April 8 2020
Over the last decade, remote working has increased by around 160%. As employees from all environments look for greater work/life balance, remote employment is increasingly becoming the norm.
The term “remote working” refers to any employment that allows a staff member to complete their duties outside of the office. Usually, this means using a combination of cloud-based tools, and collaboration applications. In a world where video conferencing, file sharing and cloud storage are becoming increasingly accessible, remote work is on the rise. We’re beginning to see a future where work is something you do, not just a place you go to.
What is Remote Working?
Also known as telecommuting and telework, remote working involves working in any location outside of your business. This could mean finishing your tasks at home, interacting with team members from a local coffee shop, or sending emails on the road. In years gone by, working from home, or cafes wouldn’t have been a possibility for most companies. If your colleagues wanted to get in touch with you, they couldn’t simply hope you’d pick up the phone or eventually answer an email.
However, the rise of tools like video conferencing, instant messaging, and even presence features is making remote working more accessible. Now, full-time remote positions are a genuine opportunity for many professionals. As the cost of commuting and the price of office real estate continues to increase, remote working could be the more cost-effective option.
The modern communications environment
Employees want to be able to connect in real-time across a range of devices, and as such, in office communication is changing. Today, we’re growing less reliant on emails and in-office emails, and more dependent on huddle rooms, video calls, and file sharing.
Many studies suggest that as the workforce continues to become progressively digital, virtual tools like video conferencing and collaboration apps will become the preferred form of communication.
Applications Replace Hardware
To empower a team of remote and mobile workers, business leaders can no longer afford to invest exclusively in on-premise hardware. Solutions need to be accessible anywhere at any time. As such, applications and software are becoming increasingly valuable. For remote workers, a headset and mobile phone will often be the preferred choice to a wired desk phone.
The more freedom an application comes with, the easier it will be to implement into a remote-working environment.
Remote Working Trends
The working landscape has changed. Research suggests that remote work will equal or surpass fixed office employment by 2025. What’s more, half of the UK is expected to be working remotely at least part-time by 2020. Some of the trends that are helping to transform the workplace environment as we know it includes:
Whether it comes from a demand for greater work/life balance, or a need to reduce business costs, remote working is on the rise. Companies everywhere are beginning to see the benefits that they can get from a distributed team. After all, when your workers are remote, you can access talent from around the world, and help teams avoid the painful morning commute.
- 70% of professionals work remotely for at least one day each week.
- 45% of people spend more than an hour commuting each day.
- 56% of startups around the world have outsourced their work to remote workers.
- Employee retention rates rise by 10% in organisations embracing remote working practices.
- 39% of people working from home complete their tasks faster than those in fixed workplaces.
- 82% of remote working employees report lower amounts of stress than their traditional employee counterparts.
- 30% of remote working employees said that telecommuting helped them to accomplish more in less time.
- Companies of all sizes report large reductions in operating costs when using remote working strategies.
- 48% of remote workers say that working away from the office helps them to improve their motivation levels.
- 56% of employees believe that managers should update their skills to support a remote team.
- 32% of staff find it hard to switch off in their personal time if they work remotely.
Unified Communications for the Remote Workforce
A growing number of organisations are calling upon unified communications – a fusion of voice, text, content, and video – to enable seamless collaboration between employees, partners, and other business stakeholders. Unified communications integrates multiple communication tools and enables the internal collaboration needed to address modern workforce needs.
Going a step further, cloud-based, unified communications as a service (UCaaS) enables the modern workforce by supporting global voice, video, and messaging in a simple, elegant experience
Forward-thinking CIOs are proactively championing initiatives such as UCaaS in the enterprise to support the remote workforce. Leading with unified communications is often the first, and simplest, step to putting their plans into action.
Video conferencing is perhaps the biggest driver for the growth of UCaaS amongst remote workers. This technology can be an excellent way to feel less isolated from the rest of the team. Video provides an insight into the body language and nuances that people simply don’t get through instant messaging and voice calls.
What’s more, with new background blurring options and easy-to-access video conferencing tools, the adoption of video is growing by the day. In the future, video may become the most natural form of communication for remote workers.