work colleagues to expect my physical absence in December and January. The benefit are listed in the survey above; I stay fluid and flexible to work anywhere and return energised and focused having completed some important projects and planned for the business year. I hone my disciplined 6am wake-up meditating and exercising and have a positive outlook noticing the changing season extending daylight and productive working days.
In my book Business Evolution Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World published 2014, I talked about Process to becoming frictionless businesses. Friction is not only created in processes, it is created in people. Unhappy people create friction in becoming barriers and blockages to the easy flow of activity. In 2016 mobile web browsing became more popular than desktop for the first time. As we head towards a mobile-first digital world, businesses are having to evolve to embrace fluidity to be physically and emotionally mobile. The trend of mobile home-work businesses will continue to grow.