Tag: remote working

Eight facts about remote working you didn’t know

Remote work is a global, growing phenomenon that only seems to be gaining in acceptance but there are many misconceptions about it from thinking it’s a way of skiving off or that it leads to employee disengagement.

There are eight things about remote work you probably didn’t know:

1. It can increase worker productivity
Companies and employees alike say remote work is a boon to productivity. Said Trim: “Distractions like water cooler gossip, impromptu meetings, and loud colleagues are a non-existent.” According to data from SurePayroll, a payroll provider, two-thirds of managers say employees who work remotely in co-working spaces increase their overall productivity.

2. It drives employee efficiency
Fewer diversions for remote workers can lead to higher efficiency, says a survey from ConnectSolutions. Some 30 percent said it allowed them to accomplish more in less time, while 24 percent of those surveyed said they were able to accomplish more in about the same amount of time.

3. It’s often how project and consulting teams prefer to work
Teams tasked with special projects or consultants advising a company, often find it best to work away from the home office even if space is available there. Said Trim:” There is often a benefit to be away from the office and look at things from a distance and fresh eyes. Co-workings spaces are particularly well resourced for special team projects.” These teams are often exposed to like minded professionals in co-working spaces that often spark new ideas.

4. It reduces employee turnover
Offering work at co-working spaces reduces staff turnover, and job attrition rates fell by over 50 percent, according to a study published by Stanford University. “This is obviously a massive cost saving to companies because it takes a lot of time and money to continually look for new talent,” Trim noted.

5. It decreases real estate costs and overhead
Companies of all sizes report significant decreases in operating costs, remote work stats show. According to a Forbes magazine report, Aetna (where 14,500 of 35,000 employees don’t have an in-office desk) shed 251 000 square metres of office space, saving $78 million. American Express reported annual savings of $15 million thanks to its remote work space options.

6. It often leads to greater employee engagement
It seems counterintuitive, but remote workers are often more engaged with colleagues and supervisors than in-office workers, Harvard Business Review concluded. “Technological tools like Slack and easy video conferencing offered by co-working offices like FutureSpace that help workers stay connected makes all the difference,” Trim added.

7. It positively impacts the environment
For many employers, going green is a big incentive in the shift toward remote work. Studies show that employers who don’t travel in to an office have helped reduce their carbon footprint.

8. It meets demands of younger workers
Sixty eight percent of millennial job seekers said an option to work remotely would greatly increase their interest in specific employers, according to a survey by AfterCollege, a US career network for college students. Policies that cultivate a “flexible, fun, and casual” work environment have a positive impact on young people’s interest in specific employers the survey found.

Co-working spaces are now one of the fastest growing sectors of real estate worldwide in anticipation of the growing demand for a new way of working.

It wasn’t long after smart phones, tablets and ubiquitous Wi-Fi that workplace experts predicted the end of the office. And while a telecommuting trend took root for a while, it is now beginning to reverse with large American companies like IBM, Honeywell and Yahoo leading the change.

But also thanks to offices that are now much more human friendly.

Richard Andrews, MD of Inspiration Office, says:  “The thinking went along these lines: if technology allow people to work anywhere, then who needs the office?

“As it turns out, the vast majority of workers do—because work, at its essence, is a social process. Even people armed with the latest mobile device still come to the office to connect with other people and to access technology they can’t carry around.

“The office didn’t go away, but it’s now evolving into something fundamentally different.

“We are in the midst of an office renaissance.”

And the proof is evident in some of the world’s biggest companies.

After several decades of allowing employees to perform their jobs remotely, IBM recently announced that it wanted many of its remote workers back in the office.

Between 1995 and 2009, the company shrank its office workforce. Other companies soon followed suit: Work-from-home became a desirable perk of many white-collar jobs.

Yahoo has also reversed its stance on home workers and said that since calling back its staff, employee engagement was up, product launches increased significantly and teams were thriving.

American conglomerate Honeywell also joined the back to the office trend by banning telecommuting for most of its workers worldwide.

Says Andrews: “It’s not surprising there is a swing back to the office. The workplace has become a catalyst for energy and buzz.

“People are again looking for inspiration and creativity at work, as well as human-centered technology that makes life easier. These ideas are being embraced and adopted at a rapid pace thanks to new people friendly design and facilities.”

Traditionally, offices were focused on uniformity and standards. Much of the space was dedicated to individual workstations, separated into departments, where people spent the majority of their time working alone. A cafeteria provided a place to eat lunch and large meeting rooms were used mostly for collaboration.

But by reducing the number of dedicated individual workstations and creating an ecosystem of spaces, people now have the freedom to choose how and where to work.

“Appealing offices now have a social hub, previously just a cafeteria, which shifts away from supporting just nourishment to now also becoming a place for workers to connect and collaborate,” says Andrews.

“They also have a nomadic camp—purposely placed near the social hub— to support mobile behaviours. The additional settings offer mobile workers a place to work alone or with others. Workers can see and be seen by coworkers, or choose a private setting for focused work.”

The concept of a ‘resident neighbourhood’ is also proving popular and includes spaces for managers in the open plan to promote learning and quick problem solving. Resource centres offers workers a space to securely store coats and bags and access meeting tools.

“People want to feel a connection to the places where they work, where they can see themselves in the space, versus something that feels imposed upon them. Well designed offices and productivity gains from working closely with smart people is driving the office renaissance,“ Andrews concludes.

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My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective


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