Remote Working – Solutions, Practices & Considerations for Your Business
More than 3.5 million employees around the world are now working from home almost half of the time. With an increasing number of remote teams, businesses are investing in innovative ways to enhance their productivity. In a recent study based on the responses of 8000 global businesses and employees, 3 out of every 4 businesses have already adopted a remote working model. Recent data also shows that remote teams experience increased happiness since working remotely empowers the employees to do their job in a more comfortable environment. As an increasing number of businesses are expanding globally, a robust remote working model can be an advantage. However, a business can only experience the best outcomes if it has adopted a well-planned approach.
The Benefits of a Remote Workforce
As a business scales up, paying for physical office space, furniture, supplies, and perks for new employees drastically increase fixed costs. Business expansion can pose a significant financial strain on a business’s profitability. One of the most evident benefits of distributed teams is a reduction in infrastructure and overhead costs. According to a study conducted by Stanford University in the United States, a remote team can save almost $2,000 per employee.
Though remote employees work physically alone, there are still a lot of ways to keep them professionally and socially interactive throughout the day; thanks to advances in technology, remote workers feel less isolated. Using common tools like Skype, Google Hangouts and Slack, as well as commonly known video conferencing, VoIP telephony, and team collaboration tools, teams can stay connected and productive at the same time. Most importantly, the social significance of a remote workforce model becomes more evident when physical interaction should be avoided. Most recently we refer to the contagious Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has spread to almost all countries around the globe in just a few months. Remote Working helps minimise the spread of infection to a great extent and most certainly maintain productivity and reduce economic impacts, should staff require isolation for periods of time.
Almost 82% of telecommuters have been found to have lower stress levels than those working in-house. Most of the employees consider remote working a job perk, as it is a way to improve work-life balance. People tend to work remotely to reduce workplace stress and distractions, as well as avoid daily commutes and fulfill family responsibilities. In this instance, remote working promotes a greater state of mental wellbeing and contentment.
Technology Solutions to Enable a Productive Remote Workforce
Online Tools for file-sharing & document management
When deploying a remote working solution, a business can start by investing in software or cloud services that makes it easy to save, organise, and share files, so that all team members share information and collaborate without interruption. With real-time file sharing and data access capabilities, teams don’t experience delays and painful exchanges of emails back-and-forth. Instead multiple members can work on the same set of files at the same time whilst maintaining a high level of transparency and output. Organisations with an advanced remote working model will adopt the same tools in-house as well as remotely in order to ensure that the way in which staff work is the same from the office or from home. A multitude of cloud-based SaaS solutions are available to enable teams to be more productive from anywhere they choose to work from.
Real-time conversations Tools for Video and Text Communication
Setting up effective communications across remote teams is important. Implementing an instant messaging and streaming video solution is key to ensure team members can communicate as naturally as they would do in an office environment. Video conferencing is a must for team meetings and presentations. In-fact this is fast becoming the preferred method for most sales and projects teams to communicate with each other and to their clients.
VPN Networks & Connectivity
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a high-level solution for the remote working environments as it ensures security and privacy between the business and the remote worker’s Pc’s and devices. Having a VPN connectivity to connect to corporate networks is much more economical than commuting to and from the office or meetings. VPNs also ensures encrypted access to data and establishes a high level of network security, avoiding data breaches and hacks. Through a VPN connection, productivity is improved as the business network is available 24/7, either via a physical configuration between the corporate network and the remote site or a software solution on the worker’s device itself.
Considerations for a Scalable Remote Working Solution
Solutions to promote a remote working model for your employees must consider productivity, security, monitoring, accountability, collaboration, communication, task management. Remote working embraces the simplicity of a laptop and a mobile phone in order to be as productive out of the office as you are in the office.
Eventually, remote working will become the primary method of work. With all the benefits and considerations of remote working listed above, it is evident that businesses are looking forward to having a happier and more productive workforce whilst affording individuals a better work-life balance ensuring smoother processes, and higher levels of output.
To find out how your business could benefit from enabling a remote working model, contact us today.