Organizations everywhere are realizing the many benefits of remote work, or virtual offices.
Releasing the bonds of brick-and-mortar offices has 5 mammoth-sized benefits not to be ignored. (Pay attention to #1.... it's a biggie!)
Counting down from number 5, the reasons you should telecommute or get your organization set up as a virtual workplace are:
#5: Expanded reach.
By facilitating remote access, you are opening your reach for customers, students, employees, or partners from any geographical location, expanding your reach and growth potential exponentially.
#4: Business continuity.
Having workers in multiple locations ensures that operations can go on no matter the time of day or environmental factors that could otherwise impede business.
Fluctuations in staff size, seasonal volume changes and mobility of locations are normal in most industries, and remote work makes an organization able to flex with the changes as needed.
#2: Save money. A lot of money.
Did you think this would be the number one reason? It used to be. Who can deny that saving on overhead would change profits and long term viability dramatically? With a remote-enabled workforce, you will save on rent, supplies, equipment, utilities, insurance, etc., etc., etc. But there's a much bigger reason than the
mighty dollar than you need to telecommute now. It's....
One often overlooked factor that has been brought to our attention like a ton of bricks to the head in the
last couple weeks is the health factor.
If you are thinking that this is just media-fed panic, consider a few facts:
- The typical office worker comes in contact with 10 Million microbes every day
- Viruses survive on surfaces for 40-350 hours
- MRSA, can survive on surfaces 6 weeks to 7 months
- Americans touch about 300 different surfaces every 30 minutes
- 80% of infections are spread by touching surfaces, NOT coughing or sneezing!
- Germs can survive up to 3 hours on your hands (if they're dry... longer if they're moist!)
- The average office worker touches their face 15-23 times/hour
- Losses linked to sick days/absenteeism cost US employers $225.8 billion annually
If the surfaces you touch on any given work day are in public areas such as transportation, coffee shops, offices, etc., those surfaces are covered with the microbes of everyone who has touched them for the last several days.
For the sake of argument, however, let's put the morning commute aside, and assume you make it to work with absolutely no exposure to the public via transportation, coffee shops, or office lobbies. Perhaps you have teleportation abilities and arrive squeaky-clean to the safety of your office, cubicle, or desk.
Sorry, you still aren't safe.
There's a veritable cesspool of germs waiting for you at your desk.
Although the carpets may be vacuumed and the trash bins emptied dutifully by your office's cleaning crew, there are over 25,000 microbes per square inch languishing and patiently waiting for unsuspecting fingers on every office desk phone.
Need some perspective on what 25,000 microbes per square inch really means? Well, the average toilet seat only contains 49 microbes per square inch. My trusty calculator tells me that means your office equipment offers
you 510 times more opportunities for grossness than a public toilet seat.
It's definitely time to telecommute.
For organizations that have been operating for years from a traditional work space, implementing a telecommuting option may sound like a big project. But it doesn't have to be.
There are innovative communication solutions available that only require an internet connection to function from anywhere. Not only do they allow for geographic freedom, but many offer tools and features that make operations more efficient and productive than ever before.
Talk to a neutral, vendor-agnostic technology consultant to find out what solutions are an option for your needs. An experienced consultant won't be pushing any one brand or selling you on tech you don't need.
With a brief consultation, you will be given the means to virtualize your office, keeping your workforce healthy and productive from the safety of their own homes.