It’s Older Than You Think: The Amazing History of Remote Work

As much as we like to think that working from home is a new thing, it actually goes back many years to well beyond the history of the modern “office” as we know it. Sure, telecommuting, the proliferation of easy Internet access, as well as more advanced means of communication has facilitated its growth in modern times. The reality is that the principles, the thinking behind remote work are as old as history itself.

Practical Needs of an Older Age

In the earliest years of human history, working from home wasn’t a bonus, it was a necessity. Survival was the primary goal of hunter-gatherer families, and the closer one “worked” to hunt or forage for food, the easier it was to take food home safely. Additionally, having foraging and hunting sites close to where you lived meant fresher, more accessible food. This meant our ancestors were very productive because they applied the concept of “working from their homes.”

A study conducted by Stanford in recent years has all but confirmed what our ancestors already knew and practiced: working from home increases productivity. This particular study was done with the Chinese travel firm CTrip. Volunteer call center agents were randomly assigned to work from home or remain in the office for 9 months. After 9 months, the study found a 13% increase in performance from those based at home. This was due to fewer breaks being taken, fewer sick days, and more activity.

The Advent of the Home Office

With the passage of time came the growth of communities which meant that it wasn’t entirely necessary for people and families to fend for themselves. In fact, in what you could call an early expression of outsourcing, people or groups were assigned to undertake one key task needed by everyone else rather than doing it themselves. These ranged from growing food crops to raising cattle for food up to the creation of essential tools and more. Again, the most practical way to go about this was setting up your “office” where you lived.

Naturally, the key to success when it came to this arrangement was having a workspace that was optimized for success with all the necessary tools. That’s something that has remained unchanged to this day. Much of the success when it comes to working from home revolves around a careful set-up home office. Fortunately, the easy access to Internet connectivity, the availability of laptops and desktop computers, and the relative affordability of it all have made it easy for anyone nowadays to set up a home office.

The Surprising Start of Office Work

The Industrial Revolution was decidedly the point in time that birthed the modern world as we know it. No longer did anyone have to walk over to a blacksmith to have a hammer made over the course of many long hours. You could get one mass-manufactured at the tool shop down the road. Of course, that meant people were needed to man the machines that made those tools and people to sell them from the stores. This inevitably meant pulling the workforce away from their homes and into the 9-to-5 work schedule, we’re familiar with today.

Further advances in technology made it very lucrative for the earliest employers to entice people away from their offices. After all, much in the way of profit could be made by the connections over long distances that the telephone made possible. This increased profit margin meant it was possible to offer lucrative salary packages that older professions-from-home could not simply match. When public transportation became a more commonplace and dependable thing, it seemed all but certain that this was the way to go.

Coming Full Circle

Of course, the question to ask now is how we now come full circle to live in a world where working from home is a legitimately viable option and remote work is increasingly gaining popularity. For this, we have two groups of people to thank: women and early creatives professionals. After all, job opportunities were scarcer for women in an age where their role was perceived to be exclusively at home. Multi-level marketing giants like Avon and even Tupperware saw the opportunity to leverage this situation into profit–so the earliest sell from home platforms was created.

Creatives professionals differed in one critical aspect from their blue-collar counterparts–they could take their work anywhere. Where the factory worker could not take home the equipment and machinery needed to get their jobs done, the creative professional could. Oftentimes, these professionals thrived from inspirations they could draw from completely different environments. As more and more roles in the workplace became less dependent on physical labor, more work roles would open themselves up to the possibility of remote work.

It’s Not Just For Big Businesses

Today, it’s much easier to transition to a fully remote team as we have access to high-speed Internet in our homes, laptops and desktop computers are readily available, and many businesses have opened themselves up to the benefits that remote work has to offer. In fact, many big businesses have already proven that remote outsourcing is not only highly effective — it’s also a far more affordable option to go for when scaling up their operations. Which then begs the question: why aren’t smaller businesses leveraging the same benefits to grow?

It’s all a matter of perception, really. After all, many of the biggest success stories when it comes to outsourcing are of big names like AT&T and many other telecom giants who have put their customer services in the hands of contact centers abroad. The truth is that any business can outsource to success provided they have a clear grasp of their growth goals and that they partner up with a dependable provider of top talent.

The CrewBloom Edge

One of the biggest benefits of remote outsourcing your key business processes is that you save up to 70% on overhead costs. No longer will you have to rent out office space, pay for utilities, and even invest in equipment to build the team that you need. With a fully remote model, CrewBloom lets you invest only in the talent that you absolutely need to get. Whether it’s customer service, sales, back-office tasks, or any number of other key jobs, we have the top 2% of talent in the Philippines ready to help you reach your growth goals.

Not only does our pool of remote workers represent the best in the respective fields — but they also work in fully equipped modern home offices with a fast and reliable Internet connection. They’re supported by the most dependable tools that provide excellent and precise time tracking as well as allow for effective communication. Talk to us today so we can help you achieve those growth goals.

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