If Your Business Isn’t Working Remotely, You’re Doing It Wrong

In recent years, remote working has become increasingly popular among both small businesses and large enterprises. Yet, some managers and business owners have been reluctant to implement remote working (or hybrid remote working which is a mix of home-office/in-office), because they don’t see the advantages and mistakenly see the move as a downgrade.

However, research has revealed that the opposite is true: remote working, when it is structured, deployed, supported, and managed properly, delivers significant benefits: These benefits include:

Reduced costs & increased profitability

Businesses save an average of $22,000 per year in overhead costs for each full-time remote worker. As long as remote working is structured, deployed, supported, and managed properly, businesses can reap the benefits of reduced costs and increased profitability. Hybrid working also allows companies to access a larger talent pool and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. For these reasons, it’s clear that if your business isn’t already taking advantage of remote working or hybrid working, you’re doing it wrong. (Source: Global Workplace Analytics)

Higher retention and lower turnover

Businesses that offer flexible remote-work options experience over 39% lower turnover rate vs. employers that do not offer remote working. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in flexible work opportunities. Companies that provide such flexibility have found it easier to retain their staff, compared to those that are strictly office-based. Flexible working arrangements promote trust and autonomy among employees, which can increase their retention rate within a business. (Source: Remote.com)

Increased job satisfaction

Statistics back up the notion that remote workers are more satisfied in their roles. An overwhelming 91% of people surveyed in Buffer’s State of Remote Work 2023 report that they enjoy working remotely. Unsurprisingly, flexibility was one of the most popular benefits of hybrid work. Furthermore, remote workers tend to have higher job satisfaction than their non-remote counterparts. (Source: Buffer)

Improved work/life balance

Remote working allows workers to enjoy a better balance between their professional and personal lives, avoid long commutes, and have more freedom in how they manage their time. Furthermore, the ability to work from home can offer employees greater flexibility when it comes to taking care of personal errands or family commitments.

Greater performance and productivity

Remote workers take shorter breaks during the day and work 1.4 more days per month or 16.8 extra days a year than their office-based counterparts (Source: Airtasker). Overall, 63% of businesses saw at least a 21% increase in productivity after offering hybrid working. (Source: IWG)

growth chartReduced sick days and absenteeism

Remote workers take 50% fewer sick days than office-based workers and are absent 56% less. As a result, businesses that offer hybrid working arrangements can reduce operational costs. At the same time, they increase employee satisfaction, productivity, and performance. With the number of remote workers growing rapidly every year, it’s clear that businesses need to adapt to this trend if they want to stay competitive and profitable. By implementing a structured remote-working system, businesses can take advantage of the many benefits offered by this arrangement and ensure their long-term success. (Source: Indeed)

More loyalty engagement

Remote workers are generally happier and more engaged than their office-based counterparts. (Source: Centre for Economics and Business Research).

Businesses can highlight in their presentations and proposals that their hybrid working program delivers environmental benefits. For example, in 2014 the remote working policies of Dell, Aetna, and Xerox cumulatively saved 95,294 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which is the equivalent of taking 20,000 passenger vehicles off of the road (source: Eco-friendly and “green marketing”: Flexjobs).To reap all of these rewards, however, it is important to ensure that remote workers — whether they are working permanently from home or occasionally (hybrid model) — have the tools they need to succeed. These include:

Cloud-based Phone System

This allows hybrid workers to make/receive calls through a VoIP phone, desktop softphone, or mobile phone, as if they were in the corporate office environment (and outgoing calls on mobile phones display the business’s caller ID, not the remote worker’s personal caller ID). Remote workers can chat with colleagues, access voicemails as audio files, and take advantage of many other built-in features.

Fast Internet

Data limits aren’t a problem for most remote workers, but some may need to speed up their connection so they can perform work-related duties through their home network. It also may be necessary or desirable to implement Quality of Service (QoS) rules on their Wi-Fi router to prevent family members from engaging in high-bandwidth activities during work hours, such as streaming movies or playing video games.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

VPN technology routes Wi-Fi traffic between an endpoint (such as a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone) and the internet through an encrypted tunnel. Since hackers don’t have the key, they can’t snoop and steal data.

Security Software

Remote workers must have good security software on their home devices, including anti-malware, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software. These should be configured to update automatically.

Data Backup/Recovery

Just as with security software, data backup/recovery software is a must-have. Backups should be to the cloud and also possibly to a local external hard drive (or other suitable storage devices), depending on the type of work and the nature of the data being handled.

Collaboration, Project Management, and Task Management Software

There are several solutions available in the marketplace at various price points, such as Teams, Slack, Basecamp, and many others. It’s essential to combine functionality with simplicity. Some productivity software vendors tend to lean towards “feature creep” which gets in the way of usability and flexibility.

The Bottom Line

After the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of remote work has undergone a significant transformation. What was once a relatively niche practice has become the new normal for many organizations around the world. The pandemic forced companies to quickly adapt to remote work setups to ensure business continuity and the safety of their employees.

As a result, remote work has proven to be highly effective, with many companies experiencing increased productivity and cost savings. Employees have also embraced the flexibility and autonomy that remote work offers, allowing them to better balance their professional and personal lives. However, challenges such as maintaining work-life boundaries and addressing social isolation have emerged. Companies have had to invest in technology and tools to facilitate seamless collaboration and communication among remote teams.

The acceptance and implementation of remote work accelerated after COVID-19. That leads to a more flexible and inclusive workforce, with hybrid models that combine remote and in-person work likely to become the new standard.

Learn More

To learn more about enabling your remote workers (either full-time or hybrid) to succeed in the new world of work, contact Carolina Digital Phone today and schedule your free live guided demo of our cloud phone system, which we will deliver over-the-web at a time that is convenient to you and your team. Call us at (336) 850-5400 or chat with us during business hours by clicking the chat icon on the lower-right of your screen. We are a local Greensboro, North Carolina-based business with over100 5-star reviews, and are here for all of your remote working needs!