It is predicted that 50% of the UK workforce will work remotely by 2020 if the current growth continues. Flexible and remote working can be a daunting prospect for some business owners, and it isn’t for everyone. However, it can be a really simple thing to implement and the benefits can be huge…

Increase productivity and efficiency

Due to less distractions employees are often able to accomplish more work in less time when they are out of the office, as well as being able to work for longer and with better results. According to research by Cardiff University, 39% of people who work mostly from home often work additional hours to complete their tasks, compared with only 24% of those in fixed workplaces. In fact, it has been reported that 86% of workers prefer to work alone in order to hit maximum productivity. It has been reported that companies that invested in technology that allows the employees the felxibility to work remotely saw productivity rise by 20%.

Lower stress and boost morale

As well as building trust between employers and employees, remote working can also reduce stress levels. Statistics from a PGI study suggest that 82% of remote workers reported lower stress levels and 80% said they had higher morale when working from home.

Reduce overheads and environmental impact

It goes without saying that if an employee is not using an on-site office there will be some cost savings for the business, but the employee will also save on commuting time and costs. Savings on energy and fuel consumption will reduce the company’s overall carbon footprint.

Increase employee retention and widens the skill pool

Recent research by Gartner says that employee retention rates increase by 10% in organisations that embrace remote working. This flexibility also gives employers the opportunity to widen the search when seeking new workers, as they no longer have to be restricted by the same criteria such as location.

The technology is there, ready and waiting

The thing that really makes effective remote working possible is the right technology. It is important to think about security measures, making sure files are easily accessible and shareable, and that contact can easily be maintained…. All the technology is readily available! Here are some useful technologies that promote remote working:

Office 365 is one of the most well-known products that made it possible to change the way we work. According to a Microsoft report, highly mobile employees could save one hour per day by using Microsoft Office 365. It allows teams to work anywhere from any device; collaborating, sharing and communicating with flexible tools that go wherever they go. Anything from working remotely on documents to holding online meetings, Office 365 is a great tool both for on-site and remote teams.

Cloud Hosted Phones use the latest VoIP technology to give you and your team absolute freedom, flexibility and the ability to work remotely. This setup allows your office phones to be used anywhere with a data connection. The system is easily scalable and the phones themselves have a wide range of advanced business features and built in encryption.

It goes without saying that working remotely has its advantages and disadvantages, and what works for one team might not work for others. It isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ setup, but that is the beauty of flexible technology. You can embrace it completely or implement some elements (like hot-desking) that suit your business and style of working, scale it up or down, and plenty of the technology is beneficial to more traditional work spaces too.

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