5th January 2016
Great debate surrounds remote working with the likes of Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer opposing to her employees working from home.
Many hold the belief that remote working encourages a loss of the human factors abundant in a traditional office environment such as the cultural ethos embedded into a physical workforce. Those opposing remote working see it as a threat to offices being “busy and vibrant places”.
However, Richard Branson has commented that “to force everybody to work in an office is old school thinking…I do not think it is effective or productive to force your employees one way or another. Choice empowers people and makes for a more content workforce”.
Remote working offers employees flexibility – allowing them to spend more time with their family. This leads to a greater work-life balance and better health. A recent figure indicates that 10.4 million working days per year are lost in the UK due to work related stress.
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From a business perspective, remote working leads to increased productivity and reduced overheads. For example, less office space is required, yielding significant cost savings. These savings can then be used as a means to re-invest in the company and make it grow further. With many organisations in both the private and public sectors cutting jobs in order to make savings, then surely it is more beneficial to both employees and managers to choose remote working?
To many opposers remote working conveys images of sparsely populated offices. Yet, this modern model encourages a stimulating, inspiring structure by allowing many different expertise, experiences and nationalities to collaborate and think creatively through technology. The world is moving fast and businesses need to adapt to change with it.
On a macro-environmental level, remote working is also beneficial for the environment as it reduces the daily commute. Recent events such as the 2015 World Climate Summit highlight that global warming is of paramount concern – more so than it has ever been. Developed countries are likely to bring in policies to reduce energy consumption. It can be predicted that the daily commute is going to become more expensive, and remote working more attractive.