Over the last few weeks I have been thinking (dangerous I know!) about how working from home, or remotely, impacts various areas of our lives, and I am still thinking! This subject is huge. So, today, I figured that a re-cap on the more widely discussed aspects wouldn’t go amiss.
Environment. I did cover this a little under ‘commuting’ in a previous blog, but didn’t look at the bigger picture. What about the ‘green’ effect? Cloud based applications deliver a seamless remote working experience, but they also deliver it with far less cabling and switches and hardware than a traditional PBX – and this ultimately means less manufacturing and pollution from manufacture, and less electricity being used as we plug in less boxes.
Furthermore, less travel means less fumes and less stress on our overloaded motorways.
How about Managing staff? We have heard the objection : ‘how do I know staff are working?’. Well that is an easy objection to overcome: targeting and objective setting AND measurement against their KPI’s. ask yourself as a manager – ‘do they achieve their objectives?’. You could use ‘presence’ indications on today’s Unified Communications technology , easy to see who is online, who is busy and who isn’t. Mind you, they could be working flexible hours – which is a new mind set for employees AND employers. Statistics are regularly hitting the news to demonstrate that employees that can balance work/home with flex work are more likely to stay/not leave for a pay rise, be more productive.
Then there are the Employees:’ I don’t have a spare room to create an office at home’. Objection overruled! you don’t need a room – people work from coffee shops; needing just need comfort, wifi and a laptop/tablet. Gone are the days of multiple lever arch files crammed full of printed material. These days we just scan a document on our smart phone, and save e-copy in the cloud.
We have moved on from environment to people. Not just people – employees. Flexible/remote working enables employers to widen the geographic talent pool. The right person for a job may not live in commuting distance – why allow lack of technology to limit your businesses growth and success with the right employee?
Even Maternity/paternity leave is affected. Technology enables Keep In Touch days – allowing both employee and employer to plan for return to work. Employees can stay ahead of the conversations and projects gradually whilst off – not getting involved – but just keeping informed. This has to make their transition back to work far easier?
Relocation. With flexible/remote working there is no need to lose an employee who needs to relocate home due to spouse’s job relocation or desire to move to a new area; Working from home means that germs don’t get spread and the common cold that one employee is suffering from doesn’t travel through the entire team and affect everyone’s productivity; Even the weather affects productivity less than if everyone were travelling to an office. If you’re already set up for flex working, it means your team productivity won’t grind to a halt on a snow day (a GREAT competitive advantage if your rivals aren’t ready for it). This really is the topic that can go on and on! It’s a topic that your HR department shouldn’t be ignoring!
To discover more about how remote workers can be enabled, securely and simply, visit www.unify.com