Why Tomorrow's Teams Will be Working Remotely and What You Can Do to Keep Pace With the Future of Cloud Collaboration
by Jaap van Duijvenbode on January 15, 2016
The workforce of tomorrow does their jobs remotely, and that's a good thing. During the 1990's, a trend toward flexible work hours and remote working (generally called telecommuting) became faddish, but that phenomenon reversed itself during the late 90's and early 2000's. Part of the reason for businesses backing off was fear: a fear of the unknown. Would remote workers actually do their jobs? How could they be managed? The other part was technological: businesses simply lacked the technology to empower remote workers the same way they could their on-premises workforce.
Both of these problems have been resolved. Not only have remote workers proven to be passionately committed to doing a stellar job for their employers, but technology has caught up, and the cloud now powers workers anywhere at any time, whether they're at a desk in an office or in a hotel or airport a world away. Here are the reasons why tomorrow's work teams will be remote, and how you can keep pace technologically.
Millennials Like It Their Way
The younger generation of workers expects to have a life outside the confines of work, and remote work situations are ideal for luring this talent and keeping them on your team.
The Baby Boomer generation, as well as their children (Generation X-ers) marched largely to the tune of their employers. Today's generation does not. They are hard workers, highly skilled, and tremendously talented. But they demand a life outside the confines of the office. Remote work is the best way to tap into this talent and potential without cramping their style, and sending them scurrying to the competition.
Work is No Longer Done Between 9-5
Today's work isn't typically something that starts at 9 a.m. and ceases at 5 p.m. Customers and clients expect answers when they want answers, which is often over a 6 a.m. breakfast bagel or during a 9 p.m. dinner. Email, text messaging, chat, and social media not only make this possible, but put workers in the position of looking careless or inattentive if they don't respond at those hours. That means work isn't always done in the space of a typical workday, or the office.
Office Spaces are Unnecessary Expenses
As the economy recovers, so do property values. Spaces that rented for just a few hundred dollars per month during the height of the recession now regularly go for a couple thousand dollars. This trend should continue so long as the economy is on an upward swing, and many businesses know this isn't a necessary expense when the work can be done just as well and just as easily where the workers are already footing the bill -- in their own homes.
The Talent Businesses Need Isn't Always Nearby
What happens when your business needs a data scientist, or perhaps an engineer with special skills? Some positions are becoming harder to fill, and that talent isn't always next door, or even in the next city. A remote workforce allows you to tap into professionals all over the world, without having to pay top dollar to have them relocate to the city you'd like them to work in.
Remote Workers are Actually More Productive
Surprisingly, remote workers are not less engaged or less passionate than those who show up and clock in every day. In fact, the opposite is true. When allowed to work where they like, and largely when they like, workers prove to be more productive and dedicated to both their jobs and their employers.
Technology Has Outgrown Centralized Office Spaces
With virtual desktops and cloud-based applications, there's really no reason to pay for that insanely expensive real estate.
With the contributions of cloud computing -- such as virtual desktops, cloud-based software applications, and mobile accessibility to systems -- there isn't anything a worker can do inside a cubicle that they can't do anywhere else with reliable Internet access. Cloud collaboration tools make it simple to share files and manage projects with team members scattered across the organization and around the globe. Better yet, in most remote work environments, the employees pay for and maintain most of their own devices, meaning all the business has to do is supply the infrastructure to support the workflow.
No collaboration tool is more powerful than Microsoft Azure private cloud, supported by Talon Storage's platform for Azure file sharing and online collaboration. It's exactly the right technology to power your remote workforce. You can see how this brilliant tool works in this overview of FAST™. See what tomorrow looks like today.