In a pre-pandemic world, working from home was a rarity, with the vast majority of the population commuting to work each day. In fact, working from home was often frowned upon or only allowed in special circumstances.
However, since the pandemic, all of that has changed. Many employees now actively seek jobs that offer work from home (WFH) or hybrid options so that they can get a better work-life balance or save on commuting costs. In fact, according to CNBC, 64% would consider leaving their jobs if they were forced back to the office on full-time basis.
As such, many companies now offer WFH or hybrid options as standard to attract and retain staff. This doesn’t normally bother them as remote working can increase productivity and in some cases, saves the company a lot of money by allowing them to downsize their office. If you’re thinking of joining them, here is all you need to know about remote working and its future.
Does remote working work?
To put it bluntly – yes. A few years ago, employers wouldn’t have let their staff work from home as they assumed that without supervision, the staff wouldn’t work as hard. However, the pandemic proved this to be a myth.
In fact, with the right technology available and with a good team in place, staff can actually be more productive if they are remote. Furthermore, remote workers report higher job satisfaction and a better work-life balance. A happy workforce is a more cooperative and reliable one.
However, remote or hybrid working can only be successful with the right technology and systems in place.
What technology is currently available?
Some years ago, remote working would not have been possible due to the lack of technology. However, with the invention of the internet and online communication, things have changed.
In the modern world, if a colleague is working remotely then you can easily reach them via telephone. You can also send detailed emails and file attachments, meaning written correspondence and document sharing have never been easier.
You can communicate with remote staff by talking to them via direct messages, social media and text. For times when face-to-face is required, then a video call is ideal. Need to hold a chat with multiple people in one go? That’s not a problem either, as you can use a video conference platform.
Training can easily be conducted remotely via a webinar. This enables you to give a good presentation and also allows you to clarify that everyone has understood. The webinar can be recorded too, so that it can be watched many times or shared.
If you need your remote workers to have access to all your company files, then cloud storage and computing can enable this easily. It also comes with the bonus of heightened cybersecurity.
Need your remote workforce to provide customer service? Use a customer engagement platform to enable them to manage and interact with customers easily. This piece of software integrates all your brand’s email, social media, direct messaging and chatbots into one place, meaning that you and your workforce can easily keep track of customer questions and enquiries.
It is because of all these new technologies that remote working has become so successful and popular.
What does the future hold for remote working?
Whether you like it or not, remote working is here to stay. If you want to attract the best staff and retain them then you need to adopt a remote working policy and invest in the right technology. Staff retention and the ability to downsize your office space will undoubtedly make the investment worth it.
Remote options will likely continue to evolve as technology advances, and up-and-coming technology like AI may well play a role in these changes. Working hours may become more flexible and more companies may start downsizing their physical office space.
It might seem quite daunting to embrace such a new way of working. However, it will put you ahead of the curve and make sure that both your customers and workers get the best from your company.