Regardless of whether you work from home, a cruise terminal, an airport lounge, a dessert outpost or the beach, there is no denying tech provides employers with more flexibility and employees with the freedom and ability to virtually connect to the office from almost anywhere in the world provided they can hook up to the internet be that via a satellite, GSM or broadband connectivity. The benefits of providing workforces with the freedom to work from home, helps to reduce costs, as well as, increasing staff retention. Remote working is no longer a trend, it is here to stay. Whether it’s a long-term or temporary part of your day-to-day operations and business strategy.
Remote Work – The New Normal
Recent 2020 stats show that the number of people working from home has increased by as much as 140% since the 2005. Yes, the global pandemic has had an impact, however, when you consider telecommuting has increased by 115% over the past 15 years. It’s clear remote working is the new normal.
Over a decade on and telecommuting has increased by 115%. Globally, 8% of employees work remotely on a full-time basis, while 52% work from home at least once, if not twice a week. The global trend has been set and looks set to continue. Research by freelancing platform Upwork suggests that 73% of all companies will have remote workers by 2028, as more companies start to reap the benefits of flexible commercial property rentals and co-working spaces.
The uncertainty over the past few months and beyond has certainly lead to an increase in remote working, and as we have seen from our offices in London, Bangalore and San Francisco, our business continues to operate with limited disruption, and we have also seen an increase in productivity. Yes, our commercial and project teams have not been able to meet with our customers and partners face-to-face, however, the various conferencing solutions and our own collaboration platform have helped to bridge that gap. The global teams have more flexibility which is benefiting the businesses and employees. Daily work commutes have been replaced by family breakfasts, fitness routines and meditation sessions, all of which is having a positive impact on our employees mental and physical wellbeing, in turn generating increased energy and workplace outputs. We’ve all seen the data to back up the benefits of remote working, however, it is important to put the right collaboration platform in place based upon the available connectivity to help bring everyone together, including daily stand-up’s and virtual social gathering to help build support frameworks, engagement and a sense of community. With a little planning, there’s no reason why all businesses even those that operate in the most isolated of environments can’t permanently integrate remote working into their everyday operations as part of their future growth strategy.
The Facts Speak for Themselves:
- Companies that promote remote working have 25% reduced staff turnover than companies that don’t.
- 76% of employees would be willing to stay in their current job if offered more flexibility.
- 86% say it reduces stress.
- 75% of employees say working remotely leads to fewer distractions.
The upward trend has been driven by co-sharing offices and collaboration solutions, including the adoption of mobile technologies such as, communication and digital workspace platforms like FrontM. The rapid growth of VSat networks, Superfast Fibre Broadband, GSM networks and Wi-Fi hotspots globally, covers 4.57 billion users that is 59% of the global population. Connectivity thanks to our partners and the telecommunications industry is no longer a reason not to embrace remote working.
Yoga for Business – Benefits of Increased Flexibility
There are countless benefits to remote working both for the employer and employees. Compelling statistics by the world’s leading researchers, published by Forbes highlight the following advantages:
- Retention – 54% of workers would leave their jobs in favour of flexible hours.
- Productivity –35% increase in productivity and output.
- Engagement – 41% lower absenteeism rate.
- Profitability –$11,000 of annual cost saving per remote part-time worker.
The Key to Successful Communication Between Remote Teams
Increased connectivity and digital technologies for many in their personal and work lives has helped with the transition to remote working a relatively easy one. Access to all you can eat data packages via VSat, broadband and faster Wi-Fi networks, means accessing ‘the office’ via cloud systems and team collaboration tools can be done from anywhere. If you streamline your businesses processes in this way, your team can and will be more productive and efficient.
What Challenges Come with Managing Remote Teams
- Communication: Successfully connecting teams across multiple locations and getting them to all work together is no easy feet. However, if you put a solid communication platform and digital workspace in place, that will become the foundation to build upon.
- Activity tracking, goals and productivity: Self-management is an important skill for remote employees to master and manage their workloads accordingly. That’s why it is important to have daily or weekly stand ups to ensure team members are aware of their colleagues workloads and can support the companies wider objectives. Project tools such as Asana and Jira are also very effective at keeping everyone on the same page.
- Recruiting the right people: Hiring the right people is a crucial part of any remote workforce strategy. Not everyone is cut out for remote working, self-discipline is paramount if your hires are to be 100% effective in a remote location. Therefore, its vital that you recruit people who can demonstrate an ability to manage time and handle their workload whilst delivering results.
Five Tips to Easily Working from Home
- Schedule: The small changes really do count. Building new routines can take time, the best way to do this is by adding routine activities into your daily schedule. By simply putting a basic framework around your workday, it will eventually become second nature.
- Contact with Colleagues: Never underestimate the power of a “Hello” or a “Good Morning.” Morning chats and catch-ups with colleagues staves off any feeling of isolation whilst keeping communication channels open. Not every conversation needs to be project based.
- Comfort breaks: Encourage staff to take their breaks, to go for lunchtime walks or just move about. Have virtual coffee breaks, movement is important and helps clear the mind.
- Hours of work: Work from home is not a euphemism for work 14 hour days. Worklife balance is one of the most important factors to consider in a remote work environment. Remind staff to turn their computers off at the end of the day.
- Comfort: This is a tricky one as not all home environments can facilitate an office desk etc. The main points are to ensure staff are comfortable and in a quiet environment to allow them to be productive.
If you are considering giving up your offices and have a hybrid workforce that works inland and offshore and, would be interested in learning more about collaboration tech for these environments, then why not get in touch to learn more about how FrontM connects the unconnected.