One of the great lessons of 2020?
Work can happen anywhere. Once upon a time, “going to work” meant sitting in traffic, going to an office, and then shuttling home again after a long exhausting day. In the wake of COVID-19, we now know that “office-based offices” are a lot less essential than we once thought. Today, thanks to remote access technology, employees can access workplace applications and remote desktops from offsite locations, home offices, and from business travel.
There’s long been chatter surrounding the topic of flexible work and distributed workforces. But until COVID-19 reared its very ugly and unwelcome head, it wasn’t really too high up on anyone’s priority list. In fact, many businesses viewed it with suspicion. And justifiably so, because it requires a high degree of trust that employees will be as industrious at home as they are under co-workers’ and managers’ watchful eyes.
But life has a way of taking decisions out of our hands. And once there was no choice in the matter and work from home became a necessity, remote work allowed companies to continue work uninterrupted (or relatively uninterrupted, anyway) during the crisis. And as it turns out, remote work offers substantial, long-term benefits that deserve to be examined and leveraged beyond crisis-mode.
Business gurus have espoused the advantages of remote work for years. Remote working improves employee satisfaction, enhances productivity, and boosts overall profitability, just to mention a few of the benefits. Then there are the less tangible benefits like the enhanced peace of mind that comes with less time spent in transit and the benefits to the environment. In this post we’ll explore just some of the benefits of remote working from a non-panic-mode perspective.
The Advantages of Remote Access
Flexibility. By allowing your staff to perform tasks outside the office using remote access, you can facilitate more flexible work arrangements and help employees create a better work/life balance. With remote access, people can devote a greater portion of their day to being involved with their families while remaining dedicated to their jobs, and travelers can go abroad without missing a beat, thanks to their remote desktops.
Business Continuity. As was so clearly displayed in the COVID-19 crisis, remote access greatly enhances businesses’ ability to function in times of trouble. And even in less dramatic circumstances, remote access allows employees who are unable to get to the office due to impediments such as inclement weather, transportation strikes or mild illness to still get access to their business applications and data from home, ensuring they can meet their goals in a timely manner. Similarly, if an urgent customer or operational situation arises outside of office hours, managers can deal with it from home (or wherever they are) instead of having to return to the office, which could result in delays.
Universal Talent Pool. Looking for new employees? With remote access, you don’t need to limit your search to local talent. Remote access enables organizations to leverage a wider global talent pool instead of being restricted to a single geographical location. The benefits here are two-fold; one, it means that talented people living in far-flung locales can find well-paying and satisfying work opportunities, and two, companies no longer need to limit their searches to a 50 mile radius to find the right talent.
Reduced Overhead. Hiring remote talent and allowing employees to work from their home-office remote desktops enables businesses to reduce overhead expense for office space, utilities, computing equipment, software, furniture and other related costs. In fact, according to a recent study, organizations save $1,100 per year, per employee, on employees who work from home.
Increased Employee Efficiency and Retention. Many professionals report that working remotely, using the devices they prefer, in a comfortable setting, enhances their productivity and job satisfaction. In fact, many report that they can be much more productive away from the distractions of open-plan offices. This, in turn, increases quality of work and business profitability, as well as bolstering employee retention. Millennials in particular report that flexible work arrangements have a positive impact on job satisfaction and increase their chances of remaining with current employers long-term.
Optimized Software Licensing. By hosting applications centrally and providing remote access to employees, organizations can optimize software licensing agreements. For instance, applications that are used only sporadically by numerous users can be installed once on the server and distributed under concurrent usage licenses, rather than purchasing separate licenses and installing locally for each worker and device.
Reduced Maintenance Costs. While many remote access solutions require installation of remote client software on user devices, some web-based remote access solutions support remote access with zero endpoint installation or configuration. Clientless, centrally-managed solutions eliminate the need to install, manage and maintain software on individual devices, significantly reducing IT support costs.
Compatibility with User Preferences. Choosing types of remote access software that are compatible with any browser and users’ devices of choice, including Chromebooks, Macs, and iPads, make remote access an ideal BYOD-enabler. Users are pleased to use whichever device they choose.
Remote Access: A Long-Term Enabler of Good
So even when organizations are not in panic-mode, remote access offers countless benefits, both for the employee and employer. Obviously, it needs to be carefully implemented with a secure and robust solution, which outside of a crisis, should be done with a great deal of planning and forethought. But the benefits it brings, such as increased job satisfaction and heightened productivity can help any business boost their long-term revenue and profitability.
If you liked this article, check out our latest blog post on remote access alternatives