When you think about your ideal career, does the idea of working from home appeal to you? Studying from home is one of the biggest advantages of distance learning, and it could actually prepare you better for the future work environment than traditional classroom-based studies. Read on to find out why.
Remote working is becoming the new norm
Similar to how distance learning students study from home, employees are increasingly being allowed to perform their duties from home. The trend is becoming more evident in fields ranging from advertising and marketing to public relations and accounting, where most job functions can be performed online. Tech tools such as real-time messaging apps, video calling programmes and file-sharing platforms enable teams to collaborate easily with each other, no matter where they are.
Hands-on jobs in fields such as engineering, teaching, hospitality, events management and occupational health and safety are less suitable for remote working, but communication and collaboration is still aided by modern technology.
According to the 2018 Future Workplace Report from freelancing platform Upwork, 63% of 1000 surveyed companies in the United States already hire full-time employees who work from outside the office. In addition, 38% of hiring managers predict that the majority of their employees will work mostly remotely within the next 10 years.
The benefits of remote working
Some employees may prefer working in a formal office environment rather than at home, but when remote working is implemented effectively, it can have a number of potential benefits for employees and employers alike.
- Employees can potentially be more productive. Without having to travel, employees can start work earlier than normal, and they can also be removed from office distractions such as loud conversations, interruptions by colleagues and constantly ringing phones.
- Employees experience less stress and higher morale. Apart from avoiding the stress of traffic, employees can do their work in a comfortable environment. By working from home more regularly, remote workers often enjoy a better work-life balance and are therefore happier overall.
- Employees often feel healthier. Remote workers can spend more time on healthy habits such as getting the right amount of sleep and preparing healthy meals.
- There are fewer absences from work. Instead of having to take a day off or leave work early, employees are better able to fit miscellaneous tasks into their work days.
- Companies can save money on office space. With employees working remotely, companies can cut down significantly on the costs of renting office space.
With all of the tech tools available today, most companies can easily be in constant communication with remote workers and monitor their performance. So, there’s no doubt that remote working can be very effective. But how does distance learning fit into all of this?
How does distance learning prepare you for remote working?
Face-to-face learning institutions could be compared to traditional office environments, where employees are expected to go into work every day. Distance learning can be viewed as the college education equivalent to remote working, where it allows students to study from home, without having to go to a campus for lectures.
There are several ways in which distance learning can prepare you for a career which involves remote working:
- You need to be self-disciplined. This is the most crucial characteristic for both effective distance learning and remote working. When you’re studying from home, you need to be disciplined to stay on track and follow your study programme. The same applies when you work remotely, as timekeeping and project management is of the utmost importance.
- When you’re studying from home, you should create a dedicated study area that allows for a comfortable, organised environment that is free from distractions. Similarly, when you work from home, your “office area” should be comfortable yet organised.
- Studying from home gives you the opportunity to start working with some of the tech tools that allow for effective and collaborative remote work. You could, for example, start a study group over Skype with fellow students, or start using file-sharing programmes such as Dropbox.
- When studying via distance learning, you will learn how to work independently and stay self-motivated. Similarly, remote workers aren’t under the constant supervision of managers, so they have to be able to work independently.
- Your assignment due dates will be similar to the deadlines that remote workers have to meet. By sticking to a study programme for completing assignments and preparing for exams, you’ll learn how to manage your time more effectively and become used to the idea of working to deadlines.
So, if you see remote working as a perfect career path for you, then distance learning could prepare you for this exciting new form of work. Ready to get started? Have a look at Oxbridge Academy’s wide range of courses.