Working From Home – What’s Involved In Remote Working?
Whether you like to just check your emails or it’s part of a more planned approach, working from home or ‘remote working’ is becoming increasingly popular now.
What is Remote Working?
Working from home is not a new concept and both its advantages and disadvantages have been heavily debated in business blogs and industry publications. However in June of last year the topic was put under the spotlight further as changes in the law made it easier for certain groups of employees to request remote working facilities. Since this major change in legislation last year, the law has been further relaxed, meaning the majority of employees can now make an application for flexible working as long as they have been with the company for 26 consecutive weeks.
Bearing this in mind, it is useful to know what working from home / remote working entails and how it can be beneficial for both the companies and employees.
The implementation of high speed broadband and associated communication networks are seen to be the single largest enabler for this shift to remote working. As a result, the industries engaging in remote working practices have benefited the most. One leading example of successful implementation of flexible working policies is the off-site IT industry, with communication experts able to dial into their client’s network and carry out repairs or upgrades without leaving their own PC.
With IT being so agile, it’s not difficult to imagine how other roles could be managed by well-motivated individuals working from home. Roles such as telesales, data entry, bid writing and almost any other office based position or task can be carried out remotely.
However, there are a number of elements that need to be in place for a home worker to be successful and continue to be a company asset:
- A place to work – This may seem an obvious point but having an area within the home that is deliberately set aside for the sole purpose of working is very important. There needs to be a distinction between home and work, regardless of the fact that they are located within the same building.
- Facilities – Good communications, quality IT and access to the information needed to complete the task. A breakdown in any one of these essential facilities will have an immediate impact on productivity and employer confidence.
- Flexibility – Many employees make the decision to remote work for specific reasons such as distance, disability or having a young family. It is of vital importance that such issues are taken into consideration when creating a working plan or the home working scenario is likely to suffer.
So those are the factors that often make remote working a viable and preferable option for employees, but what are the advantages of remote working for employers? Here are just a few of the benefits of a home-based network for organisations:
- Financial – Put simply, less spent on buildings, infrastructure and energy means a bigger bottom line.
- Cuts absenteeism – Staff feeling under the weather or suffering from an infectious condition are more likely to continue working if they can log on from home, plus inclement weather affecting public transport no longer needs to be an issue.
- Staff turnover – The option of flexible working hours is a major positive for staff that may be seeking to leave due to family commitments. Recent research has also reported that Millennials are more likely to accept a job offer based on the flexibility of the working conditions as opposed to salary.
- Flexibility – This applies to the employer as much as the home worker. Remote working allows each employee to work with different groups on a wide variety of projects, without any conflict of interest or the need to manage them in the same physical space.
So, a carefully managed remote network can enhance an employee’s work-life balance whilst maintaining, and most likely improving, a company’s productivity and profitability. Win-win!
Is there anything else you would add when it comes to working from home or remote working? Let us know in the comments below.
Categories: Mobile & Flexible Working