Remote Working - The New Norm for Business

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Amid the rapid growth of cloud hosted desktop technology, it may come as no surprise that remote working is becoming the new norm for business. Increasingly, more people are moving away from the typical nine-to-five job in favor of positions that allow them to work away from the office, according to a recent article from TechSpective.

The age-old belief that employees must be physically present at an office to be optimally productive is no longer valid, reports TechSpective. Along with other technological advances, the introduction of cloud hosted desktops and people’s desire for flexible hours have made remote working a growing trend in business.

According to UpWork’s 2018 Future Workforce Report, remote work is on the rise, leading to a more flexible environment for personnel across all industry sectors. In fact, 63% of departments reported that they had someone on their team who spends a significant amount of time working away from the office. The report also states that twice as many hiring managers believe that “having the right skills is more important than working at the same location as the rest of the team.” In addition, 55% agreed that remote work has become more commonplace compared to three years ago, which illustrates the increasing shift in companies’ approaches to work done away from the office.  

The Evolution of Remote Working

The introduction of cloud hosted desktop technology has made it easier than ever for businesses to offer their employees more flexibility. The days of relying on phone calls and emails to keep track of remote employees are long gone. Today, cloud hosted desktops provide all the required applications, information, computing power and storage to get a job done effectively and efficiently. An employee’s physical location simply doesn’t matter anymore. In this environment, a phone, computer and internet connection are all a remote worker needs to stay fully connected while on the job.

As a result of this trend, some businesses are beginning to view physical offices as redundant, as staff can fulfill their responsibilities from any location, which has helped these businesses reduce their spending on rent and maintenance. The shift toward remote work also demonstrates the tremendous value companies place on their personnel, as cloud technology has enabled them to offer employees flexibility without compromising on productivity.  

Remote Working Is Becoming Increasingly Important

Data on companies that allow remote access and management demonstrate these companies’ proven ability to attract – and retain – top talent. Among the numerous benefits of remote working, the number one advantage cited by companies is flexibility. According to a study from Timewise, flexibility is key to creating a positive work environment, as 87% of full-time workers work flexibly...or wish they could.

Here are some other statistics from Global Workplace Analytics that are vital to business owners, but that may be surprising:

  • Losing a valued employee can cost an employer between $10,000 and $30,000
  • Recruiting and training a new hire costs thousands of dollars
  • 95% of employers say telework has a significant impact on employee retention

Client Story: How a Mid-sized Company Retains Top Talent via Remote Work

As a business owner in today’s digital environment, the fact is that if you want to retain top talent, you’re going to have to look beyond the limits of your physical office space. That’s exactly what happened when a mid-sized company was faced with the prospect of losing a key employee due to her maternity leave. The company was worried that she may not come back after her leave, so they sought to create a flexible environment that would work for her and the entire team. The solution? A cloud hosted desktop that made it possible for the company to: 

  • Create an adaptable and versatile environment that allows employees to work from home with just a phone, a computer and an internet connection
  • Stay connected with the employee and retain her invaluable institutional knowledge and experience
  • Facilitate her seamless transition when she returned from maternity leave – she had been working remotely for weeks, but was able to stay on top of her responsibilities, regardless of where she was working
  • Demonstrate how they value their employees by creating a culture of flexibility, agility and productivity, which is particularly attractive to staff with childcare or other personal/family commitments

Closing Thoughts

Recognizing that some of the remote work concepts we have discussed may be seen by many business owners and leaders as too cutting-edge for them to adopt. But it is important to understand that these changes will have increasing impact with each passing year. In fact, many small and mid-sized businesses are exploring and applying these concepts now, in order to best position themselves to attract and retain talent in the future.

The reality is that in the current landscape, many employees have come to expect remote work opportunities, and the transition to managing a remote workforce can seem daunting. However, with the right technology, it can be a seamless process. Rather than resisting this change – which can do more harm than good to your company – I strongly encourage all business owners to embrace it. For anyone with productivity and performance concerns associated with a company-wide ability to work from home, I recommend creating standard Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for both management and employees. With these established benchmarks in place, remote team members are aware of expectations, and their performance can be measured accordingly.

Looking to Provide Your Staff with Greater Flexibility?

If you feel that offering your employees added flexibility will benefit your company, or if you’re excited about the ability to recruit people outside of your local area, I hope that you’ll reach out so we can start a conversation about how the cloud hosted desktop solution can make it all possible.  Schedule an assessment with us or download the eBook on Ending the Cloud Confusion to learn more.

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