Remote work is here to stay. Yet, the modern workplace was designed by baby boomers – a generation that didn’t know personal computers, smart-phones and unlimited wireless internet.
Office work was done at the office. This is why the idea of working from home is still regarded with skepticism. Can employees truly be productive and motivated in their own homes?
The COVID-19 lockdown poses a unique opportunity for your business. Now that your doors are shut, you get to test the efficiency of working remotely, to see how effective it can be. With 88% of companies asked to shift to a work from home model during the pandemic, and a 159% increase in working from home since 2005, the world of work has changed forever.
This global pandemic has made remote work an immediate priority for all businesses. Here’s how to leverage working remotely, so that your business can be future-ready, today.
#1: Use Technology to Scale as Required
Many businesses found themselves under-prepared when COVID-19 struck. Suddenly, they were faced with the reality of having to close their doors. Restaurants, salons and small clothing boutiques had to act fast – or risk the total loss of trade during a pandemic that has no end date.
Small businesses that managed the transition to remote work better, already had much of the required technology in place. Having a remote work model makes it easier for companies to grow quickly, or adapt the way that they work on demand.
The goal then, is for small businesses to adopt a remote-work strategy that is able to scale in either direction. Decide on a split team, hybrid team or fully remote model – then understand the technological requirements that will keep you in business.
Get the right technology for effective collaboration in the virtual space. This includes use of the Google Suite, Dropbox, third-party marketing platforms and delivery apps.
During a lockdown, resources can be switched from physical infrastructure costs, to virtual infrastructure in order to continue trading. An example is a pizza restaurant pivoting to online deliveries only, with a skeleton staff and a larger remote sales force.
Having supportive technology in place that allows for scalability is important for your company. Technologies like AI, automation and machine learning will benefit those who are ready to adopt them as part of their online business operations.
#2: Remote Work Limits Workplace Absences
According to Global Workplace Analytics, organizations that used remote work achieved a 63% reduction in absences. During a global pandemic, this rate is bound to be higher. By allowing people to choose remote work, you keep them working for longer.
- Don’t make other employees ill if they get sick
- They return to work sooner when medical issues arise
- They don’t call out sick as often for stress, personal and family issues
#3: People with Flexible Schedules are More Productive
By far, the biggest reason employees want to engage in working from home is to have a flexible schedule. Some 91% of people surveyed agree that a better work-life balance is attainable at home. With remote work, you don’t have to wait to get back into the office to solve a problem!
- Flexibility means less stress and greater trust
- A renewed ability to focus and get things done
Covid-19 has forced workers to stay inside, but companies are quickly realizing that their workforce can be more productive from home. Airtasker surveyed 1,004 employees and found that people working remotely worked an average of 1.4 days more each month, or 16.8 days more a year.
#4: Hire Additional Staff Outside Your Local Area
With the COVID-19 lockdown, home workers are no longer a convenience or a luxury for your small business – they’re a necessity. They’re also a way to elevate your brand and find outstanding talent.
- Free yourself from local hiring and hire from anywhere in the world
- Source the absolute best person for the job regardless of location
The future of business is going to be fiercely competitive, and if your company wants an edge it needs the ability to hire remote work employees during and after the global pandemic.
That way you get to have the best version of an ‘always-on’ business model. With employees in every timezone, it’s easy to achieve.
#5: Attract Valuable Talent and Save Money
The business world is not going to be the same after COVID-19. Small companies that invest everything they’ve got into making their remote workers happy and productive will benefit the most – in the short and long term.
- Including remote workers in your business model will save you money
- It will also keep employees working at your company, despite hardships
- Remote working actively encourages staff to be independent and self-directed
Employees who work remotely often don’t require equipment – they use their own. This saves your company money, and it makes your team happy. Many SMB’s will implement working from home once this is over, and will benefit as a result!
If you’re considering shifting to remote work because of the pandemic, keep these benefits in mind. Your employees will be less stressed and better equipped to look after their families. They won’t take as much time off work, which will keep your business running.
They will also be happier because of flexible schedules, and more productive while working. You’ll be able to add and remove workers as you need them, attracting extraordinary talent. Plus, you’ll save money if you allow your employees to work from home when this is over.
Working from home is easier when you have a central command base. Yahoo Small Business makes it easier by giving you the ability to revamp or to launch a modern website. We take care of everything you need, from hosting, to design, and email setup.
And because we’re in a pandemic, we’ll get you online for free.
Plan to benefit from remote work and your small business will never look back.