Why working remotely is the future of business
Advances in mobile technology and ever increasing broadband speeds are making working remotely a viable option in today’s business world. Working from home has now become a realistic consideration for businesses looking to cut costs and offer their employees a better work/life balance.
What is working remotely?
Working remotely is any type of work performed outside the confines of the office, whether it’s from your mobile device wherever you happen to be, or working from home in a dedicated home-office space. Remote workers are able to connect with their employers and customers via the Internet, and can perform all the normal tasks associated with their role via phone, fax, email and video conferencing.
Working remotely can be full time, part time or casually, depending on employer/employee needs, and it can provide a range of benefits both to the business and to its employees.
Benefits for business
While the traditional view of business owners and managers has been to house all employees in one central location to save costs, allowing employees to work remotely can provide an even greater range of business benefits.
There have been a number of studies to determine if remote workers are more productive than their office-bound counterparts, and the evidence points to substantial increases in productivity (a minimum of 10% up to 20% in some studies). Home-based workers start earlier and finish later than their office colleagues because they no longer have to commute, and they are more likely to work even on days when they are sick.
Having fewer employees in a central office would allow you to downsize to smaller, less expensive premises and consume less energy. Or if your employees only work remotely part time, you can roster their office time and introduce shared work stations, reducing the cost of computers, peripherals and office supplies.
More loyal employees
Employees who work remotely take less sick days than normal employees. They also tend to be more loyal and less likely to leave their jobs due to the better work/life balance and the satisfaction that comes from knowing their employer trusts them to self-manage their duties unsupervised.
Benefits for employees
While the advantages of working remotely are not always immediately apparent to employers, they are obvious to employees.
Commuting is one of the most stressful parts of an employee’s day and replacing that with a leisurely stroll from the kitchen to the study means no more rush hour blues. Those who work from home also tend to have greater enthusiasm for the day ahead and get more done without all the distractions of the office environment.
Working from home allows you to save on a myriad of hidden costs associated with going to work including fuel, vehicle wear and tear, parking, public transport, lunches, wardrobe and child care; all of which can add up to a tidy saving.
A better work/life balance means you’ll get to see more of your family and enjoy a happier home life as a result. Greater happiness is regularly linked to better overall health, so it’s a win-win situation all round.
So what’s the catch?
Obviously no system is perfect and there are a few things to keep in mind when considering working from home;
- Not everyone has the temperament for working remotely. It probably wouldn’t suit those who require constant supervision or peer group approval.
- Some jobs aren’t suited to working remotely, such as those requiring intensive collaboration or the shared use of expensive or bulky equipment.
- Some home environments may not conform to health and safety requirements, given that an employer must provide an employee with a safe working environment wherever that may be.
- Unless your business already has the technology in place, the setup costs for working remotely can be expensive and would need to be factored into any decision.
In some cases the positives of working remotely far outweigh the negatives both for employers and employees.This trend is likely to grow as businesses continue to downsize, decentralise and become increasingly mobile.
To learn how Aussie Broadband can help you get set up to work remotely, speak to one of our expert team today.