Over 170 companies today are operating in the US on a completely remote workforce. Should your company follow their lead?
The perception of remote workers in the United States has changed. Once viewed as the playground of twenty something’s working from a local coffee shop or stay-at-home moms with small children, telecommuting has gone from a fringe workplace trend to a commonplace aspect of the modern company.
According to CNBC, citing data from FlexJobs, there are today more than 170 companies operating in the United States on a completely remote workforce. This number has grown substantially since 2014 when FlexJobs reported just 26 companies functioning with an entirely remote employee base. CNBC calls these fully remote companies the “next big wave in work-life balance”, made possible by technology and an increasing concern with quality-of-life among workers—young workers in particular.
The term ‘phoning it in’ actually evolved from workers transmitting messages by telephone rather than in person. Fortunately, due to innovations in cloud technologies and growing improvements in collaboration platforms and unified communications, allowing employees to phone it in, may actually give your company a competitive advantage.
Collaboration tools in the cloud era, like Cisco Spark, now called Webex Teams, are more sophisticated than telecommuting tools of the past, and make it possible for any office job to be done entirely remotely.
Remote workers are happier and more productive
Recently conducted research has shown remote workers are more productive than employees who head into the office each day. Trusting your employees, and providing them with the tools they need to master remote work, has a measurable impact on productivity and worker satisfaction.
- Employees who telecommute tend to work longer hours
- Remote employees can travel without taking vacation
- Employees are able to work in the way that best suits their needs and abilities
- Happier employees make for more productive employees
Providing you employees with the flexibility to work how and where they choose has a direct correlation to productivity, happiness, employee engagement, and as a result, positive financial performance.
“The driving force seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.” — Economists from the University of Warwick
Companies who allow employees to work remotely see improved economic outcomes.
Giving your employees the freedom to work remotely and investing in technologies to allow them to do so, could lead to measurable financial gain for companies. Think about the expense involved with employee travel; airline tickets, rental cars, employee meals, miscellaneous expenses—all of these costs can be eliminated by fostering a remote work environment. Your company saves money when your teams can work with each other and with customers via collaboration technologies.
- -Drastically reduce, or altogether eliminate, work-related travel with collaboration technologies
- -Save money for your company and your employees by eliminating costly commuting expenses (gas and public transportation reimbursements).
- -Earn the financial rewards of an agile and responsive remote team
- -Save company dollars by allowing team members to use personal devices
“Federal employees in Washington who worked from home during four official snow days, saved the government an estimated $32 million, according to Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics and Telework Research Network.” — New York Times, 2014
In Louisiana, where unpredictable weather can force companies to shut down for days, or in some instances weeks, embracing the cloud, and collaboration technologies, and arming employees with remote work capabilities, means your business won’t lose money when disaster strikes.
Convenient and secure access with collaboration tools from Cisco and iConvergence.
Using cloud-based collaboration technologies like Cisco Spark, now Webex Teams, gives your workers everything they need to do their jobs anywhere they have access to a network connection. SaaS platforms allow your employees to enjoy unlimited access to the latest version and upgrades of collaboration software, wherever they are. There is no wasted time or extra effort involved in keeping your teams up-to-date and secure.
Give your employees to the ability to meet, message, voice or video call, whiteboard, and share documents, from one easy-to-use platform, on any device, from any location, with Webex Teams. If security is a fear, with Webex teams, it shouldn’t be. The platform is secure, ensuring every conversation, shared documents and sensitive information, are safely transferred and encrypted, even when the platform is accessed via a public Wi-Fi networks.
The American workforce is changing to reflect remote capabilities and as more jobs become tied to technology, and a growing number of younger workers who aren’t afraid to embrace new technologies, enter the workforce—working from home will continue to be a rapidly growing trend.
Have you invested in the best collaboration technologies for you and your employees to reap the benefits of this modern workplace trend?