UK businesses are increasingly trusting their staff and empowering them by allowing them to work anywhere, meaning that work is no longer a place we go to, but an activity we do.
Anywhere working was one of the topics for discussion at a meeting held by the Business Exposure Group. It looked at how the office in the future will be a place for occasional use, and sparked some interesting comments.
One attendee, Simon Thornton, commented: “When you consider that employees spend 200 hours a year travelling to and from work, this could be an extra five weeks’ productivity from an employee, if they didn’t have to commute.
“Not only would this make an employee happier and more engaged because they haven’t been sat in traffic, this also alleviates the need for extra staff.”
With employees preferring to commute just 20 minutes from home, remote working doesn’t just mean operating from home, it could be operating at a customer or supplier site. With video conferencing being widely and easily available now, businesses can cut out business travel and give an employee a better work/life balance.
Bruce Gilchrist, who attended the event said: “There are a number of measures that companies can put into place to make sure that anywhere working works for them, such as ensuring that remote employees spend some time, for example a day a week, in the office to build rapport and interaction. Businesses can also have back up laptops that can be deployed, so that no one can say that they can’t work because their laptop isn’t working”
However a lot of businesses remain skeptical about remote working. 71% have not adopted anywhere working or citing the fear of isolation and the need to be seen in the office.
David Barraclough who also attended said: “Business remains a human enterprise. For an owner, seeing operations up close and in person are critical to success.”
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