The benefits of remote working are clear and obvious. We know the story. For the worker, it offers a more flexible way of working, a better work-life balance, less disruption and distraction, and an increased sense of autonomy. As long as their managers and coworkers are supportive, and the communication is kept open and regular, remote working can be a force for good.
Businesses benefit by not having to house the worker in a bricks and mortar single location. Less office space, fewer parking spaces, and reduced overheads are all on offer to companies with an eye for this growing new way of working. In fact, far from being a trend, workers are beginning to actually expect the chance to work remotely, and are seeking out jobs in businesses where telecommuting is encouraged.
So, everything in the garden is rosy, and with remote working at the centre of business, the future’s bright. Except for one thing…..it isn’t. Well, not necessarily, anyway
We're seeing a slight wind of resistance from some companies. IBM have moved away allowing telecommuting, and Yahoo did several years ago. Some see remote working as having a negative effect on productivity, innovation and engagement. They see their teams as less accessible, less incentivised, and difficult to supervise. Some managers simply don’t find themselves able to trust remote workers to get the job done, even despite the fact that deadlines are met and targets still achieved.
On a personal basis, not everyone’s cut out to work under their own steam. Some find the lack of a social work environment a challenge. Of course, procrastination will always be a threat to the remote worker too. And while many see it as a benefit, some people struggle with the disconnect that comes with working remotely. There have been some reports of remote workers developing issues with mental ill health as a result of switching to this way of work.
Let’s be clear, despite what IBM and Yahoo think, remote working isn’t going anywhere any time soon. It's growing not going. As the world of work changes, and the new workforce -the digital nomads - demand and expect new ways of doing business, organisations will have to change to keep momentum. The escapable and unnecessary expense of huge brick and mortar monoliths, the single location office blocks of the past, will be replaced with co-working spaces and hot design communities. A more flexible, fluid and accessible way of working will be the new norm, and business needs to get ready.
Like everything, there’s a downside to this way of working as we’ve discussed above. But the central way of doing business, the one thing at the centre of every successful organisation is communication. By keeping communication current, live, open and honest, and by allowing co-operation and collaboration to strengthen the bonds of teams, remote working can be a real force for good. Business will be able to grow in this new world. Productivity needn't be badly affected, and it won’t be if communication is strong.
Remote teams are still teams, after all. They’re just not in the same place. Wundamail puts teams in the same place, at the same time. Ideas and information are exchanged, and innovation encouraged. Team members can support each other, offering advice and support. Managers are kept informed and are able to stay ahead of any potential challenges. This simple team management tool lives in your inbox, there’s no digging through endless email chains, as Wundamail keeps everything in the present. A question lands in everyone’s inbox at the end of the day, they answer, and then another arrives first thing next morning. Everybody gets a compilation of the team’s answers. Simple. The team are all on the same page, any potential issues are highlighted, and managers are better placed to manage.
Remote working doesn’t have to mean trouble. With Wundamail, it’s simple.