We’ve entered the new age of work. The typical office environment has dramatically transformed in recent years, from cubicles to home offices, cafes, and almost anywhere with an internet connection.
There are many reasons to join the remote work trend, but there are also some legitimate concerns that are holding other businesses back.
The costs of enabling remote work
The most obvious and immediate benefit of remote working is the potential cost savings. Office space is one of the single largest overheads for most businesses. On top of that, there’s networking infrastructure, utilities, furniture, and computers.
With remote work, you only need to provide the services your employees need to do their jobs. These are typically applications hosted in the cloud for a set monthly fee per user. With a bring your own device (BYOD) policy, your employees can use their own computers and smartphones for work as well.
While it’s far cheaper to let your employees use their own devices for work and work from the comfort of their own homes, this doesn’t necessarily suit everyone. Some people aren’t willing to use their own computers for work, especially if it means surrendering a degree of control to their employers. Others might not have a suitable working environment at home or may prefer to keep work and home life separate, in which case you may need to provide a fully equipped and refurbished coworking space.
Remote work and productivity
Another oft-cited benefit of enabling remote work is that it boosts employee productivity and morale. People tend to work more efficiently when using the devices they’re most familiar with in environments in which they’re most comfortable.
The increased flexibility of remote work also means they can choose their own hours, which means they can work at the times they’re most productive. After all, some people like to get everything done early in the morning, while others are happier working in the evening and even during the night.
On the other hand, the productivity benefits can sometimes be offset by the temptation to slack off work. At home, for example, there might be lots of distractions, and business leaders have no way of monitoring work other than by using time tracking software and other solutions. But these may also be seen as intrusive, especially if it involves installing software on employee-owned machines. As such, there’s undoubtedly a strong culture of trust in any business with a successful remote working environment.
Is teamwork possible with remote work?
The anonymity and borderless nature of the internet might suit many of us, but it’s not very conducive to certain forms of teamwork, even with all the right collaboration tools provided. There are undoubtedly some important challenges pertaining to communication, interaction, and teamwork. For some, a lack of routine and structure can be a deal breaker, which is why a few people still prefer to work in the familiar office environment.
If your business is powered largely by individual work, then enabling workforce mobility is the obvious choice. But modern solutions like SharePoint and Slack also enable teamwork between teams all over the world. This also allows businesses to tap into the best talent without being restricted to their local areas.
Like most new trends, however, the suitability of remote work depends a lot on your specific business needs and culture. For most, it’s a key driver of business growth, but for others, it’s better to find the optimal balance between remote and office work.
Simplified IT Consulting provides expert advice to businesses looking to drive growth and boost productivity. Call us today and we’ll discuss whether remote work is the right move for your business.