How to Make Remote Working “Business as Usual”
Despite the increased rise of people working remotely, up 173% since 2005 according to Global Workplace Analytics; remote working is still not always considered to be a priority by many employers. In fact, only 10% of people in Europe work from home. The Internet and the rise of digital technologies, apps and online platforms, have accelerated the splintering of work, transforming it into an umbrella concept for tasks performed under different frameworks.
One in three enterprises now provides portable devices to at least 20% of their workers, while a growing share of employees use ICTs to work flexibly at least occasionally. In 2015, 3% of EU workers teleworked regularly from home and 10% occasionally teleworked either from home or another location.
Rising levels of stress, anxiety, fatigue and sleeping problems are being recorded, while there is a growing recognition of burnout as a result of work pressures and workplace culture. With this in mind, flexible and remote work technologies and policies have been linked to all sorts of benefits. Research shows that there are many benefits of remote working including improved staff retention, greater efficiency for organisations (and employees), lower commuting costs and lower stress levels. It is clear to see that all this information should be taken seriously. In 2013, the cost of work-related depression in Europe was estimated at 617 billion euro annually. In this context, policies that protect and improve workers’ physical and mental well-being, including initiatives promoting health at work and work-life balance, will be key.
When it comes to flexible working, Finland has been leading the for years. HR manager Jenni Fredriksson-Bass of IT firm, Ambientia, offers agile working patterns which has become increasingly important in the race for talent. With a population of just 5.5 million, Finland is a major European tech hub, most famous for Nokia’s rocky history. Finland is a magnet for successful IT firms, gaming start-ups and digital financial services. At Ambientia, they actively encourage staff to do some of their tasks remotely, as part of efforts to promote efficiency and creativity.
Sometimes it takes a crisis to create some real change. With the spread of coronavirus, companies are being pushed to hold meetings, interviews and get day-to-day working tasks done remotely. Some companies are comfortable with this whilst may others will find this a challenge. Could this forced change set the path for a future workplace? We just hope that people start seeing the benefits of having future-proofed their workplaces by already having made remote working the norm. In Finland nobody raises an eyebrow.
Normal day at the “remote office” is business as usual.
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Watch the following video about how we worked with our customer Harwoods: Harwoods Customer Story