At the end of 2019, industry leaders predicted what the new decade would hold: a greater reliance on the cloud, the growth of IoT, the continued rise of telecommunications and remote working. Nobody, however, could have predicted the inception and later spread of the novel coronavirus or the effects it would have on businesses and software developers around the globe. Once a trend steadily growing in prominence, remote work solutions such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Cisco WebEx have skyrocketed seemingly overnight as employers look for ways to collaborate and continue operations. But even as states reopen and some employees begin returning to the office, remote solutions are here to stay – not just as a safety net in the event of a secondary wave, but because of their value to employers and their workforce.
Companies dedicate significant money and resources to assessing and optimizing employee productivity, and the fear that teleworking would decrease productivity was a barrier for employers. The reality, however, is that, according to Fundera, two-thirds of managers report that employees who work from home increase their overall productivity, while 86 percent of employees say they’re more productive working from home, free of office distractions. No longer do water cooler conversations eat into the day or loud colleagues distract their coworkers. Employees instead report that being close to family and friends encourages them to work faster and more efficiently.
We’ve all experienced the effect that stress can have on our work performance. Managers know that when stress increases, quality and performance tend to suffer. Yet, Fundera found that 82 percent of telecommuters report lower stress levels than when they were physically in the office, and 80 percent note that their morale is higher when working remotely. Reduced anxiety and better attitudes translate to better, harder workers, while also having the potential to reduce healthcare costs from stress-related illnesses.
Just months ago, many employees would have gone into the office even if they were feeling a bit under the weather. Meanwhile, relatively few of us would have thought twice about a sniffling coworker. COVID-19, however, has made us hyperaware of not only our own health, but of how our health affects others. With remote work solutions, employees have the option to stay home and telework without spreading minor illnesses throughout the workplace. It also allows parents to stay home with sick children, or for employees to work if inclement weather makes it unsafe to commute. According to Indeed’s Remote Work Survey, half of remote employees said working from home reduced their sick days, and 56 percent said it reduced their absences.
4Lower Operating Costs
Perhaps most convincing to business leaders is that teleworking drastically reduces operating costs. From office snacks, coffee and utility bills to the largest culprit: rent, teleworking eliminates – or at least significantly reduces – the need for these expenses. In fact, some 77 percent of businesses say that transitioning to remote work solutions may lead to reduced operating costs, per FlexJobs. Even technology giants like Twitter, which employs nearly 5,000 people, recently announced that workers may choose to work from home permanently. Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicts that half of the company could be working remotely within the next five to 10 years. By reducing office space and adjusting compensation based on employee location, companies like Twitter and Facebook are sure to slash their operating expenses.
There’s no question that the trend towards working remotely is increasing, and the last few months have provided a global case study into the benefits of telecommuting. Factor in things like Gen Z’s preference for working remotely, and it’s likely that we’ll see a 30 percent increase by 2030, according to Gartner. COVID-19 was the catalyst for the expedited push toward remote work, but the trend’s momentum isn’t expected to slow any time soon. In fact, we’re likely to see it extend to other realms, including education. And as it does, ISVs are uniquely positioned to help organizations go remote, keeping employees safe and satisfied, while saving businesses money.