In the last decade, the opportunity for staff to work remotely has become increasingly offered as a working policy. Remote working is not a brand-new concept and has existed in the corporate environment for the past two decades. The trend focuses on the concept that work does not need to be completed in the traditional confinements of an office. Instead, it allows employees the opportunity to work within agreed terms in the comfort of the employees choice.

So what caused this change? What does it mean for your business? And what opportunities does it create?

Remote working began as an impractical concept for most companies, but thanks to the developments of remote desktops and cloud technology it has become a viable option.

Remote desktops made accessible through Citrix Virtual enable instant delivery and access to any windows applications to users anywhere and on any device. Resulting in increased efficiency of resources and consolidating all applications to a central location.

The development of cloud technology, such as Office 365, have been developed to empower employees to work anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Unlike, thirty years ago, employees now have numerous methods of project management, digital communication and telecommunications. The development of Unified Communications (UC), the applications integrated for IM, audio and video services, has enabled businesses to coordinate their strategy and operations with greater efficiency. These tools remove barriers to contribution such as time zone, location or access. Furthermore, the development of project management systems, task and file sharing, has made it easier to track and collaborate work with other team members regardless of their location.  

How do employers and employees benefit from remote working?

A growing desire of employees is for remote working to be part of the company’s working policy.  For staff, the benefits of working from home can be in abundance if suited to the right individual, role and organisation.  Working remotely can save an employee time, money, resources and energy.

The most apparent benefit of being able to work remotely is the flexibility it offers. Remote working enables individuals the opportunity to design their own day harmonising their personal and private duties. Entrepreneurs and freelancers can also complete their work without having to directly be in the presence of their clients.

The benefits of remote working for employees, may seem more obvious than those of the employers, yet research has shown that it can be as equally as beneficial to an organisation. A study involving 8,000 global employees and employers conducted by Vodafone in 2016 found that 61pc of them believe that it had increased their company’s profits.

Furthermore, remote working can help to save time and resources incurred by the office routine. All offices have their moments of congestion and unnecessary waiting, whether it be in the car park, canteen or at the printer. By reducing the total amount of staff turning up to the offices, valuable time and resources can be saved.  According to Randstad, in 2013, the average commute in the UK takes 41 minutes for an average of 17 miles. By enabling an employee, the opportunity to avoid this commute, employers are recognising the value time, allowing them to save time on commute, and save money on the cost of the commute.  This also supports companies and employee’s contribution to reducing carbon emissions.

With the growing concern of employee’s mental health, wellbeing and overall comfort, it has become ever more important employers can cater to the needs of their employees. It is estimated that an average of 2.8 days per year per UK employee are lost each year due to poor mental health. Remote working can help employees to take a break, or change their working style, before they end up in a situation where they need to take leave.

What to find out more?

If you would like to find out more on the potential of remote working, Office 365 and the benefits it could have for your business, speak with one of our team today.

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