A rapid rise in the percentage of people working remotely actually follows a trend toward work-from-home that’s been occurring for years now. In fact, LinkedIn reports an almost 80 per cent increase in job postings over the past few years that mention workplace flexibility.
The big question right now is around whether companies are sufficiently prepared for their staff to work from home — whether their employees have the tools they need to be as happy, “in touch,” and productive working remotely as they are in the office.
For businesses, offering remote work options may be as much a matter of retaining top talent as keeping pace with technology and with competitors. Millennials and Gen Z will have become the majority (59 per cent) of the workforce in 2020. These individuals are future-facing and expect workplace flexibility.
“They aren’t going to roll over and do things the old way just because a company prefers it that way,” said Jabra VP of Sales Mark Derby. “Things are trending strongly toward the virtual office, and businesses must give their people the tools they need to be successful wherever they’re located.”
The potential benefits of offering employees a virtual work option are many, including 29 per cent happier workers, and a $2,000 per year cost savings compared to in-office staff. Yet many businesses aren’t totally convinced virtual workers are as productive as in-office workers, or that virtual staff are able to communicate and collaborate as well as if they were in office.
The tools are the key
The question is no longer if work-from-home is something companies should pursue but how staff can work outside the office without any dropoff in their productivity. In many cases this comes down to the tools that are being provided to employees.
“We’ve been offering these kinds of product solutions for years now,” said Derby. “We understand that businesses don’t want a gap between what their in-office and their virtual workers experience and produce.”
Working remotely can mean working on an airplane, at an airport, or in some other public place where there is noise. But noise can also be a factor at a home office, particularly when other family members are around.
Jabra’s Evolve Series of headsets offer best-in-class noise cancellation to aid employee concentration in open environments where noise may be an issue. “Clear sound makes for better communication,” said Derby, “while active noise cancellation helps professionals get into the zone and stay there.”
To further solidify communication and collaboration between employees working remotely, companies may want to take a look at Jabra PanaCast, the world’s first intelligent 180-degree Panoramic-4K plug-and-play videoconferencing solution. Said Derby: “PanaCast gives organizations yet another key piece of what’s an ever more challenging work-from-home puzzle.”