The world is in a frenzy as Coronavirus grips the media headlines. Yes, things look big, bad and scary, but we’re shocked at some of the recent headlines:

“Workplace vs. Coronavirus: ‘No One Has a Playbook for This’”

“How coronavirus could force the work-from-home movement”

“Will coronavirus be a test case for remote working?”

“Coronavirus: Can We Embrace Remote Working As The Future Of Work?”

Are these not some of the most ridiculous statements you’ve ever read? Since when was remote working the ‘future’ of work? 

When the ‘average Joe’ bought his home PC and connected to the wonderful world wide web sometime in the 90s, work started to flow from the office to our homes. This signalled the beginning of a shift towards modern working practices.

Remote working is now commonplace

Today, over 4.3 million employees (3.2% of the workforce) work from home at least half the time. And because the demand has increased exponentially, technological developments have been forced to keep pace with employees expectations, so now it’s a pain-free experience. Cast aside the nostalgia of dial-up, and forget the pain of the old-school VPN, which was slow, cumbersome and seemed to kick you off the moment you were doing something vitally important. 

Newer technologies allow your employees to have the same experience regardless of whether they’re based in the office, on client site, working from home, or catching a quick coffee on the go.

And no, these technologies aren’t ‘concepts’, they’re proven and tested. And no, they’re not going to require 3 years’ worth of IT budget. Most are surprisingly affordable, allowing you to pay only for what you need and scale in line with your business requirements.

Today your workforce can enjoy everything from tele robots to Office365 and beyond – anything they need to remain productive on the go.

Apparently, enterprise giants including Twitter, Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon are leading the way during this Coronavirus outbreak by encouraging their employees to work from home. You’ve probably read these headlines. And we suspect you, and many like you, have enabled your remote workers for a while.

But these are perhaps 10 things you didn’t know about remote working…

1. Remote workers are happier workers

Research from Forbes shows that remote workers are 87% more likely to love their jobs than employees who are stuck in the office. The reason? Because they have more ambition and strive to be the best.

2. Remote workers are more productive workers

Allowed to focus on the task at hand without Andy pulling them in his office for a quick chat, Nikki on the instant messenger chasing a petrol receipt or Adam asking if they want their 10th coffee of the morning, 86% of remote workers say working alone allows them to hit maximum productivity.

3. Remote workers are set to be the norm

Research by PSFK shows that within 2 years, 60% of today’s office-based employees are expected to work remotely – maybe it is the ‘future of work’ afterall!

4. Remote workers are smarter

Or at least they have attained a higher level of education. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, younger employees with a bachelor’s degree or higher were more likely to work from home.

5. Remote workers risk missing 45% of the conversation

According to a study published in the Journal of Consulting Psychology, 55% of communication is visual. If your remote workers are reliant on instant messaging or email as their primary communication tool, they risk missing out on important cues given by our body language and tone of voice. The lesson here – choose your communication technology wisely.

6. Remote workers can still white board and brainstorm

55% of remote workers are excluded from meetings or brainstorming sessions because of their location. But while they might not be physically present in the room with the rest of their team, they can still collaborate in real time and draw up their ideas on the white board. Technologies for the modern workplace allow this seamless collaboration extending outside of the office environment and spanning geographical boundaries.

7. Remote workers don’t affect your culture

Just because your workers aren’t physically present in the office doesn’t mean they’re alone and isolated, and it doesn’t mean they’re no longer a part of your organisation. In fact, 71% of remote workers report receiving rich praise and recognition in various formats through the communication and collaboration technologies from their colleagues.

8. Remote workers will cause your skills gap

According to research from Buffer, 99% of today’s modern workforce want to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers. If you fail to meet this expectation, they’ll be more than happy to accept a role with a company that embraces their desires, and you’re going to lose out on the top talent.

9. Remote working enables parents to return to work

Flexible working, including remote working, means that more women are able to return to the workforce after having children without being required to work the traditional 9-5. Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that 75% mothers with dependent children are now in work.

10. Fail to embrace remote working now and you put your future at risk

By 2028, 73% of all teams will comprise remote workers. In today’s modern workplace, specialist teams are formed with the sole purpose of overcoming specific business challenges. They may include employees within the business, those working externally or even people working in other companies or contractors. Fail to adapt and embrace the trend and you risk placing your operations at a severe disadvantage.

Remote working isn’t just for emergencies

As a result of the current Coronavirus outbreak, the media is shining a spotlight on the importance of enabling a remote workforce. But rather than be a ‘solution’ in times of crisis, it’s a modern working practice that needs to be embedded into organisations as part of their business-as-usual.

Transforming your business for the modern world of work requires you to put 3 critical success factors in place: people, process and technology. Get the balance right and you’re 3x more likely to succeed in your efforts.

It might be easier and cheaper than you think – get in touch below to explore how to enable your remote workforce…