Earlier this Spring, Atlanta experienced a commuting nightmare when a fire led to the collapse of a major highway overpass that carries 250,000 daily commuters. With repairs expected to last several months, the city mayor and the Georgia Department of Transportation quickly began urging commuters to seek alternative ways to get to work – including telecommuting.
Whether it be a big storm or a traffic accident, unforeseen factors can take a major toll on elongating employees’ commutes and ultimately hurt a company’s productivity by keeping workers away from their desks. In response, many companies have started introducing remote working policies for the first time so employees can keep working even when the unexpected happens.
But how can organizations successfully implement remote work policies? For starters, communication is key.
While giving employees a telecommuting option can increase productivity, these efforts could end up dead on the vine without the right communication tools and strategy in place. Cloud-based unified communications (UC) allows employees to conduct business from anywhere, even if natural disasters limit them to their homes. It also provides continuous communication service that is rarely (if ever) down, whether skies are stormy or clear. However, implementing the right communications technology is critical for empowering employees and creating seamless work transitions between the office and their home.
While unforeseen obstacles can serve as a catalyst for introducing remote work options, once the foundation is in place, companies begin to see many areas – beyond productivity – where flexible work options can have a positive impact on the company more broadly. In fact, allowing employees to telecommute even half of the time can save a company $11,000 per person per year. And according to Fuze’s recent Breaking Barriers 2020 report, 85 percent of employees find work from home options appealing.
From cutting costs to improving employee satisfaction, there are many benefits to creating remote work options for organizations in today’s digital world. We can now add “working through the storm” as one of them, providing a strong alternative to help companies prepare for when the unexpected becomes reality.