The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a sudden and rapid change in the way everyone works and does business. Once only for the lucky few, remote working has now become mainstream with two-thirds of the UK workforce currently working from home; many of them getting to grips with new digital technologies for the first time.
Remote working success with the right technology
Even though the digital tools for remote working have been around in some capacity for over 20 years, their latest incarnations are much more user friendly, adaptable and accessible. Had the COVID-19 pandemic struck ten years ago, it would have been much harder to make such a rapid shift to large-scale remote working; for many businesses, it wasn’t even an option.
Thankfully, tools like Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365 and Business Voice have enabled seamless integration of remote and office workers, creating blended working patterns that are likely to outlive the pandemic.
Are there benefits to working from home?
There are clear benefits to working from home, as well as challenges. 65% of workers said they would be more productive working from home, rather than in the office, with 75% citing reduced distractions as one reason why. 83% of employees don't believe they need to be in an office in order to be productive. This is a statistic that's mirrored by employers, with two-thirds reporting increased employee productivity when remote working has been introduced.
Increased employee productivity isn't the only benefit. For employers, remote working can help reduce the need for expensive office space, cutting down on overall business costs and can broaden the potential recruitment pool.
The last few months have shown that remote working can be transformative for individuals and companies, but there is more work to be done to make telecommuting a long-term success. 30.9% of remote workers say they struggle with feelings of loneliness and 22% report that 'switching-off' from work can be challenging – all of which can be managed with a clear remote working business policy. However, key to successful remote working is the technology with 62% of remote workers wanting their employers to provide better technology to help them stay connected with their colleagues.
Despite the shift towards remote working, some business concerns remain, particularly over issues of security and productivity. But, with the right technology, managers can have faith in their teams to work collaboratively and, ultimately, boost productivity. Plus, they can trust in solutions like Microsoft 365 as security comes as standard – massively minimising the risks that working remotely brings, and ensuring continuity of service is maintained.
A growing trend
The world of work is likely to look very different over the coming years. Concerns about public health, the development of new technologies and changing employee expectations are likely to embed remote working into everyday life. So, ensure your business is prepared now.
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