There seems to be a common misconception within the business world that remote means “far away.” In traditional terms, yes, it does, but in the modern world, with all the technology we surround ourselves with, how far away is remote, really? If an employee can join a meeting in London via an HD webcam in New York, is he really remote? No, they’re remote working.
To some extent, we all work remotely anyway. It’s impossible to attend every meeting you’re invited to, so occasionally you have to dial in. Even when you use online banking, that is a form of remote working, and how much easier is that than going in to your local branch? That said, if you’re going to make it work for you, there are some important considerations.
Flexibility is definitely important when considering remote working. If I have a meeting in central London that I need to be present at, it is not always practical to travel in to work then back in to central London. Mindjet is flexible in allowing us to work in the most productive way possible, be it using the desktop software in the office, or the iPad app at home, we can make the most of our working hours.
Having this flexibility doesn’t just make me more productive, it also helps my colleagues as I’m much more used to them at home at the end of the phone and answering emails than I am sitting in a traffic jam on the M25.
It’s Not for Everyone…
It’s important to understand that remote working isn’t for everyone. Marissa Mayer’s recent decision to stop Yahoo employees working from home was considered by some as a controversial one, but was clearly deemed to be appropriate in Yahoo’s circumstances. If a remote working policy wasn’t implemented correctly, you can end up with the risk of a breakdown in processes and communication, or worse – having some employees taking advantage. When a company is trying to grow, this can be counterproductive.
But it Can Work for Some…
Ultimately, a remote working policy varies from business to business. For some, it just won’t work, for others it’s more productive, but for most it’s something in-between. Working remotely does require an element of trust between the employer and the employee, though that trust can be built up and earned through working in the office to start with.
Financially, it seems like a sensible idea. YouGov research has found that working from home could save companies £34 billion. The average business leader estimates they could lose 46 desks in the office, dramatically reducing the size of the space needed and the amount of electricity and resources used. Even the little things like stationary and peripherals count!
While brainstorms and impromptu hallways meetings bring inspiration, it’s not impossible to find ideas elsewhere and they certainly shouldn’t be limited to the office. Mindjet facilitates collaboration and idea-sharing, whether people are using their laptop in the office, the cloud at home, or mobile apps on the Great Wall of China! After all, inspiration can be found everywhere!