The benefits of cloud technology are often discussed in terms of, well, technology: its vast capacity, the easy scalability, the effortless overnight upgrades. But its advantages aren’t solely confined to the technical realm. New research from Xero surveyed 230 South African accountants about the way they use cloud technology; confirming that, in many respects, it’s as much about lifestyle and workstyle.
Consider remote working, an increasingly popular global trend and one which combines both. Xero’s report demonstrates that 53% of respondents claimed they could perform their duties more effectively if they were allowed to do so from beyond the office.
In short, remote working…works. Here’s why you should consider implementing it into your business.
The benefits of flexibility
Allowing employees to work from home, on public transport, from the beach, or anywhere else isn’t just a nice perk to offer alongside Casual Friday and free breakfast. It provides distinct, tangible advantages to your business.
These benefits can include:
- Higher productivity. Here’s the thing about the office: it’s a breeding ground for wasted time. Workplace inefficiency takes a number of forms: from that watercooler chat that goes on too long to the commute that’s disrupted by a railway strike. Telecommuting liberates employees from these distractions – allowing them to focus on the tasks that really matter. This improves your overall productivity.
- A more attractive professional environment. Younger employees have come to expect a degree of flexibility from their office environments, and older employees (who tend to have families and obligations to take care of around the house) can benefit from it too.
- A healthier, happier workplace. Working from home decreases stress, and it’s easy to see why: no rushing to get on the bus, in the car, or on the train; no need to conduct that intensive, multi-stage grooming regimen; no fear of lateness.
So why, given the obvious benefits of remote working, is South Africa lagging behind on this matter?
When asked where they work, 75% of accountants said they’re based in the office – and only 13% work from home. A further 11% perform their duties from their client offices, while a mere 1% work while travelling. Some 12% claimed they’d be able to work more effectively if they could do so from their clients’ premises.
Embracing remote working
South Africa’s businesses should offer remote working to as many staff as possible. While it won’t be possible for everyone (a security guard, for example, should generally be on premises) many members of the team could benefit from having the option to perform their duties from afar.
And that’s really all it is: another option – one that costs your business little-to-nothing, but could make all the difference in the world to your team. The modern employee needs a modern workstyle, one that aligns with their professional and personal requirements alike. A great employer will give them room to succeed, wherever they are.
You can view the findings of Xero’s report in more detail here.