From healthcare, to communications, to tech – every industry has tasks that can be performed outside of the traditional workplace.
And with so many of us now working from home due to COVID-19, almost two-thirds of UK employees want to have a mixture of remote and office-based working when lockdown comes to an end.
With UK legislation making it clear that flexible work is an employee’s right, more businesses are adapting to this style of employment. While the benefits of remote work are clear for employees – such as flexible schedules – the advantages for employers are not so obvious. Here are some of the reasons why businesses need to adapt to remote working practises.
Evolving workplaces – especially in the process of scaling-up – can benefit a lot from employees with remote access. ITProPortal explains how remote access removes geographical barriers as employees can work from their laptops, phones, and tablets with only an internet connection. This allows staff to access internal information no matter where they are.
Remote access can also benefit customers. When software company iQuate started receiving an increasing number of requests for training sessions, they needed to find a way to accommodate these requests while also allowing their clients access to their lab in Dublin. Their solution was to give their clients remote access to training exercises and course material. This saved money for both parties.
Rise in Freelance Workers
Aside from full-time remote-working employees, freelancers are also a major part of the business world. A study by the BBC last year found that 15% of workers are now freelancers. Businesses can save a lot of money with freelancers – they can hire the top talent without the need to provide added benefits and continuous pay. This trend has meant that companies need to adapt their processes in order to accommodate this rise in freelance talent.
Freelance portal Yoss details how many businesses have now streamlined their processes when it comes to contracts, invoices, payment, and project briefs when hiring freelance talent. Money and time are two of the most valuable commodities to businesses, which is why companies are now more accommodating to freelancers.
Supports Employees with Disabilities
One section of the Equality Act 2010 requires employers to ensure employees with disabilities are not at a disadvantage in the workplace. This includes offering specialised equipment like wheelchairs and elevators, flexible work schedules and giving employees the chance to work at home. Citizens Advice notes how the law covers a good number of physical and mental ailments, including sight impairments, long-term illnesses or any other disability that can hinder employees from working in a traditional office setting. It is about giving everyone the opportunity to reach their full potential.
While the notion of remote working is being encouraged by more businesses, there have also been cases where companies call their employees back into the office like Yahoo and IBM. However, re-tractors have to consider the fact that 90% of remote workers want to work remotely for the rest of their career. Remote working offers the benefits of a flexible schedule, work-life balance, and avoiding things like office politics. It is also one of the best ways to keep employees productive and satisfied.
If you’re struggling to keep up with flexible working requests, or you don’t have a firm grasp on the current legislation, then read our in-depth guide on flexible working.