In 2015, the Office of National Statistics, made a bold prediction. Come 2020 half the UK workforce will be working remotely. Their deductions came from evidence of 4.2 million people adopting ‘out-of-office’ working. Over the course of 4 years, flexi-time has risen by 12.5%. Cambridge University had conducted a similar study between 2001-2012. Research found that those working in traditional environments, had declined to 66%.

At the beginning of last year, the ‘Economically Active Population’ was at 33.4 million people, (Gov.UK). Can we expect 16.7 million people to be working ‘out-of-office’ by next year? Realistically, no. Yet could 16.7 million people have consistent access to technology which facilitates remote working? Absolutely!

Why is that important I hear you ask? Consider the modern market. Technology, as a whole, is a defining factor to consider when analysing operative environments. It is important that both internal and external environments are considered. Adopting an enthusiastic approach to Digital Transformation strategies is crucial. This is due to the economic status, and the accelerative rate of growth in technological evolution. Often, making the move to a Modern Workplace ensures continuation of the company lifecycle. Be it in the form of; cost-savings, return-on-investment, furthering the competitive edge, or attracting talent. And the technology behind remote working is at the heart of the Modern Workplace.

The Cloud enables all organisations to operate securely. Security Management is advanced on the Cloud. Set multi-factor authentication, and file encryptions when attempted access by unauthorised users. Assign control measures for mobile devices which can be implemented in the case of a device being lost or stolen. This is great for the prevention on security breaches. As well as compliance with GDPR legislations. Intelligent security measures also offer further incentive for new clients.

Enterprise-level business solutions are more accessible to small and medium businesses than ever before. An innovative productivity suite offers a wealth of benefits to companies wanting to make remote working more effective. G Suite, and Office 365 are classic examples of an advanced solution.

Maximise communications with Microsoft Teams. Boost co-authoring using @ mentions, and comments. Gain access to company data with Microsoft SharePoint, and so so much more. Organisations can also act on the advanced analytics. Data gathered can state performance, activity delegation, conference data, and task management. Machine learning can also be used to increase efficiency across all these areas. This universal oversight is vital, when formulating future goals, or setting KPIs. As well as setting good practice standards for operational activities.

Remote working also offers massive benefits to recruitment and retention. Organisations can access expanded talent pools. Sourcing skillsets and experience that previously would have been lost opportunity. Flexibility is also massively important to job seekers. ‘The Future of Work’ report by Airbnb found that 77% of respondents, and 84% of millennials state flexible working is important to them when considering applying for a role. Organisations that place ‘remote working’ on a shelf, are drastically inhibiting recruitment prospects.

If you’re in need of a great solution to promote flexible working within your organisation, talk to us about Office 365!