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If you crave for a job that escapes the usual 9-to-5, but still very much like to undertake corporate work, you aren’t alone.  
The practice of working outside of an office has been gradually adopted by many organizations throughout the last decade, thanks to technology. As an employee, it allows you to work without having to be confined within your desk space and you can also manage duties in your own time. 

Despite the growing trend, there’s still stigma of this practice at times. This is partly due to the misunderstanding of what working away from the office really means. One may think that working outside of an office means you can skive without consequences, but that’s not true.

What then, is the real definition of working outside of an office? 

For starters, working remotely and working from home are two seemingly similar yet different concepts. Of course, these are the only types of flexible work arrangements in the market. For the discussion here, we will outline the two more popular and common flexible benefits.  

Remote work: The digital nomad

Whether you’re seated at a cafe or sunbathing in a resort halfway across the world, you’re able to connect with your employer or teams digitally. You truly can work from any place in the world, as long as you have access to the Internet. 

Due to your variable location, you may never have to meet your employer physically. You’re most likely not required to attend company events or trainings, in person. However, when there are online meetings for necessary discussions, it’s crucial that you remain contactable.

Of course, remote working also means that you don’t have a set office time. Rather, you compartmentalize your own time and fit given tasks into your schedule based on deadlines. Organizations often engage remote workers, who already have good working experience, for smaller projects since little to no training is required. 

Another common scenario is that you, already a seasoned employee, have to move due to various circumstances (visa issues, ill family members, etc.) and the company allows you to become a remote worker on a temporary basis. Due to your absence in the physical office, you may feel less involved in the company’s culture and to a certain extent, less connected to the work you do. This arrangement is only ideal if you are comfortable with having little face-to-face interaction with colleagues, and can thrive in a solitary environment. 


Work from home: Flexible working hours

As a full-time employee of the organization, you have the option to choose to work at your office desk or in the comfort of your home.


Organizations commonly adopt such arrangements as they understand the ever changing needs of their employees, especially when it comes to schedules. You may have a medical appointment on a particular day and it’s more productive for you to work from home, if the commute from your home to the doctor’s is just a short distance away. Or you could have last-minute family commitments that require you to be around at home for the day.


Sure, such arrangements could offer less freedom than remote working, as it requires employees to be more committed to the organization, but you become more integrated as part of the company and can have a stronger stake in the work you do. This arrangement also allows you to balance interaction time with colleagues at the office and your time working away from the office. 


With proper time management, you can even pursue personal development like Clara Poh, who needed to resume her studies while working as a Field Service Engineer. Owing to the flexibility of her work schedule, Clara didn’t have to miss lessons or limit herself to night classes.


As site visits could be scheduled based on her convenience of time and route, she was able to attend school and complete all her site visits without even sacrificing sleep. Flexible working policy empowers her to balance personal and work commitments, while maximizing productivity.

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What’s in it for me, then?

Of course, there is no “one size fits all” model to every industry or organization. However, flexible work arrangements have proven to be useful to many organizations. It’s seen as the future of work, as it supports healthy and sustainable growth for both the organization and its people, thanks to the abundance of technology platforms today.


Consider flexible working policies as part of your next employment benefit – not only can it improve your work quality and work-life balance, you may find yourself more productive and motivated in your everyday life.


Interested in flexible working arrangements? Search for your dream job here.

Still deciding? Join the Philips Talent Community and stay in the loop of job opportunities and #LifeatPhilips moments.​​​​​​​