Increase competitiveness with remote work? Yes, but with brains!

Business Frau am Tisch in ihrem Home Office

Especially since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, terms such as remote work and home office have been used more and more in our everyday lives. Business trips to customers and personal team meetings were largely eliminated, instead meetings were increasingly held via video conferences using Zoom, Skype, Jitsi, Officery CONNECT & Co. The switch to working from home did not only happen in the economic sector, but also in the educational sector. In order to make homeschooling possible, the lessons were also shifted to video conferences, the same applied to the online lectures of the universities.

While only about 4% of employees worked from home before the crisis, the Number of remote workers increased to around 2020% in 30, while in 2021 around a quarter of all workers will be working from home. Since remote work - in addition to health aspects - has many other advantages, the potential is far from being explored or exhausted.

In this article you will find out what remote work is, how remote work can increase competitiveness and how modern workplaces ensure the positioning of your company.

Table of Contents

  1. What is remote work?
  2. Remote work vs home office
  3. Benefits of working remotely
  4. Remote work: The future of modern workplaces
  5. working remotely? Yes, but brains!

What is remote work?

Remote work means nothing other than that employees of a company and the self-employed can do their work from any location. The communication consists mainly of telephone calls or online meetings.

As a result, all work that would otherwise arise in a regular office on the PC can completely independent of location accomplish. There is no fixed workplace here, which is why remote work is often referred to as mobile working spoken.  

Companies face the challenge that not all work can be carried out remotely. However, the pandemic in particular showed that jobs that are based on direct customer contact, for example, can also take place via video conferences. Even recruiting has changed in that HR Online Job Interviews carried out via Zoom & Co.

Remote work vs home office

As similar as the terms remote work and home office sound, they are very different. It is therefore all the more astonishing that even in many job advertisements there is not enough differentiation between these two forms. But here there is above all legal differences.

This is how employees work in Home office on one permanent job, which is located in your own four walls. The employer is legally obliged to set up this home workplace in such a way that it follows certain criteria. So if an accident happens in the home office, in most cases it will be classified as an accident at work.

In contrast, there is at Remote Work no permanent job. Here employees can work from somewhere else every day. However, the employer or company has no control over the local working conditions. From a legal point of view, there are still a number of unresolved problems.

Benefits of working remotely

For most people, remote work initially only appears to be beneficial for the employee. But this is not the case: Companies can also benefit from remote work, thereby increasing their competitiveness and ensuring a good positioning on the market.

1. Higher productivity

Contrary to the common assumption that employees and the self-employed are not as productive with remote work as office workers, remote work creates an environment in which most employees feel comfortable.

This eliminates very long commutes, while the actual work is not interrupted and disturbed by colleagues or daily (and sometimes) unnecessary meetings.

2. Effective time saving

Millions of people commute from home to work and vice versa every day. Calculated over the month, this results in a lot of hours that simply go to waste.

Remote work saves exactly this time and can instead be used to complete tasks.

3. Health improvement

If employees, employers and the self-employed have to commute less, they are usually allowed to sleep in a little longer.

The food is freshly prepared in your own kitchen, while breaks can be taken as needed and independently. This promotes the general health and satisfaction of all employees.

4. Better work-life balance

Many employees and entrepreneurs have families. If the long journeys to work are eliminated, the care of one's own children can be planned and carried out much more flexibly and with less stress.

This drastically reduces the physical and psychological stress, which again contributes to the health and satisfaction of the employees.

5. Optimal cost savings

Above all, remote work can save employees time and stress. Remote work is also worthwhile for employers and companies from a financial point of view.

With modern workplaces, significantly fewer rooms and the materials and equipment required for work have to be made available.

6. Good for the wallet and the environment

People who work from home use significantly less fuel than they would otherwise need on long journeys. In addition, exhaust emissions, which are mainly produced in traffic jams, are reduced.

If you add that to several million employees in Germany, the result is a fairly impressive sum that is good for the environment and your wallet. 

These benefits can Increase the competitiveness of a company in the shortest possible time, because not all companies have yet been able to discover and implement the advantages of remote work for themselves.

In addition, through this competitive advantage, automatically generate more sales while allowing companies to differentiate themselves from their competition.

Remote work: The future of modern workplaces

Despite the fact that remote work is becoming more and more common, this modern approach has not really caught on in Germany. Only very few companies concentrate their core business in remote work, but it is mainly small and medium-sized companies.

Unique big companies are very skeptical attitude towards this modern way of working, because a conservative basic attitude towards work and management methods usually still prevails there.

Here must entrenched customs, structures and procedures are broken, to create space for developments that are already within reach and cannot be dismissed out of hand.

Remote work is nothing less than a new mindset

As already mentioned, large companies in particular are struggling with the new remote work mindset. For example, most companies will Working hours of the employees recorded from arrival to closing time.

Also, employees in conservative companies are usually subject to one strict performance control, which puts a lot of strain on many employees. This is mainly due to the misconception that employees only bring the commitment that drives the company forward through tough leadership and regular monitoring.

However, there are already several studies that indicate that productivity does not have much to do with "served" hours or a "tough management style". A study even states that only around 3 hours of an average day are used productively in the office.

So executives, entrepreneurs and employers need to change their attitude if they want to increase their company's sales with remote work. Furthermore, the aspect of mental health the employee further to the fore. This determines how productively the employee can work in the home office and has an impact on the general work-life balance.

working remotely? Yes, but with brains

Remote Work is the optimal solution for more flexibility, productivity and turnover. Many therefore describe remote work as the future of the modern working world, the advantages of which are obvious - for employees, employers and the self-employed alike.

This has resulted in numerous success stories with remote work, such as at the American software provider Buffer: There, more than 75 employees work together in a wide variety of time zones exclusively via remote work and thus generate sales that are impressive.

Here it is not only important THAT remote work exists, but HOW it is carried out and lived. But what exactly does a remote worker look like? How do employees work remotely and what do companies have to do specifically so that remote work works at all and contributes to increasing sales?  

How remote work can be used to increase sales

A remote worker needs a certain level of discipline. Since - unlike many conservative companies - no one sits behind a remote worker and watches their fingers, companies must be able to trust that the tasks will largely be completed independently and in a disciplined manner.

The ideal remote worker should also have a certain level of software and hardware experience. Cloud-based tools in particular are not familiar to everyone. If the hardware goes on strike, remote work doesn't have an IT department in the next room that can "just" solve problems. It is therefore definitely advantageous if the future remote worker can fix minor hardware or software errors themselves and use the most common tools. It is also particularly important that the future remote worker appears professionally in video conferences and can also confidently represent the company remotely. We have written a separate blog post on this, which five best tips for a professional video conference summarizes. This not only addresses which equipment is required for smooth video communication, but also how the equipment, e.g. B. light and webcam should be positioned best.

The modern leader

But how can employers make the best use of remote work? In order to be able to track project progress, for example, there are now numerous tools such as Google Docs or certain project management tools. This allows updates and notifications tracked, controlled and also corrected .

Many successful companies that rely almost exclusively on remote work also comply every day “stand-up meeting”, in which remote workers, office workers and managers can exchange information via online meetings and find out about the current status of projects. Companies that only recently suddenly had to switch from personal on-site work to 100% home office or remote work are primarily faced with the challenges of one secure GDPR compliant video conferencing software to evaluate and find the right video conferencing equipment.

In order to be able to use remote work to increase sales and be productive, companies need to understand remote work, lead their remote work team and be able to provide remote workers with a modern workplace.