Why has enabling employees to work remotely proven to be a game-changer?
From an employer’s perspective.
Before the pandemic crisis of 2020, many employers have been understandably hesitant to allow employees to work from home or remotely. The advent of robust and secure cloud services combined with the proliferation of mobile devices has gradually changed this mindset.
A recent global study revealed that organisations who have adopted cloud technology for the mobile workforce experienced a:
67% increase in productivity
53% increase in employee engagement
43% revenue growth as a direct result.
Another worldwide study has found that 71% of businesses say that offering flexible work arrangements has broadened their talent pool dramatically.
From an employee’s perspective.
The increase in productivity and engagement of the mobile workforce can, in part, be attributed to the employee’s desire to be able to do jobs working from home or remotely. Given the choice, a recent Otago University survey 1 showed that 89% of New Zealanders expressed a desire to spend at least a certain amount of their time, ideally part time working from home. This survey also shows that 73% of New Zealanders stated they were “equally or more productive” when working from home than in an office environment and a majority were reluctant to return to the ‘traditional workplace’. When asked what the challenges might be to working from home in the future, 27% saw none, while 22% unfortunately thought their organisation would not support it, and 13% thought their manager would not.
So, what are the tangible benefits of transitioning to a mobile workforce?
- Increased cost savings. A mobile workforce does not require office space which can bring about dramatic savings in real-estate costs. According to Colliers International, shared office space has been one of the few expanding office demand sources over the last few years as New Zealand slowly catches up with the rest of the world. This trend has just accelerated after the return from lock-down with many companies hesitating about renewing office leases due to the realisation that remote working can work for them and their employees.
Why have an office space operating under capacity when hot desking and shared space options are becoming more viable?
- Better customer service. You can provide 24×7 customer support with employees scattered across different time zones. Customers can get answers quickly with your teams simply accessing data securely in the cloud using their mobile device without needing to be in the office.
- Decreased employee stress. Subtracting the stress of the daily commute from your team’s work-life balance equation will translate into increased levels of productivity and fewer sick days.
- Financial gain- the ability to work remotely could see savings gained across those everyday expenses such as petrol, parking and café lunches. Also leading to reduced stress for employees.
- Environmental gain- With less commuters and therefore traffic on our roads worldwide carbon emissions have fallen during lockdown resulting in less environmental stress in the long term.
- Increased productivity. Teams can deliver results for longer time periods each workday with employees distributed across multiple time zones and can communicate instantly with a touch of a button.
- Business continuity. If disaster strikes, a mobile workforce can continue working from home or other remote locations that are safe and secure.
- Broader talent pool. Providing flexible work arrangements will entice more top-tier professionals to seek employment in your organisation.
- Greater diversity. Gain geographic, socioeconomic and cultural diversity with a workforce that could literally be from around the world.
Reference: 1 2020, Otago University Study, https://www.otago.ac.nz/news