Flexible working arrangements are becoming more commonplace in the modern workforce. Today, many startups might not even have an office, as all their employees work remotely, sometimes from different countries or time zones. And even larger organizations are allowing employees to work from home once or twice a week – a policy we ourselves have implemented at CDW Canada.
Whether hiring remote workers or letting employees work from home, it’s important to provide the technology that allows them to stay connected to the office. Let’s take a closer look at the growing work-from-home trend, and what it means for your business.
The growing adoption of remote work
Upwork’s Future Workforce Report, a survey of 1,000 hiring managers, found that 69 percent of younger managers have team members who work remotely. And of those managers, 74 percent have team members who spend a significant portion of their time away from the office. While Baby Boomers are less likely to have employees work from home (58%), the study projects that by 2028, 73 percent of all teams will have remote workers. That is less than 10 years away!
Another report on the state of telecommuting in the U.S. found that employers could save over $11,000 per year for each employee who works from home half of the time. We’ve listed a few other ways that businesses can benefit from remote workers below.
3 benefits to businesses that implement a work from home policy
Saving on real estate: Hiring more remote workers could allow a company to cut back on its office space. For example, if a business pays $2 million a year to rent two floors of a building, and allows half of its employees to work from home, it could potentially save $1 million dollars by reducing its office space to just one floor.
Employee satisfaction: People prefer to work at their convenience, and a dedicated staff will stay dedicated, regardless of where they work. Hi5 Technologies, a South African software company that went from a remote team to an office location and back, found they “could easily measure that our productivity was way higher when working from home compared to working at the office.”
Open-border recruiting: By hiring remote workers, companies are no longer restricted to the talent in their geographical region; in some cases, they can find more affordable workers based in Asia or Africa, which could benefit smaller businesses looking to expand.
How to keep remote workers connected
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS): Unified communications have evolved from desk phones to mobile, messaging apps and AI assistants. And now, many of these services are available in the cloud. Cloud-based communications offer a consistent user experience for remote workers, since they can access UCaaS applications from any location. All you need for a good UCaaS experience is a strong internet connection.
Softphones and headsets: A lot of companies are moving away from desk phones, which makes working from home easier than ever. The latest wireless headsets plug into a laptop’s USB drive, which, paired with IP communications technology, allows employees to take their extension number with them anywhere they go and to make hands-free calls from their computer.
Web conferencing applications: Team collaboration technology, such as Cisco WebEx, Zoom and Microsoft Teams, allows users to join meetings from anywhere at the click of a button, which pops up on their screen when the meeting is about to start. Using their computer’s audio capabilities or dialing in from a softphone also eliminates long-distance charges to the employee or toll-free charges that the business would incur from an audioconference telephone line.
To learn how CDW can design a customized collaboration solution for your business, visit CDW.ca/collaboration