There has been a massive shift in the way that the British workforce operates — thanks to the digital revolution that is still going strong today after its birth in 1947 when the transistor was introduced.
As the years passed by, advanced technologies were brought forward that helped prepare us for an online world. There was the first commercial computer sold in 1951, for example, which led to the first email being sent in 1971. Mobile phones hit the market in 1984 and the creation of the World Wide Web occurred in 1989.
However, it didn’t stop there. The technological developments undoubtedly peaked in the 20th century, with the introduction of the smartphone, SixDegrees (the first social media platform), Bluetooth and broadband — which have all helped us become a more connected society worldwide.
For this article, we’ve teamed up with Total Enterprise Solutions to take a look at how this type of technology can be used to widen the workforce for businesses globally — and how some companies are already reaping the benefits.
Are more people working from home?
To say we’ve come far is an understatement when looking at the technologies that have been developed over recent years. Because of this, businesses across the globe have been able to change the way that they operate and ensure greater customer satisfaction. Not only that, companies have been able to retain their staff members and uphold the passion that drives successful deliveries on the team.
Due to everything becoming more accessible from any location in the world, more people are seemingly working from home. It’s becoming a more lucrative career path too, which is evidently shown by the 49,500 monthly searches of ‘work from home jobs’ in Britain alone — presenting a key interest in the option. Understandably, not all sectors can offer such flexibility when it comes to working from home and it usually applies to those who work in the information and technology industry.
However, reports by OddsMonkey have suggested that half of the UK’s entire workforce will be working remotely by 2020 — but is this too good to be true? TUC found that almost 25% more people work from home than they did ten years ago and that more men than women work from home, with a 303,000-person difference.
When looking further into this new change within the workplace, 58% of people believe that they would become more motivated if they were to work away from the office — 53% said that they would be more productive too, which shows that there are benefits that an organisation can experience if they were to allow such initiatives within their own company. From the same survey, 56% of people believed that managers need to adapt their skills to be able to manage a remote workforce too.
Employers vs. Employees
There are many advantages an employer can receive by implementing a work-from-home policy within their corporation. Using tools such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, businesses are able to monitor their workforce and ensure that tasks are being completed within the appropriate timeframe. This is commonly used in the office, but what is to say that this can’t be used remotely too?
As a business, you only want to hire the best people in your field. Having the capabilities of allowing your staff to work from home will allow you to interview people across the country and select the best person for the job — meaning that they don’t have to move closer to your workplace (which is often unattractive to an applicant) and you employ the best person for the role with no restrictions. For those who may have a disability and find it hard to commute to work, this would be ideal for them too.
With such software, you’re not limited to those who are living in the UK either. In fact, you’re able to grant access to people around the world and ensure that the job gets done, while also allowing those in managerial positions to track performance of all workers when they’re not present on the main business site.
The benefits of allowing your employees to work from home
Some employers like to have a physical eye over all operations within their business, and although this can’t be achieved by allowing your employees to work from home — the benefits really do outweigh the negatives for long-term commitments.
People are more productive when they’re feeling refreshed and awake, and those who have to commute to work will find themselves rushing around on a morning trying to get everything in order and to leave the house on time. A survey suggested that 45% of people spend over one hour commuting too. With times of buses and trains being unreliable, the commute can often be stressful. Allowing your employees to work from home will not only help them save financially on petrol and fares, but will give them less of an incentive to ask for a pay rise from their business to cover their travel expenses.
Canada Life found that employees who were working in an office took 3.1 days of sick leave in 2016, whereas those working from home only took 1.8 — less sick days means less business downtime and, as working from home allows people to have a better work-life balance, they’re less likely to get sick as their stress levels are significantly lower.
Many hours are lost after having to grant employees time to visit the doctors, opticians and dentists too — but those who work from home are likely to be closer to their local health centre and will probably arrange the appointment around their lunch break.
If you fully-pledge to allow your employees to work from home, you could potentially safe thousands on what you would spend monthly on office space. As an alternative, you could rent out a virtual space just so that your business has an official address — but all work would be completed remotely.
With conference call platforms like Skype and project management systems like Dynamics, there really is no excuse to lead your workforce to become more remote whilst delivering even greater results for your clients. Will you be making the commitment?