Despite the way cloud based solutions have helped play a huge part in working from home, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that 87% of workforces here in the UK still carry out their duties at their employers offices.
With our little island becoming more and more crowded it is therefore of little surprise that the ONS estimate that the average commute for a worker has lengthened by 9 minutes since just over a decade ago.
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In 2003, the average UK commute was 45 minutes – now it is 54 minutes, whilst the world average is about 40 minutes. This wasted time equates to 11 weeks a year commuting, based on a 37.5 hour standard working week.
For those of us passionate about all the cloud has to offer it is worth highlighting that, research by Stanford University in the US has shown that remote workers are 13% more productive and take less sick days than those who commute.
However, like many championing cloud based solutions for the future, we feel the benefits to the country would be greater if the mobile workforce was properly empowered.
a more focused workforce is often a happier one
Without the energy sapping commute, a more focused workforce is often a happier one. The mentality we have in this country is to believe that more hours worked is the answer, a mentality that is stuck in the 1990s.
In Sweden, in the past few weeks, a six hour working day has been introduced. Studies have shown this to not affect productivity and create a happier workforce with less conflict too.
Proper cloud based answers lie at the heart of a brave new future, where the workforce can spend more time with their families or pursuing other interests.
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The impact of working from home is worth potentially many, many billions to the well-being of economies.
So, why with so many cloud based solutions able to analyse productivity and connect remote workforces hasn’t the cloud been embraced more?
According to Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University Management School has said that one of the main reasons employers don’t embrace home-working is simply a lack of trust.
He says, and we agree, that the problem is often trust and the lack of awareness by businesses to manage people who work remotely. Fundamentally, a homeworker should be judged on results, and not how long they are at work.
Richard Branson has in recent months announced he will be giving his Virgin employees’ unlimited vacation. Evernote and Netflix, two very successful newer companies are doing the same.
These progressive companies know it’s not all about quantity, but quality. With trust in the cloud growing though we feel this bright new future is viable in the not too distant future.
We think in a generation or two’s time the workforces of the world will look back on this period of time and wonder why we travelled to places to do work that we could do at home.
the world will look back on this period of time and wonder why we travelled to places to do work that we could do at home
The technology is here, but trust in workforces and management skills to manage remote workforces have to be addressed before this working revolution is properly embraced.
The cloud has so many of the answers, but for many employers they still have to fill in the gaps elsewhere.
We hope they will soon because as countless studies show the pros of empowering the workforce to be more flexible far outweighs the cons.