The Remote Working Revolution
The 9-to-5 is dead. Technological advances in the workplace have empowered employees to work productively remotely and proved for many employers to be the final nail in the proverbial coffin of the traditional 9-to-5 workday.
While technology may enable many of us to work remotely, the demand for flexibility is becoming increasingly important to a new wave of employees: millennials.
In fact in the UK alone three-quarters of employees favour flexible work, with millennials (70%) the most likely of all age groups surveyed to favour a new role based on its flexibility, according to data from call conferencing business powwownow.
We’ve all heard the cliché that ‘communication is key’. While this is true, it becomes even more important when working remotely; in the past, it’s been one of many reasons for forbidding flexible working.
Today, with the rise of unified communications (UC), which in short is a term used for the integration of communication services such as instant messaging, voice, audio, and video services, communicating with teams while out of the office has never been easier.
Tools such as Slack, empower teams to come together, collaborate, and of course, most importantly of all communicate effectively, where ever in the world you may be.
Adoption and Benefits of Remote Working
According to Richard Middleton, Country Manager of UK and Ireland at Lifesize, despite the revolution in workplace technology, and remote communication, he suggests, that lack of adoption by some employers may be down to employer misconceptions and company culture.
“Flexible and remote working is an easy and effective way to please employees. If flexibility can have this impact on both staff loyalty and the bottom line, it’s certainly an issue to be prioritised at the board level.”
“Flexible working may keep staff engaged and boost productivity. The challenge with adoption, however, is more cultural than technological.”
“To address the misconception that working from home is less productive than office-based work, organisations should foster a culture where people are valued for the work and outcomes they produce, rather than the amount of time they spend at their desk.”
It may be that adoption of flexible working by workplaces in not keeping up with the demand, a case in point which is supported by the fact that over a third of UK workers are still not provided with the opportunity to work remotely, according to research.
Trust Issues Stunting Adoption
There’s almost no getting away from it, trust seems to be a fundamental stumbling block that employers will need to overcome when it comes to adoption. Failure to do so, and businesses will struggle to attract and hire the new talent they require today.
Liz Sebag-Montefiore, Director and Co-Founder of 10eighty agrees.
“I believe remote working does work and that more businesses should adopt it. It comes down to trust. Does your manager trust you to work from home? In some of the more ‘old fashioned’ companies and sectors, this isn’t typically encouraged, for example, if you aren’t at your desk, you’re not working!”
“I believe you need a trusting, collegiate culture which is led top down and bottom up, where people can carry out their job in an environment that works for both them and the business. Agile working is getting more and more popular – and of course, going down the hot-desking route is saving companies thousands of pounds.”
Despite some employers not embracing flexible working, in the US, it’s widely believed that 50% of the workforce across the country will soon be remote. One thing is clear, something will need to change to attract, retain, and meet the demands of employees today.
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Craig, is the International Marketing Manager at 10to8, with over 10 years’ digital marketing experience.
At 10to8 Craig devises and oversees multi-channel marketing campaigns, and plays a pivotal role in growing the business. Throughout Craig’s most recent career history he’s specialised in successfully growing tech start-ups.
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