How workplace management systems support the remote working business model
What is a remote working model?
Any form of employment where you do not work in the same geographic location as your primary line management could be classified as remote working. But most people interpret the term remote working as meaning someone doing work at a computer, which traditionally would have been done in the same office where their manager works, doing it elsewhere – in a different office of the same company, at home, on the go, in a café with Wi-Fi, wherever. However, the remote working model comes in many variations of this flavour, determined by the needs of either the employee or the employer, or both.
Remote working can be full-time or part-time. It can be integral to the job if it involves tasks that can only be completed outside of the office. For some employers, a lack of space in the office necessitates that on any given day at least some workers will need to work from home. Alternatively, the practical restrictions on some employees, such as the distance they live from the office, or family commitments, are the things compelling them to work from home. That said, even where there is no practical imperative for enabling remote working for many businesses, there are still advantages to doing so, which is why more and more people are working remotely.
Why is remote working expanding?
Some of the advantages of remote working are obvious. It is reasonable to expect that an employee who no longer has to spend one hour or more travelling in each direction getting to and from work, and isn’t using up an hour’s salary to pay for the privilege, is likely to be happier and more motivated working remotely. However, what we once might have reasonably guessed was true, we now have the evidence to prove.
New studies, like this one from Stanford University, show that remote working arrangements make employees more productive. At the end of his two-year study, professor Nicholas Bloom found that “work-from-home employees work a true full-shift (or more) versus being late to the office or leaving early multiple times a week and found it less distracting and easier to concentrate at home”.
His study also showed that “employee attrition decreased by 50% among the telecommuters, they took shorter breaks, had fewer sick days and took less time off”. Other studies back up Bloom’s findings. Going as far back as a survey carried out in 2016 by FlexJobs, which found that offering flexible procedures have been found to increase the likelihood of employees staying loyal to their workplace by 82% amongst young American workers. Of course, while the argument for remote working is extremely strong, the concept is still relatively new for most organisations, and managing remote workers requires its own approach.
How to manage remote workers
Managing an employee who isn’t within earshot, and who you can’t see just by looking up from your screen, presents obvious challenges. To meet these challenges, in a recent article by Forbes Coaches Council, top business and career coaches composed a list of top tips for effectively managing remote employees. You can head over to Forbes to read the whole article, but the essence of their advice is to maintain excellent communication, set clear standards for each job and provide the tools to workers that make remote working work.
Technology is not yet advanced enough to assist organisations with core weaknesses in the quality of their communications or their setting of effective working standards. However, there is an overwhelming range of options when it comes to the workplace management software companies have to facilitate their remote working arrangements.
Leading workplace management software, Matrix Booking, was designed for ‘Mobile First’, which makes it one of the best workplace management systems to use if you offer remote working to your employees. For those who are only part-time remote workers, the user-friendly resource booking mobile app provides maximum flexibility in terms of finding, booking and modifying bookings of rooms, desks and computers.For those who are full-time remote workers, our management software makes it equally easy to book, from any location with a signal, rooms and facilities for meetings with colleagues, including videoconferencing and catering, even if you won’t be there in person.
For those whose remote working arrangement is integral to their job, for example transporting people or goods, carrying out on-site inspections or surveys, there is often a need to share resources that are stored centrally and taken into the field, such as vehicles, rugged tablets, instruments or special tools. From mobile or desktop, our resource booking system can also be used to simplify procedures and efficiently coordinate the division of these resources.
If your organisation has unique remote working arrangements and you are looking for functionality in your workplace management system from cost-effective software, we encourage you to contact our expert team as you can tailor the application to suit your bespoke requirements. If our app doesn’t currently provide a function you need, we would be happy to explore developing it. Matrix Booking is continually being improved by the team, who welcome new opportunities to innovate.
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