This past year has brought a lot more attention to the possibility of a more permanent change to remote working and all of the benefits, and the drawbacks that come with it – but the adjustment to remote working isn’t entirely new as it has been proposed for decades now. There are many reasons to change, particularly in the face of the pandemic, and many reasons to stick with the current approach – but should you consider going remote, and what are the benefits to doing so?
Working flexibility – Perhaps the biggest advantage to the change can be found in the flexibility it offers and there are many documented cases of employee satisfaction improving dramatically for the change – there has been a movement for the rise of Digital Nomads here which show opportunities for workers to be able to travel whilst working. Even in a less dramatic sense, the added flexibility of choosing your own working schedule to fit your day rather than fitting your day around your work has been a big reason many are looking for a more permanent change. This opportunity has provided an option for many more to explore this, and it may be harder for many to go back after.
(Image from worksmart.org.uk)
Savings to be found – Another big change that has been found is less reliance on a physical space when working from home – such as the office. Long contract leases for larger spaces are expensive, and even though considered an operating cost it can take a large chunk from your bottom line – a change to remote working could mean that you either don’t require an office space at all or can drastically scale back on the physical space needed and find your self some big savings. This extends out to the things you need to fill out the space from furnishings to hardware, and many businesses have been finding that they’re certainly able to scale back in different ways to find more savings in this space.
A touch of re-organisation – This period of time has also allowed many to find out what may be essential and what isn’t as needed – finding gaps in workflow where things may have been slowed in the office with unnecessary processes or finding those working much stronger than others has been another key component of this change, and a permanent shift to remote working could clear this up further by showing all of the day to day operations that have changed with the change, whether these be redundant now or just need adjusting. Whilst these can certainly be identified on a short-term change, many big changes won’t be having an opportunity to be implemented as they’ll need to stay for a return to the office – a permanent change for remote means a permanent change here, too.
The start of 2021 is off to a similar start to the end of 2020 so there are still opportunities to make a shift and find the benefits, but the longer the year goes on the quicker things may look to start returning to normal, opportunities for a major change may be running thin, so it may be beneficial to change now.