Remote Working is Here to Stay, Thanks to the Cloud
Remote working won’t disappear with the pandemic. Thanks to the cloud, it’s a reality that will stay.
Around a third of the world’s population has been in some form of lockdown since March, and millions have adapted their working days to a new normal. For many, this has meant learning to work from home offices. As many lockdown restrictions begin to be lifted, a high percentage of workers may find themselves unwilling to give up the new way of life they have adopted. They have grown accustomed to the flexibility that working from home offers.
The trend of remote working is not new. Over the past twenty years, the number of people working from remote locations has increased steadily, thanks to more affordable technology and evolving attitudes to the work-life balance. Due to this, as lockdowns began to take effect earlier this year, many organisations found the transition to a model of remote working much easier, while others struggled.
However, this new normal of remote working has become a commonplace practice in a short space of time. Even among those organisations who struggled to implement such practices, they have grown accustomed to it. What is it that has allowed for such a drastic shift in our working lives, and maintained productivity through the pandemic?
Consumer technology has progressed to the point where this kind of new work culture was an inevitability, even before the lockdowns began. Cloud-based computing and workflows mean that employees can work from home without sacrificing productivity, and often to even higher standards. The lockdown appears to have accelerated this change, leading to some companies such as Twitter announcing that they will allow their employees to work remotely even after the pandemic is over.
The cloud has made these possibilities a reality. Cloud computing has taken a major role in the workflows of most organisations over the past decade, leading to many already choosing to work remotely. So how exactly has the cloud enabled us to change our work lives so drastically, and what has led to it possibly making work easier, safer and more productive?
Collaboration has always been a necessity in many workplaces. Until recent years, the most effective, and really the only way to work in teams was in offices and shared physical spaces. The main benefit of the cloud is the fact that by its very nature it is accessible from anywhere.
This means that employees no longer have to rely on cumbersome email chains to collaborate remotely. Multiple employees can work on the very same document at once making notes, changes and suggestions all together, with changes happening instantly.
In many ways, this method of working can increase productivity as well as the actual quality of the work. It means every member of a team has direct access to live data and can adjust immediately without having to take time out to update their colleagues.
While security is a major concern for every organisation and in every sphere of work, cloud-based working has never been more equipped to deal with these concerns.
One of the main causes of data breaches and security issues has always been human error. This can be mitigated through tools which are built directly into cloud working systems.
For example, each employee can have their own unique user login, allowing them access to only the documents and files they need to perform the task at hand. Along with encryption and password protection, this is an extremely effective way to ensure data security.
As well as these measures, the cloud platform providers are often the best ones suited to keeping those same systems updated with the latest security procedures. This also means keeping backups of every file in case of data loss. This kind of consolidation of multiple security procedures is a huge benefit of cloud-based working and can lead to reduced running costs while gaining increased protection.
Remote working means employees can work from anywhere. It may seem obvious, but it is an important point with many benefits. Working on the cloud opens up the possibility that members of the same team may well be on opposite sides of the country, or even the world, and can still work together simultaneously on the same project file. Distance and location no longer have to be barriers preventing the merging of multiple talents.
With remote working, we also begin to see the potential of fewer sick days being needed. Employees with disabilities that hinder their ability to travel into an office or other workspace can now be fully involved in projects through working remotely.
Along with this benefit, the mental health benefits of working from home are potentially huge, with equally huge impacts on the quality of work that is produced. Surroundings have a great effect on a person’s mindset. The ability to work in whatever surroundings an employee chooses will undoubtedly lead to the increased health and wellbeing of employees, which benefits the entire organisation.
As we touched on in the previous point, the ability to work remotely opens up the possibility of increasing the pool of candidates from which an employer can hire workers.
It used to be that a company was limited to whoever lived within the same region of the business. Those who were willing to commute could do so, but it was a significant sacrifice for many, often leading to daily travel times of up to two or three hours.
As we have known for a long time at My Team Abroad, cloud-based working means that distance and location no longer have any meaning. It is becoming commonplace to put together teams of people made up of employees from multiple areas, and even multiple countries. These new technologies and working methods mean that they can work as closely as though they were sharing an office, utilising video conferencing, file sharing and live editing of shared documents.
This expanding of the horizons of employments means that talent no longer has to be wasted because of the lottery of location. Skills and ways of thinking from a diverse array of people and places can now be integrated quickly and efficiently, without the time and cost of commuting having an impact.
The ability to quickly access resources and communicate fluidly both within the team and among the wider organisation means that even with large amounts of employees, there are no extra costs. Costs that would traditionally be associated with hiring office space, buying hardware and all the extra costs that are involved.
Covid-19 has changed the working lives of millions. It has put our routines, habits and systems of work under a stark spotlight, and made us think hard about what needs to change. Many have been forced to work remotely for the first time. Organisations that have never done so before have had to adjust and put these systems in place. Are they likely to want to change back to the old ways?
With all of these benefits to cloud-based working, from increased productivity to an actual reduction in operating costs, perhaps it is not surprising that many are opting to make these changes more permanent. At My Team Abroad, we are already perfectly placed to help businesses adjust, and put together teams that are ready for the new world of remote working.