Ten years ago, if you had suggested the idea of remote working to your employer, chances are you would have been met with a very sceptical response. The preconceived notion of a massive productivity drop, coupled with a fairly un-flatting image of you in your pyjamas watching TV, would have seen your request firmly denied!
However, with in-office productivity at an all-time low in the UK, the idea of flexible working is being embraced more freely, and is something employers are willing to offer as a perk in order to secure the best talent out there.
With various options of remote working to be negotiated such as:
- Working from home full-time, making occasional office visits for meetings.
- Office-based for ‘x’ amount of days through the week, home-based for the rest.
- Working off-site, but not necessarily at home.
The popularity of remote working has gained notable traction over recent years, with a focus shift into a more balanced lifestyle.
What makes remote working possible?
In a word: Technology.
With the advances made over recent years, technology has changed everything!
Advances in technology and communications mean we can conduct meetings and business proficiently virtually anywhere in the world! With networked software and folder access, all you need is a decent Wi-Fi connection. Not to mention the massive range of productivity apps that are now available.
Without any daily commutes, teams can actually enjoy a more productive day working from the confines of their own homes or shared office spaces.
Benefits of remote working
Well the first obvious benefit is the rise of morale and the productivity of staff. Remote working is a massive perk to those with a busy family life, so by offering this flexibility will alleviate them of significant stress.
Such stress would only be damaging to a regular working day in the office anyway and, by letting them work from home, will only motivate them even more to prove that they are capable of delivering the same workload.
Reduction in overheads
Another benefit to the employer is the significant reduction in overheads. Costs that can be reduced (or avoided entirely) include premise leasing, utilities, cleaning services, coffee and water expenses, office supplies and furniture.
For smaller businesses, reducing or abolishing these overheads could just make the difference between turning a profit or not.
Studies have shown that much higher levels of job satisfaction were felt by remote workers – with 25% citing lower stress levels, 73% claiming to eat healthier and 76% feeling more loyal to their company. 80% of the respondents reported having a better overall work-life balance.
Whilst all of these sound like ’employee’ benefits, they do give the employer one big, cost-saving perk – and that’s retention. By giving your employees the work-life balance they desire, you’re increasing the likelihood that they’ll want to stay with you – hopefully reducing your hiring costs over the coming years.
Less sick days
Did you know that around 78% of people call in sick because of stress or personal issues? Remote working happens to reduce stress levels. You can see where this is going….
Giving employees the flexibility to work from home will reduce their likelihood to utilise sick days – potentially saving companies thousands in lost productivity and paid leave. Plus it reduces the chance of illness spreading around the office!
Working from home can also mean that minimal productivity will be lost when attending medical appointments. Usually workers will book a full or half-day when making a visit to the doctor, meaning the time before and after is ultimately lost.
If the employee works from home however, they are more likely to work up until the appointment time, and return to working afterwards.
As companies recognise the importance of remote work and the fact that their employees … demand instantaneous and easy access to information, companies will start to rethink how technology plays into how their employees do their work.
Don’t you think it’s time you considered your telecoms options for remote working?