William Copley, Founder and Managing Director, Armstrong Bell comments on how Connected Workspaces make permanent remote working possible
At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that over 50% of the UK’s workforce were operating remotely, accelerating the use of technology in millions of businesses across the country.
With employees demonstrating increased productivity and employers benefitting from reduced costs, remote working has since become the new normal. This is effectively demonstrated by a recent survey which found that 82% of UK firms said they will allow flexible remote working post-COVID-19, with 65% of businesses advising they will downsize or change their office space as a result.
Without the right technology and connectivity solutions in place, a long-term or permanent flexible working policy will prove challenging. So what exactly do business leaders need to consider?
Introducing connected workspaces
Connected Workspaces provide employees with the tools and technology they need to work when they want, from where they want and with anyone.
Created through the implementation of simple, fast and flexible communication and connectivity solutions, Connected Workspaces allow employees, teams and even the whole company to organise their work around the achievement of objectives – rather than around physical locations – transforming the way work is done and the results businesses can achieve.
From providing the right equipment via laptops and VoIP telephone systems to implementing a central cloud-based storage system to aid collaboration, it is important to get the basics of connectivity right to create a Connected Workspace that works.
Flexible technology, flexible business
Without advances in technology, the COVID-19 pandemic would have proved far more destructive for both society and the economy as a whole, by forcing more businesses to close their doors and potentially costing more lives, as more people would have risked physically going in to work out of fear of losing their income.
This stark realisation presents a lesson in itself, demonstrating that we as business leaders need to be in a position where we have the right technology in place that enables us to adapt quickly to change without impacting operations or service delivery. Those who can get this right and sustain it for the long-term will have a true competitive advantage, not only through fast response and adaptability, but also through the opportunity to attract and motivate employees from different areas of the globe, whilst reducing operational costs.
Remote working benefits
Rewind 12 months and the concept of a permanent or hybrid remote working solution would have been denounced as too challenging and costly. In being forced into this situation by COVID-19, opinion has changed and employers can clearly see significant benefits in increased productivity, reduced costs and an opportunity to scale without an increase in overhead or infrastructure.
For those ignorant to the lessons delivered through the pandemic and the forced opportunity to embrace technology, chances of business success are diminished — not only with the looming threat of a second spike — but also in reduced staff retention, as talent will be attracted by the businesses who have successfully adapted to digital change and trust team members to work in a collaborative, productive and flexible way.
The message is therefore clear. The introduction of Connected Workspaces have not only made remote working possible, but they have also provided businesses with the opportunity to drive long-term positive change; enabling staff members to become engaged in their role with improved work-life balance, whilst enabling business leaders to rethink growth strategies, evaluate operations and create a robust but lean organisation with increased chances of survival both now and in the future.
Editor's Recommended Articles
Must Read >> Why working remotely can be good for business