How to stop working like a dog

Dog employee with suit and tie photomontage

© The Shortlisted – 2019

The corporate world is changing. More and more people are embracing the possibilities of flexi-time, remote work, side hustles, and entrepreneurship.
Automation and digital transformation have been central in the explosion of remote job models and the recent shift in people’s attitudes. Technologies like AI and robotics are transforming the world of work — and we’re only just getting started.
Today, there’s no need anymore to work like a dog while being stuck in a 9-to-5: here are some exciting trends to look out for to join the remote work revolution!

1: The revolution of flexible working hours

Many companies now offer flexible working hours as standard. The ability to arrive at work between certain hours in the morning — and leave earlier or later — means that the workplace has lost some of its rigidity.
Flexible work schedules take into account the possibility of working from home and introduce work patterns that help workers avoid traffic, see their kids more and so on. In large cosmopolitan areas like London, flexible working can actually lead to less pollution and congestion on the roads. Flexibility will increasingly become a standard across all industries — cascading from the creative fields into corporate environments.

People will actively seek companies who embrace flexible working, and workplaces that offer no flexible working hours will be seen as too rigid.
In particular, Millennials value freedom and flexibility at work and will rebel against old-school formality: the old 9-to-5 customer service model will be replaced by a 24/7 one – which will leverage automation and AI to cover bases when staff are not physically available.

2: Remote working is here to stay

Imagine this: a team that never meet face to face but get together at an annual networking event. Sounds crazy? Well, it’s the model that’s been recently proven by digital and tech companies, and there is no reason why others wouldn’t follow soon.
The strategic & commercial benefits of remote working have been brought to the forefront by a few voices and companies paving the way

The beauty of making your workforce virtual is that you are not constrained by borders and visas; the remote model tends to work well for multinationals and international companies, as well as for professionals such as freelance translators. Improved teleconferencing facilities have put old remote working objections to bed, but there is still a reluctance to hire virtual teams in some industries, since fostering a cohesive team culture across continents is challenging.

3: Sidestep into your own side hustle

The idea that there is more than 9-to-5 in life is on the rise, and more people are taking to lucrative side hustles, such as personal blogs.
The concept of a side hustle can be likened to a passion project or money spinner — a professional sideline that helps you develop and grow.

Side hustles are often born out of a hobby or interest, but they could equally take the form of speculative investment or re-selling wholesale goods. The beauty of a side hustle is that you can make it entirely yours: there are no rules and no expectations. This often becomes a fertile breeding ground for innovation. Just make sure that the financials of your side hustle check out, and that you aren’t sitting around waiting for work more than you’re actually working.

4: Going freelance

The freelance and gig economy is blossoming — but there are some concerns over companies like Uber taking advantage of contractor and subcontractor legislations.
However, going freelance is something I tried myself, and I must say that freelancing is a great way to build up flexible income, explore your own strengths, and potentially pivot your career in a controlled and safe manner.

The drawbacks of freelancing include having to manage your own financial destiny (and the tax implications), as well as the challenges of juggling client management, sales, and everything else, by yourself. It’s easy to procrastinate and to over-service clients as a freelancer, so you need to have strict boundaries.

5: Run your own business

In the UK, there are more and more entrepreneurs and groups supporting entrepreneurship; initiatives like Enterprise Nation are keen to promote, support, and develop Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit and champion new businesses.

If you are looking to run a business yourself, going fully digital may allow you more flexibility than traditional bricks and mortar operations.
Use automation and virtual staff to help you scale and grow your business to see whether this is something you want to commit to 100%: once you take the plunge, there is no going back.

6: Attitudes are changing

Much has been written about Millennial employees, but the reams of copy do have a point.
The next generation of workers is unlike any other we have seen before — and they don’t value, or expect, stability in quite the same way.
Work patterns and trajectories are becoming more fluid and diverse — and companies need to embrace that in the way that they hire, retain, and develop talent.

About The Author

Gareth Simpson
Digital consultant

Gareth Simpson is an SEO pro with over a decade of experience in the digital industry. Now based in Bristol, UK, his specialism is blogger outreach. You’ll find him at his desk, drinking exotic teas and working on his latest campaigns.

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