The Covid crisis has changed the world we live in, but many of these changes, such as working remotely, have not come as a surprise. The lock down has just accelerated trends we were already seeing in the last few years, with remote work being one of the most pertinent topics on the public agenda since March 2020.
Working remotely has become the new norm as we were forced to implement it due to lock down restrictions and we’ve now seen that it actually works. This new way of working played a vital role in business and economic continuity during the original lock down period, and will provide stability during future emergencies, especially now that it’s proven to be successful.
Even amidst this Covid crisis, employees are reporting greater productivity and higher job satisfaction, which is translating into enormous profitability for their employers. Permitting off-site work allows businesses to reduce overheads through reduced real estate, equipment, and supply costs.
Australia remote working statistics
Statistics confirm what we were already presuming, that remote work will play a major role in our economy and is here to stay:
– 47% of small business would like to work remotely more often;
– 45% consider that remote work creates more free time;
– 90% of small business owners in WA work remotely one or two days a week, followed by NSW (84%), QLD (82%), and ACT, NT, TAS combined (50%);
– 82% of business owners from areas that are not from metro areas work from home one or two days a week, compared to 75% of business owners from metro areas
– even when reliable public transport is available, people prefer to save time and money by working remotely from home.
Work is more about what you do than about where you go
Even after restrictions were lifted, more than one million small businesses continued to operate remotely. Why? A possible explanation was provided by Vijay Sundaram, Zoho Chief Strategy Officer: “The nature of work will change forever as the number of businesses deciding to work remotely and from home will skyrocket, even after lock down and social distancing restrictions are lifted (…) If there’s one thing business owners and workers are understanding in the wake of COVID-19, it’s that a job is something you do rather than somewhere you go.”
Sundaram also explained that remote work is not just a temporary solution to a problem, but a new way of doing business as it uncovers a range of opportunities never seen before: “This will upturn norms that have been accepted for generations. Relentless innovation in affordable technology will put remote work w
ithin the reach of every company, lowering costs and creating new agility.”
Will remote work allow your staff to stay idle because you are not monitoring them?
Not if they are motivated and the right people for the job. Remote work will require human resource specialists to focus even more on matching talent with open positions. There will be a shift from physical presence and close monitoring to using results as the main measure of performance. Remote work done properly means it will be even harder for employees to purposely waste time during their working hours.
Saving time and money
No longer needing to organise and maintain office space, as well as reducing commuting hours, are not the only ways that remote work helps us save time and money. The new paradigm will reduce the importance of events, meetings, and business travels, whose values were often overestimated.
Remote work is excellent for Australia’s low population density
James Dellow from the Digital Workplace Company, based in Australia, reveals that working remotely is an excellent solution for Australians, who are located around the main cities.
Creating a hybrid between working remotely and commuting to work
Not all jobs will be done exclusively from home or other remote space. On the one hand, some tasks can only be completed at the office or job site, in certain industries such as healthcare or construction, and on the other hand not all people have optimal home-working conditions. Those days when you cannot handle working from home or you miss drinking coffee with your colleagues, you will still go to the office the old-fashioned way. However, even work at the office could be different from what we used to know, with fewer employees present, less overtime completed at the office, and social distancing rules still imposed for as long as the Coronavirus represents a threat.
Urban areas will be less crowded
The growing acceptance of working remotely will enable people from rural areas to kee
p living in their communities, if desired, instead of moving to a more urban or city environment in order to advance their career. Many companies whose employees are working remotely are aware of the fact that employees may miss the social interactions from going to the office every day, so they have set up working hubs in spaces such as shopping centres, where staff can go if they want to come together as a group. Public social networks can enable social relations even if most of the work is completed through online meeting platforms.
Remote work challenges
Some small businesses and their employees see remote work as an ordeal.
They do not have the right tools to work from home in an efficient manner. James Dellow, cited earlier, observed that companies who had adopted and invested in digital tools such as intranet or online meeting platforms were delighted with the rewards of remote working, while companies which did not are st
ruggling to implement working from home due to unsuitable or outdated tools.
The lack of adequate online meeting platforms does not only have a negative impact on productivity, but it also decreases employee engagement. Traditional online communication methods, such as email, do not work in today’s digital environment, so companies need to find new ways of engaging and ensuring high efficiency at work.
When asked about their expectations from online meeting platforms, small business owners said they need a reliable way to access the resources of their workplace outside the office and communicate with employees at the same time. Sending documents via email while you are using a different device for a video call is common, but it is slowly becoming an outdated model as today’s software is dedicated to working remotely and manages to integrate all functions of remote work in one app or platform.
One of the tools that is already enabling Australians to work remotely with excellent results and minimal friction is Zoho’s Remotely online meeting platform.
Benefits of Zoho Remotely include:
o Communication from anywhere and everywhere
All your business communication can be conducted online, whether it’s a team meeting or a sales presentation.
o Seamless collaboration
o Solve issues from anywhere
Integrated apps enable you to help staff and customers from everywhere by sharing help files, solving customer queries, and taking control of their system.
Zoho Remotely will be offered for free until September 1st, 2020, and its pricing will be announced soon with the same commitment to good value for money that Zoho demonstrates with all its products.
o Being able to use a variety of Zoho applications
- Remotely is a package of 11 applications from Zoho:
- Zoho ShowTime – Engagement and training tool
- Zoho Writer – Collaborative word processor
- Zoho Sheet – Collaborative spreadsheet application
- Zoho Cliq – Instant messaging/chat platform
- Zoho Show – Business presentation tool
- Zoho Meeting – Video conferencing tool
- Zoho Sprints – Agile project management software
- Zoho Lens* and Assist – Remote support software
- Zoho WorkDrive – Document management tool
- Zoho Projects – Comprehensive project management tool
Contact us if you want to take remote working to a new level in your company by using Zoho Remotely. Visual Marketing Australia is an Authorised Consulting Partner for Zoho CRM since 2018. We have been using Zoho CRM for more than a decade, we know how to put its features to work to meet digital marketing needs and support working remotely.