In the last few weeks I’ve seen countless articles related to the rise of flexible working. I may be biased coming from the cloud communications industry, but it seems to me that remote working is becoming the norm – and for good reason.
A 2014 study conducted by researchers at Stanford University found that remote employees experienced greater contentment, increased productivity and were less likely to quit. The author of the study, Nicholas Bloom, states:
“The more robotic the work, the greater the benefits, we think. More research needs to be done on creative work and teamwork, but the evidence still suggests that with most jobs, a good rule of thumb is to let employees have one to two days a week at home.”
Take this BBC news article. A working mother felt pressured to quit her job due to the notorious conflict between childcare and lack of flexible working. Her colleagues felt that she was out of touch after missing meetings and the mother suffered from resulting pressure and ‘subtle jibes’. Although her colleagues sound pretty bitchy, I can actually sympathise with both parties.
The benefits of flexible working are plastered over the internet, some of which I’ve listed above. But as businesses increasingly offer remote working as an option for skilled employees, distributed teams create new challenges for management. Your employees miss valuable face-to-face time; you can’t supervise/record their calls when they’re outside of the office; client and colleague communication becomes awkward. Ultimately they are disconnected from the office.
Do they have to be?
You might find that simply reminding your team that you are all working to the same end and that you need each other to get there is enough.
We don’t. At Yoozoom, we promote the magical powers of cloud technology to solve the flexible working dilemma. ‘Cloud’ is a buzzword that’s been around for a while, and you’re likely to be using a lot of cloud products at work already – e.g. cloud CRM (Salesforce, Zoho etc.), Office 365 or Skype for Business. The beauty of cloud solutions is that employees can access them from home, work or even their kid’s swimming practice as long as there’s internet. Are you aware that you can also have a cloud phone system?
(This is where I tell you about our cloud telephony product, Cloud Voice, and tell you how it will solve all of your problems. You don’t have to believe me, see what our genuine customers have to say.)
Humour me for a 60 second sales pitch:
- Cloud Voice enables your employees to access your phone system from wherever they like via the internet, as if they were in the office. No phone required!
- Collaboration features – e.g. video calling, screen share, instant messaging etc. – mean remote workers can dial into meetings with no fuss or bother. Cloud Voice isn’t just a phone on a desk, it’s a full communication solution.
- Employers and employees have access to self-serve portals. Employers can use their portal to view their team’s call statistics and listen to call recordings. Employees can set up their own call forwarding or remote office in seconds.