Remote working is a relatively new phenomenon, and it’s understandable to be skeptical of it at first. But if remote working has serious, quantifiable benefits to your business, then not implementing this technology means finding yourself at a disadvantage to those of your competitors that do.
There’s no running away from it – the technological cat is out of the bag, and nothing can force it back in there. The conventional office environment is steadily becoming antiquated in favor of cloud computing and remote synergy.
And maybe that’s a good thing. One study showed that employees who worked away from their office developed a greater commitment to their work and a higher respect for their leaders.
While opinion polls are always interesting, there are very measurable ways in which remote working can benefit your business.
Reduced office costs
If you choose to go all-in and keep some of your employees out of the office altogether, that means that you don’t need to rent as much office space. Lower rent costs also entail lower utility bills. Some companies will provide their employees with allowances to help them commute to work, but if your employees work from home, that stops being a consideration entirely – and less time spent in traffic jams means more time available for work or stress relief!
Maybe you’re not downsizing the office just yet, but what about collaboration? It doesn’t matter whether you’re collaborating with people across town or across continents, the current crop of cloud-computing software makes it laughably simple and inexpensive to setup a work environment in which your employees can video conference while working on important documents.
Google’s suite of Apps for Business, for instance, allows multiple individuals to work on a single document simultaneously. Any changes or comments made by one person are instantly propagated to everyone else.
If you have offices geographically separated from each other, such an arrangement is ideal for pooling resources and getting diverse teams to work on projects together.
Outsourcing becomes easier too
If you want something specialized done and you don’t have the skills inhouse, you can often outsource it to a contractor at a lower cost than hiring a new employee. With easily visible ratings from past employers, you’re likely to get higher quality work done, too.
With Google Apps, you simply add a user to a document, presentation, project, etc., and let them help you out with their unique skill set.
Effortless file sharing
Giving the right people access to the files they need to do their work is now a very easy matter of deciding who can view or edit individual files, or entire folders designated for a project. You can add or remove people from projects with a single click, any any work they do within the cloud is immediately stored there for safekeeping.
That means no more outdated versions of documents or long and convoluted chains of email attachments just to get people to work together.
While many of the files your employees have on their personal laptops may be insecure, those that are hosted on Google’s servers are not only protected by a team of cybersecurity professionals, but also backed up off-site in their many data centres. Because Google handles data for millions of businesses and individuals, they can offer you vast economies of scale that would make some services affordable which would otherwise be prohibitely expensive.
Take for instance two-step verification. You can request your employees to use this security measure in addition to a regular password when logging onto corporate accounts. That means even if someone steals an employee’s laptop and somehow guesses or cracks their password, they still wouldn’t have access to their account. And the moment you are notified that someone has had their laptop lost or stolen, you can simply suspend their account from the permitted user list as a precaution until they change all of their credentials.