Remote working is fast becoming the future of business. According to the Australian government’s Productivity Commission, Census data from 2016 suggested that around five per cent of workers worked from home instead of commuting on census day while, in 2019, around eight per cent of employees had a formal work-from-home arrangement and worked a median of one day per week from home.
More recently, in the wake of the global pandemic, the Australian Institute of Family Studies found that 67 per cent of employed Australians were sometimes or always working from home in June 2021.
The trend of remote working has been steadily increasing as ideas around the importance of working in offices versus from home have shifted. There are pros and cons for each option but many businesses have found that the combination of the two workstyles together can increase employee satisfaction, without compromising the quality of work outcomes.
However, with every new trend comes challenges. As remote work becomes more widely practised, there are several barriers to productivity that remain for enterprises that do not invest enough time, money, or consideration into a remote worker’s environment and equipment.
Many employees cite emotional concerns like feelings of isolation or lack of motivation to complete work tasks at home as being a key barrier. However, according to the NSW Productivity and Innovation Council, some of the most common challenges are related to mobile devices and digital connectivity.
If home-based equipment fails to support a seamless interaction, remote workers can find it difficult to collaborate with teams when outside of the office. Out-of-date microphones, glitching cameras or poor screen resolution can inhibit remote workers participating fully in online collaborative meetings. Substandard equipment means they could fail to receive messages or misinterpret instructions, which may lead to errors in their work or impact their productivity.
Worker performance is also significantly impacted by online connectivity issues, low-quality software and hardware, and security. A worker’s productivity will not be able to hit company standards if their devices struggle to connect to the internet or cannot access internal corporate systems or messaging programs.
Workers cannot be expected to produce quality outcomes if their supplied mobile device cannot reliably and successfully connect to the internet, access company systems without crashing, or maintain a suitable audio or video connection for collaboration.
Working from anywhere is only viable if employees can be as productive from their home office as they are in the corporate office. If their devices are preventing them from working seamlessly, this can have serious ramifications for worker output and, potentially, negative implications for a company’s future.
Blue Connections works with organisations to help provision their workforces with the right devices to maintain productivity with an increasingly remote work culture.
To learn more about Microsoft’s Surface portfolio and how Blue Connections can help your organisation meet its remote working objectives, download our whitepaper or contact the team today.