Do you remember the old times when it was virtually impossible to ask your boss to work from home? You could ask many times, have legitimate reasons, assure that you will be even more productive but still, your boss would not allow you to work other than from your own beloved office desk.
Times are changing. Nowadays both big corporations and small start ups encourage their employees to work-remotely or even, basically kick them out from their offices. Some companies develop policies and profound credo around this flexible approach. A friend of mine, who works at the headquarter of one of the biggest food retailers, is forced to work-remotely at least one day per week. Another friend works for a company of 120 employees and the office space can host only 100 of them. Those people who arrive late need to return home or go to a café nearby.
Few years back you couldn’t even think about such situations. How did it happen and what has changed? Let’s dig further and understand why, nowadays, remote-work is not just a blooming trend but is even encouraged and preferable by employers.
The new technology and the blooming popularity of the Cloud and VDI allows easy access to organizational resources from any place and any device. According to many reports, in 2016 more than 90% of the companies worldwide have shifted their workload to the Cloud.
At the same time, technology companies enter a fierce competition to create the most innovative and smartest solutions (software and hardware) to allow an instant and effortless access to all the applications and resources. As a result, the market is scattered with a number of reliable devices, at reasonable prices, to choose from.
Security and control
When I was working for my old company in London, the main reasons why my boss wouldn’t allow me to work from home were related to security and control. Nowadays, if your company chooses wisely on the hardware and the software, connecting to your organizational applications and data become highly secure and efficient. The possibility of any data leakages and viruses or worms will be minimize nearly to zero.
Additionally, if your boss is worried about your productivity, she or he can install a productivity tracking software such as Harvest on your device and track time and send reports. Solutions to improve productivity nowadays are endless. Companies are increasingly demanding desktop lockdown software such as Praim Agile, which allows to centrally manage your devices and also works as an anti-distraction tool (if you seek a method to increase productivity in your personal life and have lots of fun chose ForestApp).
Saving time and money
Having workers outside the office is profitable for both the company and the employees. Companies can keep the cost of energy and space down. Less people in the office means lowering various expenses from utility bills to cleaning. Moreover, companies don’t need to spend money on expanding their offices and instead they can invest on their employees development. American Express, for instance, saves between $10 million and $15 million annually thanks to work-remotely option.
On the other hand, employees save valuable time and money on commuting (e.g. in cities like London, a monthly ticket is a huge expense). Furthermore, commuting to work, especially in metropolitan areas can be the most stressing and devastating part of a day.
Globalisation & organizations with many branch offices
Globalisation is nothing new (actually, the large-scale globalization process began already in 19th century) however its effects are still increasing and becoming more powerful and visible. Many companies, especially small start-ups, noted that as they grow they don’t necessarily need to hire people who live in the same city or country.
First of all, the best and most talented candidates don’t necessarily knock on your door. Secondly, if you have an UK company that operates on the Italian market and 70% of your customers are Italian, it makes much more sense to hire workers based there. Having employees in the same place as your customers is a critical growth strategy for many companies.
More productive and happier employees
Last but definitively not least, employees tend to be more productive and feel highly satisfied and fulfilled while working remotely. In the last years, many surveys were conducted and the majority of them showed that remote-working actually increase productivity! In the study conducted by Nicholas Bloom and James Liang, the results showed that workers were 13,5% more productive while working from home, gaining companies almost an extra workday out of them.
Another study from 2016 with a pool of 200,000 employees, confirms that remote workers are happier, more productive and more valued than their colleagues who work in traditional offices.
Remote-working has become a significant and constantly increasing trend. One of the most noteworthy reasons behind this is the raising of new technologies that provide more secure and easy connection to work resources from home or any other place in the World. According to the new Gensler survey (2016) the most innovative employees divide their time between in-office and remote-work. In the US alone, number of employees who home-based work has increased by 103% between 2005 and 2016.
Let’s see how fast remote-work trend will increase during the next years!