Remote working is a flexible working setup which allows employees to work from home either some or all of the time. While companies may mandate that employees come into the office once or twice a week for meetings and to update bosses on their progress, staff are generally able to tailor their work week as they see fit.
Many workplaces around the world have some sort of remote, or flexible working system in place. According to a study, an estimated 70% of people work remotely at least once a week. The report also revealed that 53% of people globally work remotely for at least half of the week.
There has been massive adoption of remote working already, but in 2019, the popularity of flexible working arrangements will increase even more and here’s why.
More Affordable Technology
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A major factor in the rise of remote working is that technology is now more affordable than ever. It is now a lot cheaper for bosses to equip their staff with the technological tools that they need to work from home. It also makes it far more likely that staff will already have what they need, having been able to spend a smaller amount of money to get a laptop, smartphone and full home office suite.
Just look at laptops. Many offices use Apple MacBooks to do their work because they provide access to software such as Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and the Siri virtual assistant which are all massively useful for preparing business documents and reports. Whereas Apple computers may have once been very expensive when buying brand new, refurbished versions of the laptops, like the refurbished MacBook Air 13, have become a more affordable alternative. With that refurbished, 13.3-inch laptop, remote working employees would have a lightweight and portable laptop to do their work on. The laptop’s all-day battery life would also support staff when they want to work outside of the office. However, the refurbished model is available for under $600 compared to a brand new version which sells for $700 and upwards.
Better Cloud Computing Software
Another reason why remote work is growing is that employees are no longer obliged to work from the office when they want to collaborate on their work. Cloud computing software – which allows people to collaborate on documents so long as they have an Internet connection – means that you don’t have to be next to each other.
One of the most popular pieces of cloud-computing software for businesses is Asana which is like a business-focused to-do list where users can leave comments and tell people where they are with their tasks. There’s also Backblaze which is a cloud storage service which means that businesses can store things in the cloud and give anyone, wherever they’re working, access to this data. Help Scout is another one, as it helps businesses to manage interactions with customers including support tickets, which is ideal as so many customer support staff do seem to be remote workers these days. There’s lots of other software out there, addressing almost every business need with a cloud-based service.
Team Communication Apps
When more of your team starts to work remotely, one of the first things that you’ll want to address is communication. It’s much harder to schedule a meeting when your employees are hundreds of miles away from the conference room, and you can’t just get up and go to someone’s office when you need their feedback, either.
However, what you can do is use team communication apps. As a professional version of iMessage or WhatsApp, apps like Slack, Campfire, and Basecamp offer to message for businesses who need to get quick feedback on tasks and ideas. Need a second opinion on your banner design? Post it in the Slack channel for everyone to see and comment on. Need to have a private word with a manager about something? Use private messaging features to talk it out. Staying in touch, especially when you’re far away, is important but these apps support that.
Businesses can benefit massively from remote working. Not only does it allow them to cut down on costly office space but employees will be more productive in their own homes. Expect many more companies and industries to embrace it in the future.