Is This Woman the UK’s Most Remote Worker?

caravan parked in front of a lake at sunrise or sunset

As many businesses across the globe follow Cloudbooking’s lead by introducing flexible working strategies, one Cloudbookers takes remote working to the extreme. Here Jane shares her story on living life remotely.

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Remote working is a fast-rising trend in the modern workplace, but one individual has taken working ‘remotely’ quite literally. Whilst most employees see the trend as a way to combat commute times and workplace expenses, Cloudbooking Marketing & Comms Manager Jane Holmes saw the move as an opportunity to radically change her lifestyle – by getting as far away from the office as she could whilst remaining in the UK.“I’ve been at Cloudbooking for nearly a decade and make a meaningful impact on the company’s everyday operations in London while living out of my van in the Highlands,” commented Holmes, who says that the company’s specialist workplace knowledge evidenced just how practical a remote working relationship can be.“We’re workplace management specialists, enabling the office of the future and empowering employees to use their workspace in an agile and flexible way, and that includes the freedom to leave it. We practice what we preach,” she added.According to Holmes, trusting in employees is an essential part of supporting effective wellbeing – a trend that has the potential to massively effect profits.And she could be right. Career Builder claims that a massive 61% of employees feel burned out on the job; fatigue (29%), sleeplessness (26%) and high anxiety (23%) are all major contributors to employee absences, which cost employers in excess of £3.5billion last year.“This freedom means that my time in the office is purposeful and focused, instead of a tired routine. Seeing my co-workers is always exciting, and every trip offers something different instead of that feeling of stasis.“I’m lucky to work for an organisation that focuses on my output and wellbeing, rather than when and where I work. If anything, they’ve nurtured my love of the life less ordinary,” added Holmes, whose plans for remote working may well soon be taken to the next extreme.

“Soon I’ll be swapping Scotland for a summer in the French Alps! My location and routine will be fresh and interesting, but my connection to work and my colleagues remains the same.”

Whilst some negative stigma remains, studies have found that flexibility with regards to where and how an employee works has massive financial and employee wellbeing benefits.

A study conducted by PowWowNow found that 58% of workers claiming that working away from their office has improved motivation levels, whilst over three quarters of respondents claim that they actively seek out remote working for important tasks. This results in an average productivity rise of 20%, according to Inc Magazine

Not all companies have embraced the trend; Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer banned all staff from taking time away from their desks, claiming that, “some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”

Mayer’s speculation aside, remote working looks to be rising. Currently, 70% of the global workforce work remotely at least once per week, whilst a report published by hSo claims that full-time remote working will be actioned for 50% of all UK professionals by 2020.

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