The trend to incorporate a work at home/remote worker strategy continues to grow and isn’t slowing down. Why are more businesses turning to remote worker and work at home initiatives?
The reasons are many, and what may be the motivation for one business, may not be the driving factor for yours. In this article we discuss the various reasons businesses are utilizing this strategy more so now, than ever before.
The Time to Consider Remote Workers is Very Relevant Today
While the trend of remote working is increasing, it’s certainly getting spotlight attention as businesses are taking precautionary steps to deal with the rapid spreading of the Coronavirus aka COVID-19.
The relevancy hit home for many businesses when Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Adobe all decided to cancel their upcoming conferences to avoid further spreading of the Coronavirus.
When combined with increased awareness around corporate sustainability responsibilities, Adobe and Sony used the crisis to switch to virtual conferences instead.
If these mega businesses are taking these measures, other businesses are no doubt also questioning the wisdom of putting their employees in a precarious position of vulnerability… should worst case scenario occur.
It's Time to Get Rid of the Old Perceptions of Remote Workers
The results of a survey by Connect Solutions revealed that 77% of remote
workers said they were more productive when working remotely. *
An impressive 30% also advised they can accomplish more in less time than they would in a busy office surrounded by distractions.
Perhaps these findings can finally remove the stigma surrounding those working from home, along with the outdated perception that working from home is less productive. Remote working is nothing new, and in some circles, it has been unfairly treated with
suspicion by cautious leaders.
While the inclusion of remote workers may not be new to the scene, despite its current front-and-center attention it’s been getting due to the COVID-19, there are plenty of additional reasons for implementing the tools and technology to join in this growing trend.
Greater Sustainability and Reduced Carbon Footprint
Will your business alone make a difference in our environment? Probably not.
But is that the point? We do what we can with what we have. The more businesses that join in, the better off we all are.
A more progressive outlook will also put businesses in a more positive light and gain great PR by proving they are taking sustainability seriously. But this is only scratching the surface of how by leveraging tech, businesses can reduce carbon footprints
and expenses long after the Coronavirus.
In addition, such reductions in travel have a direct impact on business expenses.
Unnecessary travel and hotel expenses could quickly be reduced by using technology to bring people together. The growth of cloud-based unified communications are seeing rapid growth, and more recently in the mid-enterprise markets as more
advanced functionality has become more robust, but also more reliable than in previous years.
Employee Wellness and Health
It’s no doubt, an increasing number of businesses are using the global outbreak of COVID-19 as an opportunity to become more intentional and strategic around remote working options.
The outbreak has forced businesses to think differently and adopt a more proactive approach to the healthcare of its employees too.
Rather than waiting for symptoms to appear, leaders are now trying to prevent the spreading of viruses and germs before
More Time Spent on Treadmills and not Traffic Jams
Employees that can work remotely are able to use the time that would have been spent driving to and from work to instead focus on their physical well-being with regular exercise.
Greater Control over Nutritional Eating Habits
Staff that once ordered food for lunch every day can now prepare their own food and have greater control over the nutritional value of their meals.
Fewer Medical Expenses & Sick Days
Healthcare plans have traditionally rewarded companies with healthier employees. Medical expenses and sick days can notoriously eat into a high percentage of company profits. As part of a well-being program that helps employees learn more about nutrition
and exercise, remote working and healthier habits can dramatically lower absenteeism.
All of these health and wellness benefits lends itself to a less stressful work environment, which helps employees become more productive and positive.
As stated earlier, when the COVID-19 is gone and we’ve returned back to business as usual, there is still the benefit of healthcare discounts for healthy employees.
Greater Reach for Talent
Business leaders are currently reaching an epiphany around the practical benefits of incorporating remote workers in their business.
For too long, enterprises have restricted its access to talent to the location and surrounding area of its offices. But many start-ups are now accessing the global talent pool and are running on 100% distributed or remote teams from a virtual rather than physical office.
In a world where data-driven decisions take center stage, old fashioned perceptions have been replaced by data that reveals why remote workers are outperforming office staff.
The negative connotations and flexible working are no longer viewed differently than those who work solely in an office. Every business now needs to maximize the ability to work from anywhere and at any time if they want to take advantage of this growing trend and qualified talent which may exist beyond the perimeters of their immediate geographical region.
Utilizing Remote Workers Requires a Strategy
However, before rushing in, every business needs a remote working strategy that is well thought out with proper guidelines. Securing company information by ensuring that adequate firewalls and a VPN in place is just the beginning.
Your strategy should include:
- Ensuring your remote workers will need a fast and stable internet connection
- The shipping of additional monitors and laptops, or reimbursements if purchased by the worker
- Installing and configuring softphones with the proper mobility features
- Ensuring the staff member will also have a separate workspace, away from children, and other distractions for them to increase their productivity and professionalism while on the phone
- Utilization of communication technologies that make collaboration and working together more transparent and unified regardless of location.
The reality is that many people could find it isolating if they never saw their colleagues again and would prefer the option of enjoying the best of both worlds. However, with the use of video conferencing and other communication tools, this isolation
barrier is greatly reduced.
The Business Benefits and ROI of Remote Working
Reports reveal that remote workers are happier and therefore will stay with a company longer.
Happier employees are generally more productive too. But it's also important to remember the increasingly attractive financial benefits of remote working to a business too.
Expensive Real Estate Reduced
Expensive real estate requirements can be dramatically scaled back when you reduce the number of crucial employees that are required in the office each day. Contact centers don't have to rent large spaces if 50% of agents work at home.
Traditional Overhead Costs Minimized
Traditional costs of doing business such as computers, telephones, electricity, heating, and air conditioning can be reduced as the role of the office evolves and reduces in size
Reduce Commute Times
And getting back to those who are interested in reducing their carbon footprint, removing the dreaded commute can help contribute to the noble cause.
Increased Productivity & Results-Based Measurements
The most significant shift for businesses however is moving away from measuring productivity by the number of hours employees are sitting at their desk. Remote working demands a results-driven measurement, especially when managing a global talent pool.
Utilizing the right technology and software can help managers transform the performance of multiple teams, regardless of their
location. But it should be built on the foundations of your tech stack.
Only then can you enable your employees to work remotely effectively.
Getting the right collaboration tools and communication platforms will help you manage the growing prevalence of distributed teams.
Businesses that utilize remote workers through unified communications as a service (UCaaS) technology will be the ones that thrive and survive in a digital world. Seamless communication and collaboration that is effective and productive between employees,
regardless of their location, should be the goal.
It will also deliver the elusive competitive edge that leaders have been searching for.
If you're considering options for deploying a work-from-home strategy, you'll need the right software and tools to do it right. Contact us to find out how we can help.
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Converged Technology Professionals is a RingCentral Premier Partner and a Mitel Platinum partner experienced in helping businesses migrate their office and
contact center operations and infrastructure to the cloud. Converged has offices in Milwaukee,
Crystal Lake, Illinois, Indianapolis, and the Grand Rapids area.