In Australia, 74% of people consider flexible working to be the new normal and 71% of businesses have a flexible workspace policy. In building a case for the NBN in 2010, the Australian Government set a goal to double the rate of teleworking over the decade. As digital capability transformed the way we live inside and outside of work, it shaped our behaviour and expectations.
Tradition can be hard to break, and after more than a century of time-bound labour, employers are slowly adapting to the demand for flexibility in the way work is conducted and evaluated. Businesses are under more pressure than ever to deliver a compelling value proposition while keeping overheads to a minimum. As digital trends shape customer and employee expectations, attracting and retaining talent brings new challenges.
The demand for remote working comes from employees seeking a better work/life balance and greater control of their lives – not as a radical overhaul of workplace philosophy, but simply as a continuation of their experience outside of work.
Realisation of this demand is enabled by the evolution of connectivity. Faster internet speeds, secure networks and the advent of 5G provide the reliable foundation on which to base business collaboration. Features such as HD video conferencing, secure file sharing and call flip provide the mobility for employees to collaborate from anywhere.
Enabled by technology, the evolution of workplace roles leads to the untethering of workers from their desks, as increasing numbers of tasks can be completed remotely. The practical benefits such as cost savings, access to a wider talent pool, mobility, greater productivity and efficiency make resistance to the shift counterintuitive.
The results are primarily people-focussed, centred around empowering employees to operate at their most productive levels. After all, good management is about creating the space for employees to thrive and deliver results. It’s about creating a win-win situation for the business and the customer – whether that customer is internal or external.