The office has been a staple part of the working environment for decades, but could recent advancements in communication technology now mean it’s becoming obsolete?

There’s a revolution taking place, and it’s happening right under our noses. In the last few years, the way we work has changed hugely. The rules are being re-written as, suddenly, you don’t need to go to work in order to get to work.

Yes, we’re talking about the abandonment of the traditional office as the hub of working life. Communication services, connectivity and file sharing have all made being physically present in the same place less important for a business. This may seem strange to those of us used to the daily commute, but more and more businesses are opting for a remote working system.

So what does this mean for businesses, and could it actually be a good thing? Let’s investigate.

Changing attitudes to offices
The idea of running a business without the need for permanent office space has been steadily invading the public consciousness for the past few years, resulting in changing attitudes. Whereas a few years ago, people would generally have found the idea of always working from home utterly bizarre, now it is widely accepted by many businesses.

In fact, statistics from UpWork reveal that managers were three times more likely to agree to their office becoming an “occasional anchor point” rather than a “daily travel destination”, compared with answers given three years earlier.

The introduction of new technologies is largely the cause of this, with features like cloud technology becoming more commonplace, allowing employees to work remotely while still being able to communicate fully and access all the necessary materials. For some businesses, this has made the office largely redundant, saving on rental costs.

The value of flexibility
The lack of an office creates a more flexible environment for employees. Not only does it offer an improved work–life balance, but it also means that people can apply for roles that aren’t necessarily locally based, significantly increasing their pool of potential employment opportunities.
Flexible working has become increasingly important to employees, with studies showing that even just a few days working from home a week can increase both employee satisfaction and retention. This is especially important, as replacing employees can be an expensive undertaking. A recent study from Oxford Economics found that replacing an employee who earns at least £25,000 costs companies an average of £30,614, so retention should be a priority for all businesses.
One survey of 9,700 employees even found that flexibility was the main benefit job hunters looked for when applying for jobs, and a lack of flexibility was the main reason they would consider quitting.

Benefits for managers
It’s fair to say that offering benefits to employees also typically benefits their manager. This is because a happy worker is one who is more likely to get the work done without complications. Increased working from home can help to boost both productivity and satisfaction levels, preventing the dreaded employee burn out which can occur when staff begin to feel overworked. In fact, a 2017 survey by YouGov found that 89% of employees considered flexible working to be key to increasing their productivity levels.
With a range of benefits already making themselves clear, it’s no wonder that so many employers are choosing to create a more flexible working environment for their employees.

However you want your business to operate, TEDCO Business Support can help you operate successfully. In the last 5 years, TEDCO has helped to start more than 3,600 businesses and raise over £4.2million in Virgin Start-Up loans. Contact our team today and see what we can do for you. Call us on 0191 516 61 02 or email us at hello@tedco.org.

What we offer

TEDCO offers one-on-one support provided by a dedicated team of business advisors and a range of pre start seminars available to clients who are taking the first steps into self-employment. This could be looking at an initial idea and developing it further, looking at how to start a business plan, business competitors, business marketing.

Are you eligible?

If you are looking to start and grow a business we’d love to hear from you. Our friendly team of experienced Business Advisors are on hand to take your call to discuss the support available.

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