Never more than now, as the world starts to slowly inch forward from the grip of a global pandemic, has the power of remote working been more evident. Already embraced by millions of companies pre-Covid19, remote working has been forced upon millions more as businesses were ordered to close, and staff were sent home. Of all the challenges in the world, this isn’t something that most of us had considered as a likely threat to our livelihoods. Yet, here we are.
The organisations that were already using remote working in some form, whether that be sporadic home workers, a hosted desktop solution, utilisation of cloud comms such as Skype or Microsoft Teams, or a full cloud infrastructure, are the organisations that were able to hit the ground running when the “you-know-what” hit the fan. Others were slower off the mark and hurriedly scaled up server capacities, bought and built laptops and figured out how to use Zoom. And this hurried shift to a new way of working, left room for mistakes - especially when it came to security.
And what we’re left with now, is a new perspective on the way we work. A realisation that work - for many businesses - isn’t somewhere that we go, it’s something that we do. Something that, with the right technologies, we can do from pretty much anywhere. And this is creating a new norm. Teams have succeeded in being productive, whilst dispersed. With the right team, and the right technology, a dispersed workforce can be just as much of a team as an office based one. Which begs the question to some companies, of whether or not an office is needed at all.
Remote working actually, has the power to greatly improve engagement and productivity between teams. You can bring people and ideas together, wherever they are. Video conferences, shared whiteboards, file sharing with co-editing… it brings a flexibility that almost expands beyond the four walls of the office, allowing people to break boundaries in many ways. It can help create that longed for work-life balance, enabling employees to juggle work around homelife where appropriate. If logging on at 9pm to catch up with work means that a busy working mum or dad can to get to that all important school play in the afternoon, that’s the sort of thing that makes a true difference to a person’s life. And employees are way more productive if you give them that trust. They respect it, and are grateful for it.
And it of course, brings business agility. An agility that has saved thousands upon thousands of businesses in the face of a global pandemic, as they’ve simply upped sticks, gone home, and carried on. Business as usual.
So if you thought remote working wasn’t right for your business before, there may well be a new way of working for you now. And if you embrace this new norm, you will reap the dividends of a more robust, resilient and reliable workforce and a peace of mind, that your business can continue to be productive, wherever your team may sit.