For decades, work had to be done in the office. Documents had to be typed on paper using bulky typewriters, phone calls were made on corded phones and files were stored in actual filing cabinets. Employees had to physically go to their offices if they were to get any work done.
Then the digital revolution came and changed everything. Documents can be typed on portable laptop computers and sent across the world in seconds. Employees can now communicate with customers over the Internet and files can be stored on the cloud.
The nature of work has also changed, leading to the rise of knowledge work, which requires a lot of critical thinking. These changes, coupled with the entry of tech-savvy Millennials into the workforce, have led to the rise of remote work.
What is remote work?
Remote work is a method of working whereby employees work outside the office, mostly from the comfort of their homes. Remote employees collaborate through internet-enabled platforms that make it possible for them to share files, make voice and video calls and chat with each other anytime, anywhere and on any device.
Just how common is remote work? According to Owl Labs, more than 62% of Americans worked remotely in 2019. According to Eurostat, 22% of workers in the UK aged 25-49 answered that they work from home "sometimes" in 2018.
Even as the concept of remote work and the digital workplace become more common, some companies have yet to embrace it.
Here are six compelling reasons why your company should embrace remote work.
1. Evolution of the workplace
The nature of modern work has shifted from routine tasks such as filing and photocopying to knowledge work, which requires creativity and critical thinking. The modern workplace requires that employees have access to technological devices such as laptops, phones, and tablets so that they can communicate and collaborate at all times in a fast, secure, and reliable manner. These devices also need to be loaded with similar applications and tools to make work possible whether they are in the office, at home, on the road or out in the field.
These devices, tools, and applications that are required in the modern workplace are also the same tools that are used in remote work. This means that shifting to remote work would not be very challenging for your company since it is very likely that most of your employees already own the required devices and applications for remote work.
2. A tech-savvy workforce
A large segment of the modern workforce is made up of tech-savvy Millennials who will make up 75% of the workforce by the year 2030. They grew up with the Internet and they expect agility, flexibility, and user-friendliness at work. Millennials value work-life balance, meaning that they are not likely to sacrifice their personal lives for career advancement.
These priorities mean that they do not need to be at the office to get work done. They prefer remote work and research has shown that 75% of current employees would leave their on-site job for a remote one. This means that by going remote, your company will gain an edge by being attractive to the best employees, most of whom are Millennials.
3. Rapidly changing technology
The technological landscape has changed tremendously in the last twenty years. Cloud computing has made it possible for remote teams to access a wide array of software programs such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that could only be installed on-site. Moreover, the rise of the EaaS (Everything as a Service) movement has made it possible for remote teams to access all types of software at the press of a button, making their communication and collaboration faster and more secure.
The rise of the EaaS (Everything as a Service) movement has made it possible for remote teams to access all types of software at the press of a button.
The integration of these different types of software into a seamless communication platform has been made possible by Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). UCaaS makes it possible for remote teams to work seamlessly across different countries and time zones, ensuring that your business runs optimally.
4. Engaged customers
As a result of being in different time zones and countries, remote teams are available 24 hours, seven days a week which makes it possible for your customers to receive personalized services at all times.
Deploying UCaaS in your remote team will make it more agile and accessible as it will integrate your CRM, telephony and chat systems, thus creating a unified customer journey. Seeing as going remote will help your company hire the best talent, your customers will be assured of the best customer service that is cohesive and available 24/7.
5. Engaged employees
Remote work makes it possible for your employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance. This makes them more involved and loyal because they can choose the working hours that suit them the best and they are not distracted by constant meetings or noise from their co-workers.
Working remotely improves the relationship between your employees because they work harder at maintaining relationships. This has a positive effect on team spirit and productivity. Creativity and job satisfaction levels are also high in remote teams, since mobility and collaboration free employees from busy work and office politics, allowing them to focus on creativity and innovation.
For many companies, a large percentage of their overhead costs come from maintaining physical offices. Remote teams allow your company to save the cost of rent, electricity, and heating, which saves the environment and increases the sustainability of your company.
Your company can use the money saved by going remote to hire more staff, provide more training and invest in research and development. Going remote will enable your company to cut costs while driving long-term growth.
The changing nature of the workplace, coupled with technological advancements such as UCaaS and the entry of Millennials into the workplace, have made remote work possible. Going remote will help your company hire the best talent, provide excellent customer care and save costs. Don’t let your company miss this boat – embrace the future of work by going remote!