It goes without saying that getting the right staff with the right attitude in a labour market tight on talent is a tall order for most businesses.
It’s a huge challenge and it’s an alarming drag on growth and ambition.
People’s expectations are high too and the job market is changing to adapt. Flexible working and the opportunity to work remotely is now commonly included in the job specifications of many roles to help attract and keep the right talent. In fact, legally, all staff can request it.
Of course, every employer can refuse it – but they need to have a good business reason to do so.
For most businesses, however, any early doubts about these ‘lifestyle’ benefits have all but disappeared and flexible and remote working is now actively encouraged in a world where 9 to 5 is a thing of the past– and many employees now expect it.
Technology has paid a huge part – if the not the largest part – in encouraging more remote working, and it’s rapidly transforming everyone’s day.
As the technology available races to bring more innovation into our lives, work is getting easier and more effective. Reliable, superfast wireless broadband, smart phones, tablets and the cloud have brought work to wherever you happen to be.
Digital is reshaping every industry, primarily by changing the traditional perceptions around local and working hours, and the way the work is done.
‘Clocking in’ doesn’t mean arriving at the office anymore, and the perception that ‘working from home’ means you’re probably slacking is long gone.
So how might your business benefit?
Greater productivity for a start
Your staff will have the time and the headspace to focus on the bigger projects. Less time on the road means more time on the job.
Staff appreciate the trust and confidence to work independently and acknowledge how it helps in managing their own lives, including family pressures and to other commitments. Working remotely has also been associated with less absenteeism – staff want you know what they’ve been doing.
Fewer overheads: The more people you have working remotely means less drain on your resources, and space, back at base.
A business which is seen to be encouraging remote working is often viewed by prospective staff as innovative, confident and trusting.
Less diesel, petrol means your company’s carbon footprint is already falling away.
While it all sounds so easy, it is important that businesses put in place processes to ensure that remote or flexible working is properly managed so that deadlines, milestones and project delivery plans are consistently met.
You will also need access to the cloud, which, along with mobile technology, will give your staff the ability to work from any location that has internet access – via a desktop, laptop or phone.
Cloud computing means they will have ‘virtual’ access to the same information they would normally get in the office – files, documents, data, contacts and more.
Secure, flexible and with the capacity you need to grow – and add new users easily – cloud, mobile and digital technology means everything is possible.
So, could embracing remote working give your business the edge?
It’s our experience that those who have embraced new technology and flexible working have seen their businesses flourish with a workforce who are happier, more confident and more content than ever. Those staff stay longer, they’re more committed and loyal to the cause.
After all, happy staff usually means that your business is productive and as profitable as it can be.