The growing global trend of a workforce that works remotely and the need to connect them.
The demand for workplace flexibility
Today’s changing business landscape demands a flexible and nimble workforce that can conduct business in a variety of environments. Technology has enabled the expansion of the workweek to 24-7, and travelling across the country, and even the world, to conduct business has become commonplace. The result of these changes is the increased necessity of working remotely. Perhaps, in the not-so-distant future the traditional static office workplace could even become quaint.
Supporting this growing trend, statistics have shown that workplace flexibility can lead to increased productivity. According to a recent study conducted by The Telework Coalition, remote working increased employee productivity by a staggering average of 22%.
Small companies stand to gain significantly by increasing their remote workforce as it is proving to be good for the bottom line. The same study by The Telework Coalition also revealed that for each full-time remote employee businesses save an average of an astonishing $20,000 a year!
Even the former President of the United States touted the benefits of a flexible workplace. In this 2010 (!) Washington Post Article Obama discusses the necessity for remote work and alternative working arrangements, in response to the forced closure of federal offices, due to extreme weather conditions.
Barriers to establishing remote work connectivity
According to a large scale survey dating back to 2010, at that time only 14% of small businesses were "fully supportive" of remote working, compared to the over 50% of big companies who had formal remote working practices.
This isn’t about the money and the costs involved in funding flexible work programs. It’s more of a small company’s management mindset that still exists today. The FUD factor – fear, uncertainty and doubt – prevents the uptake of new technology. Managers are more likely to go with what they already know and recognize, often making their IT departments buy software that may be inferior or ineffective. This turns out to be counterproductive as the new technology will often contribute to the business results and success desired by the company.
Setting up remote work to achieve successful results can only be gained by having access to the correct remote enabling tools. Modern technology allows essential business tools and items to be accessed remotely or in the cloud, including voice services that can save huge long distance bills from offsite and travelling employee calls.
Larger organizations most likely have private networking technology, granting them the ability to ensure successful remote work. As technology evolves, along with the various ways to capitalize on it, many small businesses are turning to cloud services to gain the same remote advantages as larger companies and corporations.
Empowering your remote workforce
Telecommunication service providers have the tools and technology to accommodate all remote and travelling workers’ possible needs. Unlimited calling and reliable connection is a necessity for employees who require the ability to work internationally and on the go.
Ethernet internet connections have infrastructure and lines around the world that can be used to conveniently bridge back to the office as though you were within the same network. Hosted PBX VOIP services allow companies to have multiple locations, or off-site employees, all connected within one fully functioning network.
A hosted VOIP call could effectively be answered by a landline, cell phone, and even softphones. This is a great feature that can be used to provide superior customer service and increase productivity.
The remote working trend is fast becoming the norm and small companies are finding they must provide alternative working arrangements for their employees in order to meet the demands of doing business. Small business must answer the call for greater connectivity and accessibility if they are to compete and thrive in today’s ever-changing business world.