Do you work remotely? Have you got the tools to work from anywhere? Remote working has increased by 37 per cent in the last three years, however only a third of employees are provided with sufficient equipment to do their work. Here we explore secrets to successful remote working providing flexibility and choice, combined with protection and control…

There has been a massive shift in the way we work in recent years. The number of remote workers increased to 1.3 billion in 2015, making the nine to five workday an outdated concept. As more and more of us expect the freedom to work where and when we want, it is crucial for employers to accommodate this new work style in order to stay competitive and attract top talent. Nonetheless, many businesses struggle to equip their staff with the right tools to be productive and efficient, anywhere and anytime…

The benefits of remote working…

Increased productivity

Actively proven to reduce employee stress, staff turnover and lower overheads, remote working is not only a ‘perk’ but also can contribute to business growth. YouGov Omnibus research found that remote working can increase productivity by 30 per cent. Added to this, according to Inc Magazine, remote workers are almost twice as likely to work more than 40 hours a week.

Better staff retention

According to demandmetric.com, by using familiar devices we are more receptive, engaged and willing to work out of hours. Consequently, as more workers use their own devices for work purposes, something known as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), productivity increases. As a result, businesses who have over 50 per cent employee engagement manage to retain over 80 per cent of their customers, Demand Metric reports.

Quicker resolutions

Whether your company employs three people or three hundred, in one office or five, it is important everyone is working together towards the same business objectives. For nimble collaboration, many businesses have embraced instant messaging, improving productivity and streaming communication. According to SoftwareAdvice.com, 66 per cent of employees using chat services noticed quick resolution for simple questions and 21 per cent noted either moderate or significant productivity increase.

Enhanced security

According to Cloud Industry Forum, 75 per cent of businesses consider data security the primary concern when it comes to mobility and sharing information. However, with 99 per cent of UK companies using cloud services never experiencing a security breach, nothing can be further from the truth. Cloud providers have better digital and physical security than most businesses can afford, ensuring your business systems and data are protected at all times.

To overcome the challenge of remote working, follow these tips to foster a productive work environment…

Secrets to a successful remote working culture

Good Communication

Because you can’t just pop over to someone’s desk, it is important to establish regular communication with the team. To achieve this, you should have weekly or bi-weekly calls or regularly scheduled meetings, where you can share company highlights, discuss progress and even performance issues. Whatever your approach is, make sure to encourage everyone to speak to each other, building the culture of collaboration towards achieving common business objectives.

The Right Tools

With the rise of cloud technology, it’s now easier than ever share information and stay in touch with others. Solutions, such as Office 365, give you an opportunity to be mobile, allowing employees to get work done on any device, whether in the office, at home, or on the road. Documents are safely stored, synchronised and shareable at a moment’s notice— making collaboration easy. With Office 365 video conferencing tools and instant messaging, teams can work together on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. You can share files inside and outside your company, always being in control who sees and edits each file.

Clear processes

Good processes will provide structure and direction for a successful remote working environment. Consequently, it is essential to set expectations regarding organisational culture as well as manager-remote employee working relationship to ensure everyone is working towards the same goal. This includes, specifying the means of communication and its frequency, together with clear performance metrics and goals. Moreover, there should be procedures and guidance in place ensuring data security, as well as strategy in case of a breach. Implementing good housekeeping will contribute to achieving business targets, ensuring employee satisfaction and higher retention.

These are just a few best practices you will want to implement to ensure your remote staff is aligned. To start with, have a look at Office 365 to see how it can help you be more productive when working remotely. Find out more about Office 365 here.

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