Perhaps one of the positives to come out of the global pandemic experience has been in how effective a system of remote working can be. The potentials of a decentralized system of working have been so significant that, in many instances, commercial operations have permanently adopted either a full-time or a hybrid system of remote working.
Perhaps the growth of the virtual world – the speed, accessibility, and convenience of the internet – goes hand in hand with the progression to remote working. Recently, the World Economic Forum nominated workplace flexibility as a critical factor in the future of the workplace.
The potential benefits to business are significant.
Virtual from start to finish
Remote working has taken business activity in the virtual world to the next level, and factors like reliable internet access and speed, coupled with cloud technology, have proven that many business functions can be dealt with to finality without the need for workers to physically attend a central office.
Traditional real-world functions like the formalizing of contracts and agreements by electronic signature can now be ably handled online with signatories providing their signature from dispersed locations. This can be facilitated through several of the top DocuSign alternatives, ensuring control over business functions that might have previously required physical signatures.
The potential for remote access to data and applications held remotely in the cloud means that multiple stakeholders can access, amend, and update business documents and projects at any time of the day or night. This means that a range of business activities may potentially be achieved from inception to completion without an employee setting foot in the physical office.
Research suggests that the switch to remote working has provided many workers with a new lease of life, and the freedom to choose their working environment rather than being harnessed to the traditional office desk has seen a generalized rise in worker productivity.
Remote workers have been found to be more productive than their traditional office-based counterparts, with an attendant increase in their total work output.
Worker accuracy and performance
As a consequence of increased worker autonomy – location independence and greater flexibility in hours of working – reports indicate an attendant increase in the accuracy of work produced and a corresponding decrease in errors and defective work.
The proposition of worker autonomy and unsupervised working typically raises the question of slack worker practices and employees abusing such privileges. The fact that many reports are showing the opposite – an increase in productivity and a decline in lost time due to illness – suggests that teleworkers are appreciating the greater flexibility and control afforded to them. The benefits to the company need no further explanation.
Improved employee loyalty & retention
It is suggested that over half of employees would consider changing jobs for one that offered them greater flexibility and control over working conditions such as location and hours of work.
Businesses offering remote working options report a general reduction in staff turnover rates following the introduction of such opportunities.
A range of potential benefits could be realized by a switch to remote working, where it is viable. Relevantly, the teleworking experience is showing signs of continuing well into the future, and what we are experiencing may well be heralding a change in the way we look at work and business practice.