“So, where have you been working?”
This isn’t an uncommon greeting when you haven’t seen someone in a while. With COVID-19’s influence, many people would answer that they have been working from home, if possible. While business owners may be resistant to the idea of remote work, the potential benefits make it possible that remote work is the silver lining to the coronavirus cloud hanging over us.
What Are the Benefits of Remote Work?
The average business owner typically prefers to have their workforce located in their place of business and is not afraid to spend a hefty sum to do so. Utility costs alone for a brick-and-mortar location can range in the thousands of dollars each month. However, with a staff that can work from home, many of these costs can be reduced (or even removed). The costs of a business’ location will typically outpace even the cost of the computing infrastructure and software, as there are often discounts for these essential business needs and services.
In simple terms, remote working strategies can dramatically decrease your business’ upfront costs.
Furthermore, remote workers have been shown to be more productive and produce better quality work while at home. While different metrics come into play, the basic concept is that modern workers are more productive with more flexibility. While there are anecdotal exceptions, remote workers tend to accomplish their goals with better results and more satisfaction. After all, there’s no stressful commute to deal with.
Other critical benefits to consider include the improvements to employee morale, retention, and health quality that remote workers present. It’s a little obvious, when laid out. If an employee has the capability and privilege of working from home, their gratitude will lead to them acting responsibly and honestly, giving you a better end result.
The Gig Economy
Long before COVID-19 appeared, millions of contract employees were operating remotely, making up what is commonly referred to in the media as the “Gig economy.” About 15 percent of retail transactions are carried out online, and almost every service has some kind of online representation, so businesses started to hire remote workers to complete certain necessary tasks.
If budgetary restrictions are a concern, gig workers have provided the opportunity to stave off financial problems with affordable employees. Gig workers can be brought on to assist an in-house team in completing a project before deadline, or supply skills that your team may not have. If managed properly, these kinds of workers can offer considerable benefits to your organization.
Essential Tools for the Remote Worker
Of course, in order for your remote workers to accomplish as much as possible, they need to have the right tools and resources:
- Remote access – Naturally, if your employees aren’t able to come into the workplace as they normally would, they are going to need a means of accessing the data and applications hosted on your internal network.
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) – As your team is working at home, you want them to be able to send and receive data securely. A VPN consists of an encrypted portal that facilitates this.
- Cloud-hosted line-of-business software – Your chosen software solutions are a necessary part of your employees’ processes, so they need to be able to access them. While you do have the option to host your data and applications on your local system, doing so can incur significant costs.
- Cloud-hosted communications – VoIP systems operate in such a way that makes them ideal for remote work. The majority of solutions are available as a smartphone application, making access extremely simple.
With so many distractions out there to potentially draw your employees away from their work, allowing them to complete their work from home may be a truly unsettling consideration. However, once you consider how much remote work can benefit productivity, you may be ready to give it a try.
We’ve seen the benefits of remote work in our own operations, and that’s why we endorse it… along with many other IT solutions and tools that can make businesses better. We’re here to help you accomplish this goal, and we’re just a call away. Call us today at (877) 638-5464.