There are more mobile devices on this planet than there are people. And that fact is affecting both personal and professional lives across the globe.
Indeed, the world of work is changing. Millennials are forcing many of us to re-examine our careers, our businesses and how we work. No longer are we willing to accept a life trapped in a dingy office, tied to our desks, wishing for sunlight. Now we expect work to be flexible and mobile, allowing us to work anytime, anywhere.
Mobile working can bring unexpected benefits to your business. These surprising effects include:
- Increased productivity. Home workers rank their productivity at 7.7/10 as compared to 6.5/10 for office workers.
- Fewer sick days. Employees that work from home only take approximately half the sick days of their office-based colleagues.
- Improved employee retention. Employees are happier to work out of the office. It gives them more flexibility and a better work-life balance, meaning they're less likely to quit.
A wider talent pool. A flexible workplace opens up job roles to people who may not be local, meaning your potential talent pool grows exponentially. You now have access to worldwide talent, not just the people that happen to live nearby.
The case for mobile working is solid, but when it comes to actually running a business you need to know more about the practicalities of being remote. Indeed, you can't make mobile working reality without a plan. You need to know exactly how to turn your business from a static relic of days gone by to a modern, dynamic business that attracts the best talent.
Here’s five tips for running your business from anywhere.
1. Use mobile-friendly hardware
It may seem obvious, but if you want to run your business remotely you’re not going to do it with just a desktop computer. You need to invest in things like: laptops, tablets, phones and other mobile devices. These improve the mobility of your business while ensuring both you and your employees have the tools for success.
2. Embrace the cloud
Did you know 88 percent of UK businesses have embraced the cloud? Cloud adoption is the cornerstone of building a truly mobile business. Only a minority are not taking advantage of this powerful technology. Through the cloud you can:
- Collaborate with Office 365
- Access emails anywhere, on any device
- Access documents and work on any device using OneDrive for Business or Dropbox Business
3. Outsource your IT support
When you run your business remotely, it doesn't make sense to have your own onsite IT support team. Why? Because you need to be able to access support regardless of location, time zone or operating system.
Outsourcing your IT support helps you save on salary payments, and it means you don’t have to spend time and money onboarding, training and equipping a team. Instead, you can get support whenever you need it as a service. Some providers, ourselves included, also provide local support for staff based in other countries.
4. Provide cyber security training
In 2016, cyber crime affected over 2.9 million UK companies at a cost of £29.1 million. This shows that regardless of whether you have an office or not, cyber security awareness is vital within any business. When you work outside of the office on dodgy public WiFi or an unsecure device, the risk of a cyber attack increases. This is why both you and your staff must be aware of cyber security best practices both in the office and on the go.
Like to know more? Here’s 8 free cyber security training resources for your business.
- How to keep data safe in your overseas office
- 3 IT mistakes to avoid when opening an overseas office
5. Use software to keep in touch and on track
Even without a centralised office, you need to keep in touch with your colleagues and clients to make sure everyone is happy and everything is running smoothly.
- Use Basecamp, project management tool, to keep track of all work and discuss everything related to the job at hand.
- Jump on Microsoft Teams to quickly message your team and discuss the lighter things in life. After all, all work and no play make for a dissatisfied workforce.
- Get on Skype for Business to talk face-to-face, host meetings and more. Whether you’re having a chat or delivering a presentation, Skype for Business has everything you need to communicate effectively. This is invaluable, as the simple act of looking someone in the eye, even on a screen, builds trusts and develops relationships a lot faster than audio or written communication.
- 10 top tips for improving office communication
- 3 ways cultural differences can hurt IT management
Get your head out of the office and into the clouds
That dream you always had of seeing the world is possible, especially when you can keep working while you do it. Technology and working patterns are adapting, and you can turn your business into a modern, productive mobile business without breaking a sweat - all while seeing the world and living life to the fullest.
You just need the right guidance to help you get there.