In ways that we haven’t predicted, the global pandemic of 2020 has forced a major digital transformation to the workplace. And if we learned anything last year, it is that a lot of jobs can be done from home.
Now that we’re past the one year mark of the outbreak and in the post-pandemic stages, many Australians’ are opting to continue working from home. In fact, 3 quarters of the population have said that their ideal working environment is a mix between working at home and in person, while 16% want to permanently work from home.
More and more, this looking glass view of the working future is becoming a reality. So how does it weigh up?
Freedom to work wherever you are
We don’t need to be restricted to one building anymore to get the job done. All we need these days is our laptop, mobile and a good internet connection. And with the innovation and flexibility of Power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities, cloud phones have now become a staple for any office – at work or at home. Other well-documented benefits include:
- improved productivity and employee happiness
- reduce company costs and overheads
- Reduce commuting time
- Improved work/life balance and company morale
Find quality employees
Having a culture that promotes remote working gives you the advantage of widening the talent pool for potential new employees. With the technology available to us, a company stubbornly clinging to the old ways of working is shooting itself in the foot. We say this because it’s likely that their competitors do in fact offer remote work – and before you know it, the prospects for employers will flock to the competitor. As a result, the talent pool will dry up.
Overall, employees value the benefits of flexibility – especially younger workers, who will eventually be the major working force.
With any change, there are going to be growing pains. A major concern many businesses are experiencing is about their employees becoming complacent or unproductive. Although there are wearables to track and monitor employee productivity, this is controversial as it can be considered spying and will destroy trust.
We believe the key is balance. Building a good company culture by utilising tools such as Teams or Zoom for regular check-ins and weekly meetings goes a long way. Too much contact can feel overbearing and is just as bad as a neglectful employer. It is all about respecting one another, and that builds trust, accountability and productivity.
Will the office ever return to the way it was?
We don’t think so, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the end of the office-life. The silver-lining of the global shut-down for future generations was the acceleration of how we use existing technology to balance our work and personal lives. In many ways, a mixture of remote and office-based work provides the best of both worlds: Remote work for times when you need to stay home to keep an eye on the kids or the family dog and office-work for the times when you need more communicative and collaborative-based work.
How Central Telecoms has embraced remote work
As many of our customers know, we have our two head offices – one based in the Central Coast and another based in Wagga Wagga. We also have our sales team who are more remote and run their own show across NSW and Victoria – but not without constant support and contact from the teams working in the two head offices. We utilise our Cloud PBX phones to keep the team on our call-flow network, as well as running weekly meetings and daily huddles online, over Microsoft Teams. Not to mention the chat rooms we use to flick a quick message or question to one-another (or an abundance of memes and Gifs!).
We have found that the best strategy to make remote-work consistant and successful is to create a good support channel and build on your relationships with your staff in order to keep everyone engaged, aligned to the business goals and most importantly, supported.