The vast majority of workers do not feel comfortable asking to work remotely. There is a huge stigma attached to it – for many people home working is synonymous with workers opting for an “easy” day when they are expecting a delivery; sat in their pyjamas eating cold leftovers from last night’s dinner.
With such a negative stigma, businesses cannot and will not get the most out of mobile working. So it’s time to move out of the dark ages and take a fresh look at the benefits that mobile working can bring.
It’s no wonder that the lean, mean of startups today begin by gathering talent from all parts of the UK and start by collaborating online, before taking small office space with hot desks. Such bosses see and recognise that in these days of digitisation, business should not be restricted by borders – locally, nationally or internationally. Work is what do, not where we are.
Here are some top tips to make mobile working work better for your business.
Recognise the business drivers
Business leaders need to change their perception and embrace the positives of mobile working. It extends much more than cost savings through reduced office space, it also makes for happier workers, who will stay with your company for longer. Businesses that implement mobile working will benefit from less staff “sick days”, plus parents can still work during school holidays and when children are ill.
Also, staff can flex their hours and do more work for urgent projects when needed, as they aren’t restricted by office opening hours. When you give workers trust and flexibility, they will give you loyalty and flexibility in return.
Put the right tools in place
Employees need to be effective when out of the office and be given the right hardware (e.g. phones/ laptops), system passwords and telephony software, so they can be seamlessly contacted without customers and colleagues having to consider their location.
You also need to check that their home broadband will enable them to work effectively – many businesses are starting to offer home broadband subsidies as a benefit in kind to ensure that they have the best service in place.
Develop a pro-mobile culture
Do workers feel comfortable asking for and then working from home? Do you trust that they will be working? Business leaders must set the example by working remotely themselves and speaking positively about the experience and benefits. A company culture comes from the leaders – if they are positive about mobile working then it will trickle down through the company.
Put in processes
Line managers must be confident that staff know how to use, and are using, technologies available so that they are just effective at their job when out of the office. There also need to be clear policies for working from home, such as allocated days and shared calendars.
Ultimately, with transparency and communication, mobile working can be a great tool for increasing employee productivity and company revenue.
Myles Leach, MD of NFON UK, the only true pan-European cloud PBX provider
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