Home working, remote working, teleworking, WFH – whatever you call it, working remotely is on the rise.
There are a number of reasons for this, our roads are getting more and more clogged with cars, pushing up the average daily commute time significantly. Public transport is either not an option, due to the infrequency of the service or its spiraling cost make it an uneconomic option. Even organisations are affecting the need for more teleworking as they close there regional centres meaning local office’s are simply not there.
Employees are also demanding more flexible working and many organisation are losing talented people because they are not providing adequate options around this.
Of cause giving people the ability to work away from the office has to benefit not only the employee but also the employer. Luckily recent research has shown that providing this flexibility does give businesses tangible benefits.
CanadaLife found that home workers productivity increased by 10%, while a PowWowNow survey found that more than 60% of workers were significantly more motivated. Additional research from FlexJob showed that employee retention increased by 82% for those based away from the office. While Cardiff University found that employees were happier to work additional hours if they could do this work from home.
However a YouGov report found that while most companies were open and actually wanted to implement a more flexible work place, nearly 20% said there IT systems simply did not allow this.
Our own experience backs this, even companies who have systems such as Office365 just haven’t embraced the benefits and flexibility such as system can give an organisations.
So how can Office365 help bring in a more flexible remote working policy?
- Communication – it’s the key to any teleworking strategy, people need to be able to get hold each other no matter where they are. Having the ability to access your Outlook email on any devices is taken for granted now. However showing people your on-line, in meetings, out to lunch using Skype for Business presence features is a great way to show your whereabouts and its ability to turn quick instant message messages to voice or video chats between one or multiple people really does make it a must have for any remote worker
- Access to Your Data – You need to be able to be easily access your files and data wherever you are. SharePoint and its tight integration with not only the standard Office applications such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint, but with Power applications like PowerBI, PowerApp and Flow means you can not only save files online but also build in depth analysis of your data and create workflows and mobile applications. OneDrive integration means that you can even access your files when your local internet connection goes down.
- Collaboration – Of cause being out of the office shouldn’t mean you lose the ability to collaborate with colleagues. Skype can be used to host conference calls, project sites can be created in SharePoint or with MS Planner and features such as co-authoring means multiple people can even work on a single document at the same time. Teams can create a virtual platform to host meetings, notes and chats in an easy to access location. While Yammer groups can help keep people involved in online conversations and be part of a community in a similar way to Facebook does.
Our hectic lifestyle means that people need more flexibility, while organisations need to become more agile and dynamic. Fully implementing systems based around the Office365 platform can help business of all size achieve this.
If you are looking to bring in a more flexible and collaborative way of working then contact us to help you on your journey.