Recently, there’s been a lot of chatter surrounding an article on the “false dichotomy between work and luxury.” The author’s argument, that deferred living is negatively impacting happiness and quality of life for millions of people, and that embracing remote working policies could be the answer, is intriguing.
What exactly is meant by “deferred living?” Well, think of all the things that you’d love to be able to do – everything that people put off until retirement when (hopefully) they have enough money saved up and free time to do as they please. The reality is, however, that we never end up doing a great many of those things. Physical ailments, financial setbacks, familial obligations and a laundry list of other issues often prevent us from getting to do everything we want.
The author also points out that many people actually love to work and enjoy the sense of accomplishment they can achieve on a regular basis in their careers, but that there are things that dampen that positivity. Long and tedious commutes into and from work, whether by car or public transportation, are certainly no fun. Then, there is the non-stop parade of meetings and distractions that continuously pull you away from whatever momentum you’ve built on a particular project.
By embracing remote working, we can actually reinvigorate the workforce, reignite the creativity that long commutes and endless interruptions snuff out, and reimagine the way entire industries operate. Eliminating time wasted on travel, being able to connect to company servers from home through a secure VPN and customizing your workspace to improve your own productivity will make your work that much more enjoyable.
No longer do we have to toil away at work for four decades in order to be able to enjoy the luxuries of life later on, only to then find out we wasted all that time. We can enjoy the luxuries of life and find pride and happiness in our careers right now. We can work for the companies we want to work for and still be close to our families, enjoy warm and sunny weather while collaborating with colleagues who prefer to be near the ski slopes.
We often look at remote access technologies like VPNs through the lens of modern enterprise security concerns, and that is perfectly valid. But, it’s important to not forget the human element. The technologies at our disposal today mean that careers don’t necessarily have to dictate where or how we live our lives. We can enjoy both work and our personal lives without one impeding the other.
As more and more organizations come to realize that the old ways of thinking actually hinder their progress, remote working will no longer be an outlier. Companies won’t be limited to a pool of talent based on geography and whether or not top-level recruits are willing to relocate, and those individuals won’t feel like they have to choose between what’s right for their career and what’s right for their lives outside of work.
We’ll end this post with a quote from the article that inspired it:
“This is not going to stay a best-kept secret for long. Working without the commute, without the shackled office, and living in the place of your dreams, with access to all the world’s culture, sounds like a science fiction utopia. But, it’s very real indeed. It’s the future of luxury, and it’s called remote work.”