Business leaders and employees have an ever-growing range of technology tools at their disposal to facilitate mobile and remote working. Using smart, connected devices, it is now possible for individuals to carry out employment tasks across a range of locations - not merely tied to a desktop PC in the office.
But what are the benefits of anywhere working? Is it just a case of offering employees a change of scenery, or is there an actual business case for enabling working on the move. Around a billion people around the world are now able to conduct work tasks away from their business headquarters - suggesting there is truth in the latter and anywhere working has real, tangible benefits.
Take a look at our top five advantages of anywhere working:
1. Increased productivity
Employees are able to carry on working even when they are away from the office, using mobile broadband or Wi-Fi services to access emails, files, documents and even unified communications. No wonder so many businesses are equipping their workers with smartphones, media tablets and dongle devices. So when workers are travelling to meetings, embarking on the long commute home, or even staying in a hotel room, they are able to carry on being productive. The link between a presence in the office and effective work has been broken, which gives firms the opportunity to increase output and boost profitability.
2. Better customer service
Wherever employees are, they are able to remain in contact with customers - there is no need to be in the office to take a call or answer an email. This can help customers receive responses to their enquiries more quickly, which can have a positive impact on satisfaction rates. With consumer' expectations continuing to rise, this could be all-important. Mesmo Consultancy reports that 25 per cent of people expect a response to emails within an hour, and more than a third within two hours. If your business is unable to provide a high level of customer service, it gives rival firms the opportunity to steal your customers away.
3. Improved employee morale
Employees are eager to use their own mobile devices for work purposes, in and out of the office. Embracing the bring your own device trend may help keep them happy, while also enabling individuals to be more productive. Even where company-issued devices are being used, the availability of mobile tech can still improve life for workers. The ability to maximise the use of their paid time, working while travelling etc, can help them manage their workload more effectively - something which could take the pressure off.
4. Increased efficiency
The advent of mobile technology in the workplace - designed to facilitate anywhere working - gives businesses the chance to reduce the number of costly, energy-using and space-consuming desktop PCs. They can potentially get away with using less floor space, which could enable a move to smaller, cheaper premises. Businesses can use hot-desking to maintain a larger workforce in a smaller business environment, with lower overheads - helping to improve the bottom line. With more employees using mobile solutions on the move, electricity bills could be slashed.
5. Business continuity planning
Should there be an IT outage at company HQ, the availability of mobile technology can allow workers to move off-site and carry on working regardless. Rather than everything coming to a standstill until normal services resume, employees can simply head home, or to another location with 3G or 4G connectivity - or Wi-Fi - and use a smartphone, tablet or laptop to be productive. This ensures customers are not affected by the outage. The same logic applies should a company be hit by fire, flood or some other unexpected disaster which could hamper work in the office.
Posted by Alex Boardman