01 Dec Remote working, the advantages
As mentioned previously, the effect COVID-19 has had on the nation has been devastating for both individuals and businesses alike. Many firms have made a steady transition over to remote working to ensure their business continues to be profitable, some have even found it has made them more productive.
However, as a long term change in working practices beyond the needs of satisfying lockdown restrictions, some are still unsure about the transition and the wider benefits of what remote working can do for them.
Remote working is not just to help us through COVID-19, the workplace will never be the same again. Over the last 5 years, remote working grew 44% and over the previous 10, it grew 91%¹, so as you can see by the figures remote working has been on the rise for a very long time.
It is inevitable that as technology takes an even more prominent position in our daily lives over the next 10 years, businesses without a remote working infrastructure will be left behind. Let us explore some advantages of a transition to remote working for both employees and employers alike.
The advantages of remote working
- Work-life balance – Having a good work-life balance is important for many reasons. At the forefront is an employee’s mental health and physical wellbeing, which as well as being a socially responsible thing to consider, has benefits for the employer too – such as, staff retention and higher levels of productivity. The flexibility offered by remote working can be life-changing for employees.
- No commuting – When working remotely employees can eliminate the added cost of commuting to and from the workplace, for some this is thousands of pounds a year. Even working from home part-time can save employees a lot of money. The lack of commute can also be very positive for employees with social anxiety or any condition to this effect; not having to travel through a busy city centre for example or sit on a packed train could dramatically improve a person’s mental health.
- Fewer absences – With the office already set up within their home, even if employees are feeling a little under the weather, they are less likely to call in sick. The likelihood of cross-contamination between sick staff is also reduced with everyone working in separate locations.
- Employee retention – With the flexibility of working from wherever suits, you are more likely to retain staff, even if their personal circumstances change.
- Fewer overheads – As office space is often one of the highest expenses to a business, a remote-first workforce would permit scope to downsize and considerably reduce this cost.
- Productivity increase – The office can be a free-flowing space for ideas and productivity, but it can also be ripe with distraction. Provided the home working environment is structured, it could actually deliver greater levels of productivity.
Some business owners can be apprehensive about a transition to remote working, be that partial or full, but if done correctly with adequate protocols and procedures in place, you can thrive with remote working, now, and into the future.
Attitudes affecting remote working
Once you have made the inevitable transition to remote working, it can be easy to let your attitude or habits affect the way you work, leading your transition to not be as fruitful as it could have been.
Here are some ways to ensure this does not happen:
Get dressed appropriately for a workday – It is recommended to go about your morning routine the same as if you were going to the office to allow you to get into a sort of ‘work mode’. Despite not having a particular dress-code when working at home, it is still vital to maintain that discipline by being appropriately dressed. Be prepared in case you have an unplanned video call from the boss or a client; the last thing you want is to be sitting in your dressing gown and slippers.
Having rules with your housemates/family – Distractions are a problem, so establishing rules with friends and family during work hours are important. Sometimes these rules are for you more than them; for example, turning off notifications on social networking can be a good idea for those that struggle to stay away once they hear that ping.
Interactive tools will assist in productivity, growth, and the ability to maintain work practices. But realising the human benefit of remote working and the long term financial benefits are key to taking the plunge and making that all-important business-centred change.
How can we help?
Here at VaraTech, we offer a broad range of IT support and consultancy services that aim to help small businesses extract maximum value from their IT. From proactive network monitoring/maintenance and hardware leasing to Cloud services, VoIP telephony and much more, we help our clients identify and roll-out the best-fit solutions for their businesses.
We’re cloud computing experts! We can help your business leverage the potential of some of the most empowering Cloud services, such as Microsoft 365. Why not get in touch today, to discover how the flexibility, scalability cost-efficiency, convenience and security of Cloud services can help your business realise its potential.