Remote Workers And Flexi Hours Is It Beneficial For Employers?

This article from Forbes outlines how the workplace is changing. It establishes a simple dichotomy between the “past” and the “future.”

It celebrates the evolving nature of work as an overwhelmingly positive thing, foreseeing the traditional hierarchical office structure fading into obscurity, while working hours become more flexible.

But are these changes necessarily to everyone’s advantage?

There are 2 points in particular we might disagree with on certain grounds.

From working at the office to working anywhere

Is the idea of being able to work from anywhere really that appealing? When you own your own company, the idea that you can carry your business with you is reassuring. It means you don’t have to be in the office to know how things are going.

But does it also mean that you don’t ever really switch off from work? By carrying your office with you on your smartphone, for example, you’re carrying the stress of the office around in your spare time.

You could opt to place a buffer between you and your business when you’re out the office. For instance, a call answering service can handle incoming calls on your behalf, no matter what time of day, where you are or what you’re doing.

You could specify when calls should be transferred through to you, for instance, only if they’re from a particular person or are of a certain nature. This way, your business can stay open without eating away at your personal time.

Flexible working hours

We’re just going to say it: whatever happened to the dream of the 40 hour week? This is possibly an outmoded concept, as social media, email and phones are driving constant and mobile communications.

When you own your own business, you make the judgement call. When you need to be in the office is when you work in the office. Otherwise, you can work from anywhere. This is a great advantage.

But the article focuses on employees. Every manager and business owner will have their own approach to leadership. Some will encourage people to work when best suits them. But most prefer an office-based approach, with employees working fixed hours so that they are always contactable during the working week.

This is fair enough.

Is it fair enough to expect your employees to continue working “from anywhere, at any time” after they leave the office?

Perhaps your employees are as invested in your business as you are. That’s amazing. But you can’t expect more from them than they can realistically hope to give once they’ve left work.

You can keep your working hours flexible by enlisting the help of an outsourcing company. Outsourcing your telephone answering would mean you always have someone available to talk to your customers or clients.

Outsourcing your social media gives similar benefits, eliminating the hassle of finding and posting content, while keeping you on top of customer engagement no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

What do you think?

Is change inevitable and should it be embraced? Or is this just blue-sky thinking, optimistically neglecting to take in the world outside the “cloud”?

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