Freelancing and the Custom Home Office of the Future
By 2027, more than half of U.S. workers will be freelance.1 Remote work is also growing in popularity: more than one-third of employees could work remotely within ten years.2 Outside the U.S., 70% of global employees work remotely at least some of the time.3 All these trends – remote work, flex work, freelancing and independent contracting – are powered by improved technology and faster networks worldwide.
Some call the present age of automation, remote workforces and independent contracting the Fourth Industrial Revolution. If you’re part of this new economy, you might already rely on custom home office solutions to connect to the wider workforce. Whether you’re freelancing, telecommuting or running your own businesses, here’s how to remain productive outside the office – and what to expect in the future.
Pay Attention to Industry Trends
Freelancers know how to future-proof. They update their skills more often: 65% of full-time freelancers invest in learning new skills as their jobs evolve. Additionally, 49% of freelancers have already noticed how AI and automation have changed their industries, whereas only 18% of non-freelancers have picked up on these trends.4
Smarten Up the Home Office
Custom smart home solutions can help remote employees save time and money wherever they work. Connected devices like the Wemo Mini Smart Plug make it easy to keep office equipment running by preventing short circuits and energy waste. And learning thermostats, like the Nest Thermostat E, adjust automatically to your routine to reduce energy consumption while keeping you perfectly comfortable.
Don’t forget the impact lighting can have on your work environment. One study found that the brightness and color of light can affect productivity, sleep patterns, and even mood5. The WiZ smart light bulb’s dynamic light modes and scheduling capabilities give your space the ideal lighting conditions, no matter when you’re working.
Remote cameras and smart doorbells add an extra layer of security to your home office for total peace of mind. Smart doorbells (hello, Nest Hello) also cut down on workday interruptions, since you can handle package deliveries or unsolicited visits without going to the door.
Skipping the commute is a smart choice in itself. Remote workers save 3.6 million tons of fuel emissions every year by staying at home.6 When combined with energy savings from using smart devices in the home office, telecommuting becomes one of the best ways to save money while going green.
1, 3, 4. Edelman Intelligence, 2017. “Freelancing in America: 2017.” Available at https://www.slideshare.net/upwork/freelancing-in-america-2017/1
2. Upwork, 2018. “Future Workforce Report.” Available at https://www.upwork.com/i/future-workforce/fw/2018/
5. Journal of Circadian Rhythms, Mills, P.R., Tomkins, S.C. and Schlangen, L.J., 2007. The effect of high correlated colour temperature office lighting on employee wellbeing and work performance. Journal of Circadian Rhythms, 5, p.Art. 2. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1186/1740-3391-5-2
6. Flexjobs, 2017. “The 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce.” Available at https://www.flexjobs.com/2017-State-of-Telecommuting-US/