So, we’ve set up our favourite place to work at home and got into a productive routine. After two weeks of getting comfy in our chairs, we wonder… will we actually need to visit the office again? There are clear benefits to remote working so is this an opportunity to stop, learn and rethink how we run our businesses going forwards? Perhaps we have stumbled upon a better business model for the future.
Ditching the office could lead to major savings in overheads such as commercial rent, office furniture, utility costs and even stationary supplies. When you add up everything you were paying to host everybody centrally there could be quite a cost saving.
No more nine to five hours, your working day can now fit around other commitments in your life. If you find that the best time of day to produce that presentation is at 9pm, you now have the flexibility to take to the laptop whenever inspiration strikes. Does the move to remote working mean you work longer or shorter hours? Well, there have been suggestions in the last fortnight that people actually clock up more work time at home.
According to the Office of National Statistics, 90% of office workers said they would like to work from home more often. If your staff have a model which suits them better, you may find staff turnover decreases which will further drive down costs.
If fewer people have to travel to work, this will lead to a reduction in pollution from vehicles on the road. Therefore if remote working can become a sustainable business model for the future we will hopefully see an impact on the carbon emissions which are threatening the future of the planet. There may also be a reduction in plastic waste if office workers are no longer buying their ready packaged lunches and opting for plated food at home instead.
The success of remote working is wholly dependent on technology and having the right tools in place. This is surely only going to be a growth market going forwards. For any remote working issue there is an app to overcome it.
Multitasking a problem? Try productivity tool Serene. This will help you plan your day, block distractions, silence your phone, create to -do lists and even play music to focus you!
Feeling cut off? Try Slack to reconnect remote teams. There are channels for conversations which members can join and leave, as well as options for video, voice calls and messaging.
Of course, you will need to ensure that your team are happy to adopt the technology needed for them to fulfil their jobs remotely. Adequate training provision will need to be put in place as you assess their different needs. If you bring your people with the change and make sure they understand how to use and benefit from the technology, you will help your team to be productive remotely.
If you have always run your business in the traditional nine to five way, you might find some aspects of remote working challenging to start with. How do you know your team will deliver? What if you can’t remind them of what you need all the time? Remote working can be a positive trust exercise. You might find that giving your team the time and space to deliver what you need produces a better result. If you are clear on expectations and deadlines there is nothing to suggest delivery will be compromised.
Remember to keep your team motivated and ensure morale remains high whilst working remotely. Trust will play a key part in this.
Do the statistics favour remote working?
At the end of 2019 Owl Labs conducted some research into remote working and discovered 44% of companies globally don’t allow remote working. Have the Coronavirus lockdowns forced these companies to reassess? Perhaps we’ll see a cultural change as companies realise the benefits. Before the Coronavirus Crisis, the Office of National Statistics in the UK predicted that 50% of office workers would be working remotely in 2020. There is clearly appetite for a move towards a remote working business model.
We have heard tales from the last few decades of multi million businesses which began at the kitchen table. Have we now gone full circle back to the kitchen table?
Working remotely is part of our company culture. If we can assist you in getting set up please let us know. Contact EstherM@NineFeetTall.com