Remote Work Is Here to Stay: What Lies Ahead for Businesses Tomorrow?
The new normal has settled in on the business world. To accommodate for the current environment and public health emergency, workers have shifted to work from home mode. This significant change will forever impact the way people work as companies realize that remote work is productive, cost-effective, and efficient. Remote work will begin to be part of operational models. So, what does your organization need to be prepared? The right tools and technology will make all the difference.
Remote Work Was Already Growing in Popularity
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak that caused workers to be at home, remote work was already growing in popularity. In the State of Remote Work 2019 study, 40 percent of companies surveyed said at least part of their team works remotely full-time, while 31 percent said the entire company works remotely.
This data provides clear insight into the fact that companies were already changing their mindset on the work environment and understanding the benefits of offering flexible work schedules.
Why Working from Home Is Here to Stay
Employers who have been slow to adopt remote work now have no choice. Leadership may have had the unfounded notion that working from home isn’t practical or scalable. The remote work bandwagon is now full, with employers realizing the advantages. Since so many have been pressed to adopt and execute remote work plans, it also means they are finally investing in tools and technology.
These investments and new perspectives won’t disappear after stay at home bans are relaxed. Even industries with regulations around data collection, storage, and sharing, like healthcare and finance, are learning that remote working environments can be just as secure as those in a corporate office.
Moving Forward: How Remote Work Doesn’t Change Your Operations or Strategy
Having most or all your employees working from home doesn’t have to impact your operations or strategy. There will be some adjustments that have to be made, but, for the most part, things stay the same. Additionally, there are significant advantages to having a remote team.
Work Environments Stay Consistent
For operations to not be affected, ideally, you want employees to have the same work environment at home as they did in the office. The best way to meet this need is with a UCaaS (unified communications as a service) platform. A unified communications platform has everything you need to support remote workers.
Employees have the same access at home as they would at the office. It combines all communication tools—phone, video conferencing, instant chat, and email—into one hub. UCaaS lives in the cloud, so your team needs only an internet connection to access it. Of note, when using UCaaS, you should also consider any security or privacy requirements and make sure you select a solution that meets these needs.
The flexibility your team will have with UCaaS could actually make them more productive as communication becomes streamlined and simplified. It even boosts collaboration between employees because they can communicate more easily and share files as needed. While it’s easy to think that collaboration is enhanced by being in the same room, that’s not always true as there could be barriers to this you’re not even aware of, like conflicting schedules, no areas to meet, or other challenges.
Sizing Up Your Infrastructure
How you operate doesn’t need to change when going remote, but you’ll want to evaluate your infrastructure. This assessment comes down to three major components for setting up your team for remote work.
- Reliability: UCaaS is cloud-based, so it’s much more reliable than legacy phone systems. However, not every UCaaS is the same, so look for very high uptime percentages.
- Security: If you work in a regulated industry or not, you need to protect your data. Pay attention to how a system encrypts data and if it does so only in transit or at rest, as well.
- Support: When you partner with a UCaaS provider, it’s important to find one that is responsive. Most providers have 24/7 support, but what’s their service level agreement (SLA)? Make sure it fits your needs.
The Cost of Remote Work
Does remote work cost your business more? The simple answer is no. In fact, it can decrease costs. The technology and tools you use in the office transfer to working from home. There are no additional costs associated with making your UCaaS mobile—they are designed to offer this flexibility. With UCaaS, you can have unlimited calls and meetings.
The final element of the future of remote work is how employees will adapt. If they’ve already been working from home occasionally, they have an idea of what to expect. For those new to this, they may need some tips on how to work remotely effectively. The good thing is that their tools are in the same place, so they don’t have to reinvent how they work.
Remote work is the present and future for many organizations. Are you prepared? See how Intermedia Unite delivers an exceptional experience for remote workers.