Covid Lockdowns Having A Disastrous Effect On Local Gold Coast Businesses. Businesses Fear That They Might Not Recover Or Bounce Back From The Latest Lockdowns.
We have all gone through another Covid Lockdown again recently. At Greendata we have seen firsthand the disastrous effect it can have on a Gold Coast business. It has caused a substantial loss of income and, in some cases, even permanent damage to the business and the worst-case closure of good local businesses. It’s so sad
Smart Businesses Are Adapting And Future Proofing. We Are In The Early Stages Of A Technology Revolution In The Work From Home Space.
Greendata have been proactive and have been helping many local Gold Coast businesses become more flexible and ready for anything by showing them how they can provide a Work From Home option. All the while maintaining the above industry security standards and providing your staff the tools to work effectively and efficiently.
74% of surveyed companies plan to institute some form of remote work for their employees on a permanent basis.
I understand this might not be an option for every business out there and I do feel for those businesses. However, it is a fantastic option especially for office-based businesses or as we have seen in many cases it is an option for part of your workforce. It means at the flick of a switch your business can pivot from an office-based business to a flexible business that can work from anywhere anytime, minimising the disastrous effect these lockdowns are having on local Gold Coast businesses like yours.
Remote Working Doesn’t Work, You Can’t Trust Your Staff To Work.
Tech has made working from home an option for some time, but managers worried employees would goof off if they couldn’t be physically supervised. When the pandemic forced employees to stay home and productivity remained steady – in some cases, it even increased – the savings looked much more attractive. When employees work from home, employers save on office space and the expenses that go with it. Employers can forget about location and recruit employees from across the country.
A survey by Hays of 2500 “working professionals” in November last year found that 61 per cent believed a hybrid working model was the most productive.
A recent study showed that when employees are given the flexibility to choose when and where they work, the percentage of productivity rose by 19%.
94% of employees surveyed in a Mercer study reported that remote work was either business as usual or better than working in the office.
Advantages Of Working From Home
With increasing numbers of employees working at home – or using home as a working base for at least part of the week – it’s clear there are a number of benefits for business, such as:
• Financial Benefits – savings on office space, office supplies, utility bills and other facilities. According to Global Workplace Analytics, a typical company can save around $11,000 per year for every employee who works from home at least some of the time. Staff may also be able to take advantage of the tax relief available from the Federal Government. Staff who work from home half time can save around $4,000 per year. Petrol, car maintenance, transportation, parking fees, a professional wardrobe, lunches bought out, and more can all be reduced or eliminated from your spending entirely.
• Flexibility And Agility – home working enables more agility and flexibility in working arrangements. With employees no longer tied to an office, they may be better placed and more willing to work flexible hours such as earlier or later in the day or even at weekends. This may help you meet certain business needs eg if you are trading with customers residing in a different time zone. It also gives the opportunity to keep trading even during times of forced strict Covid Lockdowns.
• Improved Employee Retention – home working can help retain employees as the flexibility of home working can help them meet childcare needs, reduce their commute and enable them to fit their work around their personal life. Being allowed to work from home, staff will also feel increased levels of trust from their employer, which can contribute greatly to staff loyalty.
• Attract New Talent – home working can be offered as an incentive to come and work for you helping you to attract new talent to your business. Even just offering the option to work from home will give you an advantage in the job market over competitors that don’t offer home working as an option to their staff.
• Increased Productivity – due to fewer interruptions, which would normally occur in an office environment. By contrast, working from home allows for a quieter environment that can facilitate more focused work. You may also find that employees will work longer hours as they can also use their time saved from commuting to start work earlier, later or both. When done right, remote work allows employees and companies to focus on what really matters—performance.
• Increased Staff Motivation – by working from home staff will feel more trusted by their employer as the working relationship isn’t as closely monitored and employees are allowed a degree of autonomy to get on with their work. Staff will also be happier developing a home working routine that suits them better and this can contribute towards them feeling more motivated to give their best.
• Improved Staff Health And Wellbeing – working from home eliminates the need for a commute to work that can be stressful to your employees. Time savings such as this also enables staff to get extra health benefits such as additional sleep, spending more time with family, exercising or preparing healthier meals.
• Convenience – you may have staff that do a lot of visits to customer locations and are therefore not regularly in the office. Allowing them to base themselves from home may be more convenient and leads to further time and costs savings.
• Better Work/Life Balance – working from home can help employees improve their work-life balance eg staff that would have had to commute will now be able to use that time for themselves giving the basis for a better work-life balance. Staff are also able to fit in household chores around their working day giving them more free time in the evenings eg loading or unloading the dishwasher or preparing dinner on their lunchbreak. Remote, flexible workers tend to be happier and more loyal employees, in part because working from home has been shown to lower stress, provide more time for hobbies and interests, and improve personal relationships, among other things. Working remotely can give employees the time and environment needed to make healthy choices.
• Technology Makes It Easier – the internet has made it possible for staff to be continually connected to the office. Tools such as Microsoft Teams have made communication between colleagues and teams much easier and at times can lead to more efficient and effective meetings.
• Less Sickness Absences – staff are more likely to feel happier and more energised working from home and therefore less chance of their immune system being negatively impacted by burnout. Also, the fact that employees are working in isolation there is less chance of infections spreading as would be the case within an office environment.
• Less Need For Regular Holidays – working from home can feel like a break from the office even though staff are still working. Working from home staff will feel more energised and will be able to spend more time with their family and therefore will not feel the need to take as much leave..
• Less Commute Stress – The average one-way commuting time is 27.1 minutes—that’s nearly an hour each day spent getting to and from work, and it really adds up. Wasting time commuting is just one of the downsides of getting to and from work. More than 30 minutes of daily one-way commuting is associated with increased levels of stress and anxiety, and research shows that commuting 15 kms to work each day is associated with health issues like: Higher cholesterol, Elevated blood sugar, Increased risk of depression. Ditching the commute helps you support your mental and physical health.
• Improved Inclusivity – Remote work enables companies to embrace diversity and inclusion by hiring people from different socioeconomic, geographic, and cultural backgrounds and with different perspectives—which can be challenging to accomplish when recruiting is restricted to a specific locale that not everyone wants, or can afford, to live near.
• Positive Environmental Impact – Employees who work from home reduce greenhouse gas emissions by taking cars off the road. Employees are making environmentally sound choices—like opting to use less paper and monitoring their air conditioning, heating, and lighting.
• Impact On Sustainability – Remote work supports a variety of sustainability initiatives, from economic growth and reduced inequalities, to sustainable cities, climate change, and responsible consumption.In fact, the world is already seeing markedly reduced pollution, congestion, and traffic during the pandemic response, and being able to experience the results firsthand may be a driver of remote work for everyone involved.
• A Customizable Office – Being able to create a comfortable home office is an excellent benefit of remote work. Whether you simply want a more ergonomic chair or you have health issues that require specialized office equipment, you can set up your home office and make it whatever you want.
There is definitely increasing pressure these days for employers to offer ‘working from home’ options. The pressure may come from a number of sources – from employees demanding more flexible work practices, from employers who find changes in their business mean more flexible hours are required, and even pressure in terms of facilities and space to meet the demands of their customers.
I Would Love To Future Proof My Business! But I Have No Idea Where To Start?
What I often hear is “I need to get everyone up and running right now!” If you’re in a rush because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a case of making sure all the bases are covered and developing the best solution for your requirements. I see too many businesses that give up because they don’t know where to start or they just let staff work from home with out any thought or precautions in place. We show businesses how to:
Get the right security
You’re likely accessing your organization’s data and systems remotely, so be secure. Take all the protective measures you would when working in the office, and more.
Get the right software
Picking the right software is going to make your life, and that of your team, so much easier. It’s possible to handle project management, communication, payroll, accounts and file sharing remotely, via cloud-based services and apps.
Get the right hardware
Cloud-based software goes a long way to helping people work from anywhere, but they still need a decent computer or device to access it. If your workers don’t have a laptop, for example, you might consider purchasing one for them.
The Future Is Now Here. Don’t Let Your Business Get Left Behind.
Will you be fully returning to the office? Will you leave the office behind and embrace a fully remote workplace? Or will you offer your employees the choice to work where they want, building a hybrid workplace with both fully remote and in-office options?
There is a “global groundswell” for a sea change in the way people work post-COVID-19. the momentum for change is now unstoppable. I don’t see us snapping back to the old ways of working. Don’t let your business get left behind.
Greendata Specialises In Work From Home Solutions.
Emily Richardson is a member of an accounting firm. Richardson has unexpectedly found herself as a trailblazer on the path to a reimagined workplace. “It was challenging, but we were provided with the equipment and software and apps by Greendata we needed, and it turned out quite well – I felt connected, engaged and was able to complete my duties as per normal. “
It is our job to stay on top of all the latest tech, all the threats and find the best hardware, best software, best tools and configurations in Microsoft cloud to protect your critical business data and let your business run effectively and efficiently. Let us take all the worry and stress in setting up remote work options for your business so you get back to running your business.
“The work force that fuels tomorrow’s small businesses may largely be a stay-at-home crowd.”
Don’t work harder. Work smarter. Put the technology to work for you. We do!
If you are interested in putting your business in the best possible situation then please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information or book in a time.