In the post-lockdown world, more and more businesses are operating without a firm base
Office spaces were already becoming less common when we entered 2020, so it’s no surprise that the coronavirus pandemic almost feels like the final nail in the coffin for the traditional workplace.
More and more businesses are working remotely these days, with advances in cloud and communications technologies meaning it’s now possible to work from almost anywhere. Providing you can access a reliable internet connection, business owners now have the capacity to set up shop in any location regardless of whether it’s an office or not.
Running a flexible operation with your staff requires work , but the results can be beneficial for both you and your team members.
Adjusting to location independence
Being location dependent allows you to work without the restrictions of being in one place. In order for this to work, professionals must have the technological tools to hand as most communications will be done via phone or email.
Different businesses will handle location independence differently. While creative industries have been working remotely for years, ecommerce businesses still need to take location into account even when operating from home, as deliveries, storage and shipping all require consideration. Meanwhile, land industries may find being tied to one location unavoidable due to manufacturing and engineering. It’s all about what “level of remoteness” works for your business.
Working from home
In recent months, working from home has become not just more common, but — for a few months at least — mandatory. This marked an abrupt and stressful transition period for many businesses, but the benefits of home working have been widely explored.
As development director of the Telework Association, Shirley Borrett, explains, “When staff work from home, it often improves productivity and loyalty.” What’s more, there are wider societal benefits too: “It’s also good for traffic congestion and the environment.”
Giving workers the option to work from home, even for just some of their working week, gives them better flexibility when it comes to key concerns like childcare. Not only does this help workers feel more valued in their role, but it has also been shown to improve employee retention.
Creating digital connections
Technology is key when it comes to remote working. With email, phone and internet in tow, it’s possible to get your business up and running wherever you are. With smartphones being as advanced as they are, in many cases you don’t even need to have your laptop to hand in order to keep things running smoothly.
Platforms like the cloud make sharing, saving, sending and collaborating easier than ever, all within a secure system. Colleagues can work on projects together while physically being in two completely different locations.
Introducing home working as part of your business also makes it easier for employees to use their own devices for work, rather than ones you have supplied.
Meeting up with people
Arranging people is often the aspect of running a business which remote workers struggle with the most. Meeting clients can be difficult without a permanent base, but many public spaces offer collaborative spaces to rent ad coworking spaces for prearranged meetings. Even coffee shops and cafes can make good bases for informal conversations with clients and partners.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face meetings are occurring far less frequently than previously. Coffee shop catch-ups have largely been replaced with Zoom calls and Microsoft Teams. This means that those working remotely can once again fall back on technology to fill in any gaps they are experiencing with the loss of an office.