As you may have guessed, the future is leaning towards remote work. In a survey conducted at London Business School’s Global Leadership Summit, of the 600 executives, entrepreneurs and business academics in attendance, 34 percent said more than 50 percent of their full-time workforce would be working remotely within three years. And 25 percent said at least 75 percent of their employees would not be in traditional offices. So, what do you do when your employees inevitably start asking to work from home?
Studies show many positives when it comes to working from home, including an increase in productivity and health, and a decrease in outside distractions. While remote work is on the rise, a business owner simply can’t make this change overnight. It’s a decision that requires careful evaluation of the business in its current state, the work environment and the consequences it could bring.
How do you know whether your company is ready for remote work?
1. Look at Your Competitors
No, you shouldn’t always copy what your competitors are doing. However, in this case, you might want to take a closer look. Employees want the flexibility of working from wherever they are whether that be at home, at a coffee shop or out of town.
2. Are Your Employees Excited About Remote Work?
If an employee has asked you to work remotely, or if you’ve overheard some of them wishing for a more flexible work environment, this is another sign your business might be leaning in that direction.
3. Are Some Tasks Already Handled Remotely?
If an employee can talk to coworkers, answer emails, make calls and deliver presentations while working from home, you may be ready to explore remote work.
4. Look at How Remote Work Can Be Beneficial
It’s estimated that if companies allowed employees to work remotely just half the time, the company could save around $11,000 per person per year. Imagine how much you could be saving.
How to Transition to Remote Work
Transitioning over to remote work takes time. First, identify which positions work better remotely and which ones are better-done in-office. For example, a position requiring the use of internal equipment or face-to-face meetings cannot be done from home.
Start With a Few Employees
Since you are just getting your feet wet, evaluate the roles that can be performed remotely, and have those employees telecommute first. By selecting a few to start with, you can better measure the outcome without losing productivity.
A few years ago, one in five employees were working remotely. Today, that number has grown, and it’s predicted that in just three short years, jobs will have six desk spaces for every ten workers. What does this mean for you as a business owner? It means you can’t deny that the workforce is changing. You can only start adapting.