Are the days of the office numbered?


Date: 17 January 2019

Are the days of the office numbered?The way we work is undergoing a revolution. Rules are being re-written, as bosses begin to understand the importance of flexible offsite working and the multitude of advantages it offers.

While turning your back on an office may sound unusual, many businesses have a team of employees working from the comfort of their own homes or those of their clients. With an increasing number of people working away from their desks for days at a time, it's time to ask whether society has outgrown the office for good.

Shaking things up

The thought of a business without an office may sound bizarre to some, but it's quickly becoming common practice. Statistics from UpWork has shown that managers were three times more likely to agree that offices will become 'occasional anchor points' rather than 'daily travel destinations', compared to answers given just three years previously.

The same survey revealed that well over half of hiring managers believed that remote work has become more commonplace over the same amount of time, reflecting its rise in popularity.

One of the most significant developments in the world of offsite working is the introduction of specialised technology for managing remote workers. Thanks to systems such as Totalmobile, workers can access everything they need straight from their mobile devices. With smart collaboration features using cloud technology, staff no longer have to be sitting at a computer to get their jobs done.

This begs the question: if employees can safely access company information from their homes, are offices now redundant? Cutting out the office, or at least reducing its size, can save a significant amount of money, so it's definitely worth considering.

Employees value flexibility

While the popularity of offsite working may surprise some, others are rejoicing at the fact it's becoming more common due to its many benefits. This flexible method of working offers staff an improved work-life balance, allowing them more time to deal with their personal responsibilities without sacrificing their careers.

Flexible working has become increasingly important to employees, with one survey of 9,700 employees concluding that it was the main benefit that they looked for in a job. In fact, flexibility was so important to them that a lack of it was listed as one of the top reasons they would quit their job.

Businesses that don't offer a degree of flexibility may find themselves losing valuable employees to companies that do. Retaining staff should be a priority for all businesses, as replacing them can be costly. A recent study from Oxford Economics revealed that replacing an employee earning at least £25,000 costs companies an average of £30,614. From general admin to training staff up to an effective level, the little costs really do add up.

Whether it's a few days a week or working from home full-time, reducing the amount of time spent in the office is key to retaining highly-skilled members of staff.

Benefits for managers

It's not just workers that benefit from offsite working, either - managers that offer it report a significant increase in employee productivity and loyalty. A 2017 YouGov survey found that 89% of employees considered flexible working to be key to boosting their productivity levels.

Managing clashing responsibilities at work and home can result in burnout, which is guaranteed to have your employees feeling frazzled. Not only will the quality of their work decline, but they may also need to take time off from work to recover. Allowing your employees to work away from the office can help them juggle these responsibilities, cutting the time they waste commuting.

Although some businesses may require key staff to drop into the office, much of the work we do there can be conducted at home just as efficiently. Having an offsite workforce allows employees to widen their recruitment net to find the most skilled candidate - no longer needing someone who's able to travel to the business premises on a daily basis.

The significant improvement in collaborative technology allows managers to keep an eye on their offsite staff's progress on a task, removing any concerns that offsite workers do less work than those in the office.

With a plethora of impressive benefits, it's no wonder why businesses are turning away from the typical ways of working for something a little more flexible.

Copyright © 2019 Article was provided by Rachael Matthews.

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