Online is the New Normal

If you think about it, it’s often a pain to go to the office whether it’s your own office or your dentist’s office.

I have an apartment in Port Coquitlam and my dentist was in downtown Vancouver. Depending on the traffic it could take between 45 minutes and an hour and 10 minutes to drive – each way – and then I had to park. A 40 minute appointment basically killed half my day.

This fall my dentist took early retirement, So I did the only sane thing – I looked for a dentist nearer to my apartment.

When it comes to seeing the dentist there isn’t much choice – you have to go in person. It isn’t an option to do a cleaning session over SKYPE or GOOGLE HANGOUTS. But seeing your accountant or a web designer – or collaborating with a team member can easily be done remotely.

If I’m just working on files it is often easier to work from my home office, update my files and upload them to the cloud.

Of course my situation is a little unique. I live on an island that is ferry ride away from the lower mainland in Vancouver where most of my clients are. My apartment in Port Coquitlam is accessible to my clients if I need to meet them in person, or puts me within striking distance of their offices if we need to meet in person for some reason.

Sometimes I have to attend tax audit meetings to support clients claiming tax incentives from the CRA….and I like to meet in person with clients periodically, particularly when the issues are complex.

47% of Canadian Workers work Remotely – Study

Nearly half (47 per cent) of Canadian employees work from outside one of their employer’s main offices for half the week or more, according to new research by Regus Canada.

Some 39 per cent of respondents said they mostly work from home and 11 per cent said they work exclusively from home. Also, 54 per cent said they work remotely in order to remain productive while travelling to and from meetings within the same city or in other cities.

“These results show that today’s workforce is truly mobile,” said Wayne Berger, executive vice-president at Regus Canada. “Only a very small proportion of workers are true home-based workers spending all of their time away from the main office in a home office.

Working remotely these days is becoming inevitable – at least part of the time.

In my case it also facilitates a lifestyle where my wife and I live in house in a rural area and we have a condo in town. Of course it means that I’m almost always available for work. At the same time it reduces our total investment in real estate to a fraction of the cost of a suburban house or townhouse in Vancouver’s lower mainland.