Remote work refers to a job that is done outside of the office. Many people refer to it as “working from home” and it is the trend of the century. The appeal of remote work is an obvious draw for a lot of employees: flexibility, trust, autonomy, productivity, less distractions are just some of the recognized benefits. As companies look to optimize operational costs and younger employees look to gain personal freedom, working remotely seems more and more beneficial to both parties.
Many companies still carry apprehension for the remote worker as the decision to take your team offline shakes the foundation of the traditional office setting.
These are valid and important questions to be asking, but a more complete line of thinking is important to validate the Remote Work idea within your company. Here is what should be considered when implementing remote work:
These are all completely relevant concerns, particularly for managers who are invested in their employees and want to ensure that not only is the business meeting its bottom line, but that employees feel professionally supported and empowered to progress. However, these concerns are largely unfounded. Studies have found that businesses that implement remote work policies see increased productivity, efficiency, and fulfillment from their employees.
Having a remote employee, or an entirely remote team, is actually the first step in embracing the future of work. With possible positive impacts to your future business. Let’s start with the basics.
To help you evaluate and answer your concerns here a list of benefits for your company and your employees:
Studies about Increased Productivity
Study about telecommuters by the University of Illinois
The benefits don’t just stop with removing the commute. Overall workplace stress is vastly reduced with 82% of remote workers reporting lower stress levels. Over 3000 workers were surveyed by FlexJobs who found 77% of respondents would be healthier if they had a flexible job and 86% would be less stressed. Remote workers can be happier and healthier, and it is a choice that can have positive impact on your business.The remote workforce trend shows no signs of slowing down. Owl Labs conducted a survey and found that 16% of global companies are now fully remote and 52% of employees around the world work from home at least one day a week.
Although there are challenges that come with hiring and organizing a remote workforce, the reality is working with a remote team might end up being one of the best decisions you could make for your business, especially because there are some features overlooked when thinking about how dependable your company’s operations are on your office space. And it can be an easy transition, Microsoft Teams for example, it is a complete collaboration tool that can be used for projects, meetings, collaborating and comes with all levels of Office 365 licenses – perfect match for a remote workspace.
Do you have a contingency plan if you can’t use your office space? What if there is a flood or a fire on your building? An internet outage? Electrical issues?
Many of these issues can affect your business location making it difficult or impossible to work from your location. In 2013, Calgary was affected by a flood – During this unprecedented disaster anyone who lived or worked downtown were most likely affected and most were left without a contingency plan in place.
In more recent news, flu and viral spreading can be mitigated with options to work remotely if employee feel sick, Microsoft has issued an email announcement last week with some information on Microsoft 365 preparedness for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and guidance regarding best practices for Microsoft Teams.
Things to consider when preparing your office for remote work:
1. Can your current internet and infrastructure handle everyone working remotely?
2. Does your software within your infrastructure support a remote working environment?
3. How would you deal with Shipping/Receiving if you cannot use/access your office building?
4. How would your clients pay you? Do you receive EFT/Wire transfers or cheques? If Cheques, how will you get them and process them if you cannot access your office?
5. How much Information, and type of data will you need to be able access remotely? Ie. Clients and employee information
6. How much Information, and type of data will you need to be able access remotely? I.e.. Clients and employee information.
Having a remote solution in place prior to needing it is key for a smooth transition. By having a scalable solution infrastructure, such as Azure, you can easily ramp up your cloud infrastructure for remote workers when need be.
A small-scale virtual machine can be as little as $30 a month. Options such as Microsoft Azure has the capability to add resources on-the-fly, so whether you are hosting a back-up of your infrastructure or fully moving to the cloud, your company will be able to scale the solution to your needs.
There are many aspects of your company’s daily work that can be done remotely. Contact us at 403-775-7139 or send us an email here for more information.