Technology is about progress, and in that progress, opportunity. Organizations that are willing and able to embrace and exploit new technologies, particularly their disruptive qualities, can put themselves in a most favorable position going forward. This is certainly the case when it comes to corporate mobility.
Corporate mobility can hardly be called new technology as remote employee network access and other telecommuting solutions have been in place for a relatively long time. What is new, however, is how rapidly corporate mobility platforms are changing, and the fact that corporate mobility is now being driven by employees as opposed to IT groups and leadership.
In 1985, only 12.4 percent of the workforce had access to flexible work hours. In 1997, that number more than doubled to 27.6 percent. A 2016 survey of workers in the United States found that 43 percent spend at least “some time” working remotely, up from 39 percent four years before. A 2015 survey found that 80 percent of companies offer working arrangements that are, in some part, flexible.
Overall, the move toward flexible work has been seen as a net positive for workers. Not being beholden to strict schedules has led workers to become more efficient in how they spend their own time. (One example is the now-common practice of “time banking,” where companies allow workers to trade in overtime hours for an extra day off.) Meanwhile, freedom from the office—and the daily commute and stagnant cubicle lifestyle that goes along with it—has allowed workers to more seamlessly mix work and home life.
Cloud computing has created a world where the resources required for productive, efficient working are no longer tied to a desktop. Today, you can check your emails on your phone, join a video conference from a tablet, and manage projects from anything with an internet connection – such is the power of the cloud.
As today’s employees increasingly demand more work/life balance from their careers, the average workplace is changing. In a world where your office is your internet connection, how do small companies help their workers make the most of the remote framework?
For most companies, the easiest way to get started with remote working practices is to test the waters first and make sure it’s a good idea to implement flexibility for your small business. While flexibility has a lot of benefits to offer, including less stress for 82% of workers, that doesn’t make it the right solution for everyone.
Taking some time to test the framework will also help you to figure out which tools and resources your employees work best with. A laptop and telephony system might be an obvious first step, but the software that you make available to your staff over the cloud may need some tweaking as you learn what each professional prefers.
The key to success for remote workers is often making sure that all the resources they need are available in the same, secure space. A strategy for unified communications can simplify remote working policies and reduce the amount of time remote workers need to spend getting used to different technology.
As you’re taking your first steps into the world of remote working, you should be doing a few other things to improve the chances that your remote working strategy will end in better productivity for your business. For instance:
If you need help finding the right technology for your employees contact us today. We’re here to help.