Here, there and everywhere: the rise of remote working, and what it means for your business
In our last blog we looked at millennials, born between 1981 and 1996. This time we examine one of this century’s most significant cultural changes, which is affecting organisations of all kinds: remote working. Millennials are the driving force behind it.
Why remote working?
People often assume that remote working has become more popular simply because of the internet and the new forms of communication that it created. And it’s certainly the case that these make remote working much easier. But the real underlying drive is a much deeper cultural shift: many people now have completely different expectations and desires for their career and their workplaces.
For many in the baby boomer generation, work existed in an entirely different sphere from your personal life. You wouldn’t necessarily expect your employer to closely share your personal values, for example. Structures were often hierarchical, and workplaces firmly fixed.
Millennials take a completely different approach – and it is already transforming organisations around the developed world. As we saw in the last blog, millennials want to work for companies who share their values, and they prefer flat structures with a lot of collaboration. In return, they accept that we no longer have a big barrier between work and personal life. And as everyone becomes increasingly concerned about the environment – particularly younger people – it seems ever more appealing to take away the need for everyone to travel to and from an office every day.
An opportunity for businesses
All of this presents big opportunities for employers that are able to grasp these changes and move with them.
Millennials are a huge asset for organisations of all kinds. Given an environment in which they can flourish, they can work with a passion and commitment that might surprise many in their parents’ generation. So employers who can provide the right sort of workplace – both practically and culturally – will be able to tap into that potential. Those that can’t will be left behind.
Remote working can also be much more efficient than traditional methods. Freed from the grind of the twice-daily commute, people are more motivated, happier, and more focused. All of that creates the right environment for productivity, creativity, and loyalty.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that remote working hinders collaboration. With modern communication tools, it makes no difference where people are, as long as they have a good internet connection. Here are some examples.
Three remote working tools that make your organisation more productive
Storing your software and your data in the cloud means that anyone can access it from anywhere. It’s the first building block in any system designed to use remote working effectively.
For millennials in particular, the mobile phone is the center of all communication. There’s a huge number of mobile apps available, offering everything from file sharing to video calling and instant messaging. Presence information is particularly useful – it lets you see whether someone is available without you having to call them first.
Again, there are dozens of these on the market, designed to help people collaborate on different sorts of work – visual design, written documents, and so on.
At Silver Cloud, we can design a complete system that does exactly what your particular organisation needs, and which fits with your structure and your ways of working. We’re also very much in tune with millennials. Over half of us are aged under 40, including our founder and CEO Tony Quinn. This strongly influences our worldview, and indeed our whole business focus.
The world is changing…
…and that’s a good thing! Employers and business leaders who can see these changes, and work with them, will be the success stories of the next few decades.
In many ways, the challenge is the same as it has always been: attract the right people, and enable them to fulfil their potential. Today, millennials and remote working are two key parts of that process.
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