Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: The world as we know has changed fundamentally in terms of life and labour in the last few months. ‘Remote work’ which was previously known as telecommunicating, has achieved rapid growth. The reason for this development is the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to organisations taking the stand of ‘business as unusual’. This unusual way of things has found clear reflection in the gradual hushing of bustling metropolitan areas, government-mandated lockdowns and stringent municipal measures. The workspace has blended into the home space of the modern office worker. The result? ‘Remote work’ has become the buzzword today, by claiming the pride of place in many organisations’ plan of action, from small scale organisations and start-ups to big companies.
Research shows the possibilities and challenges arising from remote work –
- Remote work has gradually seen a positive development in its favour over the years, which is furnished in a survey by Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs, indicating that remote work has seen 91 per cent increase over the last decade.
- An estimate by the International Labour Organisation states that amongst the high-income countries, about 27 per cent of the entire workforce could be capable of working from home.
- The 2020 State of Remote Work Report by Buffer.com put together survey results where a few compelling points emerged in favour of remote work as well as challenges faced within. Flexibility seems to be one of the main plus points, whereas collaboration was marked as a challenge.
- The flexibility of work is held in high regard by a massive chunk of the workforce as can be inferred from the Gallup research study as well as the Gartner Report.
- The Gartner Inc. also published its survey findings, which went on to reveal, that 74 per cent of the industry leaders were planning to move at least 5 per cent of their on-site workforce to the remote-working module post COVID19.
The above points stand testimony to the fact that the global pandemic established a successful runway for remote work to become an integral part of the new normal. This is further supported by the consistent trends of massive conglomerates such as Twitter that have already begun to roll-out remote-work policies, in favour of protecting and ensuring the health of their employees. While the move may have the security of individuals at the heart of it, there are many reasons to inspire smaller and mid-sized enterprises as well as start-ups to take note and begin to implement the same practices, if they wish to support and maintain business continuity in this renewed industry.
The start-up ecosystem is known to be dynamic to adapting to change, owing to the fact that many professionals and employees herein are highly flexible, engaged and open to acclimatising themselves with the trends in the industry. Similarly, here are a few ways that organisations such as these could further their business continuity through remote working.
Digital Assimilation of Every Employee
Consistent and well thought out upscaling of the operational and functional ecosystem and IT infrastructure for organisations will allow them to offer secure, consistent and the correct kind of remote IT support to their employees. This will be a step further in the direction of creating a workforce that considers the digital environment as more comfortable. By conducting collaborative meetings and presentations online, hosting webinars, workshops and brainstorming sessions could become great opportunities for remote access to up the ante of engagement and productivity on part of both the employer and the employee.
Working remotely comes with a massive possibility of driving successful cost-efficient measures. The fact that there would be no unnecessary expenses owing to the commute, infrastructure and utilities, it would mean for more space to reach out and focus on employee productivity and development. Through remote connectivity, companies could drive up agility in terms of solving any issues that an employee might face while working from home or elsewhere. Similarly, when resources would be integrated into the cloud, they would become more accessible, adding to flexibility. Challenges could be solved in real-time thereby offering the potential for enhancing productivity.
Increased Crisis Aversion and Customer Satisfaction
Working remotely while having secure access to the organisation’s data points, resources and tools is the starter pack of an effective work environment. This immediate and consistent access can open up possibilities to track and mitigate any and every concern ranging from structural challenges to cybersecurity issues, and can further be resolved within and outside of the physical boundaries of an office structure. Furthermore, leaders of remote working organisations can successfully begin to offer their services in a more streamlined manner to their clientele that may comprise of not only tech-savvy but also tech-shy customers. Therefore, they may increase brand equity and loyalty far and wide within their end-user base.
As the world tilts on the axis of the new normal, it becomes further imperative for small enterprises as well as startups to re-evaluate, retain and further recalibrate their business model as they blend in remote connectivity and remote access, which are both well on their way to becoming the threshold of the tomorrow, that has its roots in the new normal.
Krunal Patel is the Director and Head of Business, India and South Asia at TeamViewer. Views expressed are the author’s own.