Remote working? – Is this the way to go?

Remote working is all the rage and with the recent surge in internet based working and Multi Level Marketing companies, there seems to be no sign of slowing.

Almost every day it seems there is a new company, industry or business entity is selling the dream of a remote working lifestyle, “work from anywhere, choose the hours to suit you” “work to live, not live to work” and I have to admit, I’ve been enticed by it.

And why not?

Who wouldn’t want a better work life balance? Working around family commitments to reduce the guilt of a working parent certain holds massive appeal for many!

And it’s not only employees that are benefiting.

Research has shown that remote working is most effective when there is a better work life balance.

The optimal engagement boost occurs when employees spend 60% to less than 80% of their workweek — or three to four days — working off-site.

Workers have stated that they enjoy the autonomy of working remotely and it gives them a sense that they are cared about by their employer, which in turn leads to increased loyalty and productivity.

With technology moving at an illustrious rate, it is now easier than ever for people to work from anywhere in the world. The implementation of cloud based systems, smart phones and video conferencing was a momentous turning point in the ability and the efficiency of working remotely.

Lengthy commutes are no longer spent thumbing the leaves of the latest offering at Dymocks, instead, it’s now a start of the working day and the time can be dedicated to creating meeting plans, reading through documents and sending emails etc.

Board a train anywhere in the UK and they are loaded with business people, working away on tablets, laptops and phones. Trains now have complimentary wifi and power points, so business never needs to stop!

It seems like there is an app created daily that claims to aid in the streamlining of processes, marketing, CRM, invoicing and project management to name a few and the popularity of the gig economy has only reinforced the function-ability of remote working.

How will all these changes reflect in the work force of the future? Will businesses opt for using more freelances rather than employing full time staff? It would make sense from a cost saving exercise.  What about the commercial property sector? Are occupancy rates in danger of falling as business owners may not need such vast quantities of space?

Who knows what the future holds, the tech industry continues to prosper at an astounding rate and with it, the creation of new jobs and industry sectors. The work scene is changing but it is necessary to keep up with our ever evolving world!

There are so many advantages to working remotely, cost saving obviously being a major factor, employee satisfaction, stress reduction for staff, reduced time wasted and increased productivity. Also employees working from home are less likely to take sick days.

Of course, remote working isn’t for everyone or every business. The lack of team interaction or social gatherings can lead to a disjointed ununiformed team and without thorough and strategic communication plans in place, employees can be misdirected. Unmotivated staff could also be easily distracted, so it is vital to implement regular team meetings and set formal and measurable expectations.

The success of a remote team will ultimately come down to management, whether recruiting the right people or providing the right tools. It’s imperative that businesses are able to adapt to the changing dynamics of the corporate world, or they risk losing valuable employees to more flexible competitors.