The remote work revolution in Australia: Can your business reap the benefits?
The way we do business is evolving. We’re no longer tied to rigid rules of defined offices, permanent desks, or the 9-to-5, 5-day work week.
The technological transformation for businesses has brought about one key change in office culture: remote working jobs.
But we can’t just send workers out to remote locations, whether it’s home, the next town over, or further afield and expect business to continue as usual. There has to be structure in place.
When handled correctly, remote work can achieve amazing things for your business, like access to a wider talent pool, and happier, healthier staff.
What is remote work?
In a nutshell, remote work is any type of work that can be done independently of a defined office space.
In practice, it’s employees working from home, whether it’s one day a week, full-time, or outside of typical office hours. It is virtual teams working together from different sides of the country, or across the globe. It can even be the roving freelancer, or the digital nomad.
These days, the rise of super-fast internet connections and cloud computing is allowing more businesses to explore the option of remote work jobs and see for themselves the benefits of virtual teams.
Industries best-suited to remote work jobs
While the concept of remote work is exciting, it’s not a concept that suits every industry. While this may change as technology evolves, the industries where remote work is currently most beneficial are:
IT. Cloud computing and native interconnectivity allows direct access to computers, regardless of where they are in the world.
Marketing. Roles like graphic design, social media management, copywriting, SEO, and photographer, can all be undertaken outside the confines of a rigid office environment.
Business administration. Remote administration is gaining traction across the globe, with many businesses choosing to outsource their day-to-day administration roles to offshore businesses who specialise in these remote work jobs.
Software development. With the right computer and software, and a fast internet connection, software development can be undertaken anywhere.
Online stores. With the evolution of the internet, setting up and managing an online shop has never been easier.
Benefits of remote and virtual teams
Lower office costs
Fewer dedicated desks means less office space required, and less money spent on facilities, so you can safely downsize your office without sacrificing your human capital. Remote roles, particularly those undertaken by freelancers, can reduce hiring costs too.
Attract better talent
Remote work allows access to a wider, deeper talent pool. Look at tech giant, Atlassian. Spurred by struggles in hiring the right staff locally, a recent focal shift towards attracting remote workers has seen an expansion to nearly 8% of its workforce undertaking remote work jobs. It’s an attractive option, evidenced by receiving 25% more applications for remote working roles than office-based ones.
Offering remote work opportunities provides flexibility that’s particularly attractive for skilled professionals. It demonstrates that they control their schedule, and that their role is to deliver results for your business, not simply as a cog in the machine.
Given its independent nature, the real benefit of remote work is that it allows your staff to take control of their work hours, their routines, and their work output. This empowers them to take accountability for their work, which leads to increased engagement, in turn delivering increased productivity.
It also allows you to leverage the skills of freelance workers, who can deliver specialised support and ease the burden on your dedicated team members.
Happier, healthier staff
One of the big perks for staff is the improved work-life balance they enjoy from remote work jobs. They’re able to control their schedule, and actually make time for important personal tasks. This allows them to enjoy improved mental health (as they don’t need to find time to get away from work—they can simply go), building in time for improving their physical health.
Less staff turnover
Remote work is a perk that keeps staff engaged. It enables them to live their lives, while still engaging in long-term employment. It allows for a better life, and engenders more trust and respect in the company they work for. This leads to reduced staff turnover.
Remote work only succeeds with the right tools
For remote work and virtual teams to succeed, the right structure needs to be in place. Luckily, there is a veritable wealth of tools that enable this.
As well as email, you’ve got video calling programs like Zoom, and communication and messaging tools like Slack and Google Hangouts, to bridge the growing distances.
The rise of cloud computing has delivered a raft of online collaboration tools with real-time updating, such as the Google suite, Basecamp, and Asana.
Project management tools
Software like digital whiteboards, or platforms like Trello, keep your teams on track.
Just because your staff are separated doesn’t mean you should lose access to, and accountability of, your team’s budget. Online finance tools like Airwallex virtual cards are designed to empower your staff to make purchasing decisions, wherever they work.
How Airwallex benefits virtual teams
Airwallex virtual cards are easy to create—they can be up and running in seconds, allowing you to bring new staff onboard faster. You can issue your staff with individual virtual cards, as opposed to physical payment cards, so you can assign these despite any geographical differences.
They’re more secure than physical payment methods, as there’s no physical card to lose, and they remove the element of risk from online payments, acting as a buffer between you and your suppliers.
Setting spending limits means staff are empowered to work within their own budgets, while still holding accountability for the broader budget.
For an extra layer of oversight, you can enable expense management features to review and approve purchases in real time and capture receipts directly into Xero.
Best of all, these cards have zero international transaction fees, so can easily be used by staff both domestically or internationally.
Remote work is here to stay
Remote work in Australia is increasing, and smart businesses are looking to take advantage of this paradigm shift.
Airwallex offers a business account built for the modern business, which will increasingly rely on a remote workforce. Sign up today to book a demo to see how Airwallex can help your business take advantage of the remote work revolution.
Related article: The benefits of virtual debit and credit cards
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