Will Coronavirus Change The Business World Forever?
As more and more businesses test out their remote work capabilities during the coronavirus pandemic, the more significant potential there is for it to change the nature of the working world forever. Are you experiencing the benefits of remote work first hand?
Ever since the Internet was adopted worldwide, remote work has been a possibility. A reliable phone line, a well-maintained business email account, and remote access to business data mean that an employee could be anywhere with an Internet connection and still get their work done.
But, for most of the professional world, remote work hasn’t been seriously considered until now. The coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses to send their employees home and figure out how to keep them productive while they’re there.
If remote working has been a possibility for so long, why have businesses waited until the current coronavirus pandemic to put it to the test?
Key Obstacles To Overcome With Remote Work
There are several reasons why businesses haven’t bothered to try a remote work model until it became necessary:
- Conventional Working Culture: Many people still feel that work has to get done in an office, or at least, not at home. The assumption is that remote employees aren’t productive and take advantage of the lack of supervision.
- Cost Of Migration: Any change in a business’ operating structure will incur some additional cost, both in time and money. For many companies, if it’s not strictly necessary for them to invest in remote work, won’t bother.
- Security & Compliance: For highly regulated industries like healthcare, finance, and government, the prospect of providing remote access to sensitive data is too much trouble. It’s one thing to keep an office secure and compliant – doing the same for multiple private residences is much more difficult.
That said, remote work has its benefits too…
Why Would Businesses & Employees Prefer A Remote Work Model?
Outside of the apparent health benefits during a pandemic, more than anything else, remote work is about convenience:
- Remote workers don’t have to spend time commuting to and from work each day, the extent of which can often be a deal-breaker for potential hires when considering a job.
- Employers don’t have to invest in the space or resources for their entire staff – that means saving money on office space, hardware, break room amenities and more.
- Businesses get access to a skillset and personnel base far outside of what you could call the “commute radius”; whether it’s 30 minutes from the office or two hours, at a certain point you wouldn’t be able to hire someone you’d like to because they live too far away for it to be feasible.
What Other Benefits Does A Remote Work Model Offer?
Like all remote models supported by the cloud, hosting your data remotely and having your staff access it remotely delivers several key advantages when compared to the conventional in-office working model.
- Minimal Maintenance: By hosting a user’s software, applications, and data externally in another organization’s server room or data center, the onus of maintenance is shifted to that organization. Instead of having to maintain server space, execute updates and patches, address and eliminate issues, replace failed hardware, and other tasks associated with maintenance, someone else takes care of it all. It’s a comprehensive model with few downsides for the user. You get all of the benefits with none of the downsides, meaning no money has to be spent on maintenance or the personnel to handle it.
- Convenient Access: A hallmark of cloud solutions, one of the critical advantages of utilizing remotely hosted solutions is that it allows for easy, anywhere access to software, applications, and data. Regardless of where the user is (at the office, at home, in transit, on vacation, etc.), or what device they use (desktop PC at work, personal laptop at home, tablet or smartphone on the go), so long as they have an Internet connection and their credentials, they can access work whenever they need to.
- Cost Effect: Accessing software via a remote hosting service is undeniably more affordable because it allows the user to avoid costly software licenses that are based on a concurrent user model. It’s worth noting that while some remotely hosted applications will still charge per user, the user’s business will not have to try to estimate how many licenses will be needed for the entire staff, which eliminates guesswork and keeps expenses low. Furthermore, there’s no need to pay for all of the infrastructure required to host software locally – servers, cabling, network materials, etc. – or the staff to handle its maintenance.
Only time will tell how many businesses continue a remote work model in some form once the pandemic concludes. If nothing else, this has been a valuable opportunity to test the potential of the remote work for businesses that never would have otherwise.
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