It's no secret that modern business is moving in a more flexible direction.
Research released by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) earlier this year to celebrate National Work from Home Day highlighted how an increasing number of us are opting to fit our working lives around our domestic priorities, whereas perhaps, in the past, this might not have been the case.
According to the figures, more than four million people now class themselves as homeworkers, while the proportion of those who take a more malleable approach to where and when they carry out their employment duties has increased by ten per cent over the last seven years. Even now, this blog has been written from the comfort of a dining room table instead of an office desk!
The benefits of encouraging a flexible working culture are plentiful for the company and its personnel. For a start, staff are happier, which will naturally suit both parties. However, in addition to this, businesses are able to react to customer demands or enquiries over a longer period of time during the day, while workers see less of their wages going towards the costs of commuting.
It's a win-win situation and easy to see why more people are choosing to go down this route. The trend is only likely to become stronger since the introduction of new legislation that gives every employee the right to request the opportunity to work flexibly after they have been with an organisation for six months. Those in charge can only reject such a plea if they have reasonable, business-based grounds to do so.
While there has always been a convincing argument for the adoption of such practices, in the past, there have also been concerns over the potential disadvantages that having a mobile workforce can bring.
For example, there may be a tendency for some employees to attempt to coast by without feeling their manager breathing down their neck every day, while other staff may become detached from the organisation's operations, due to the fact there is little opportunity to participate in events like company meetings, training and development, and project updates.
How can teleconferencing help?
However, teleconferencing is a tool that businesses can rely on to counteract these worries and ensure that an enterprise can get the best out of its flexible workers.
Firstly, free conference call facilities like Buzz Conferencing are great for enabling homeworkers to keep in touch with the office. You could even organise a daily or weekly time slot that all flexible personnel can attend to report on the progress of their work.
Similarly, management may need to speak to the collective flexible workforce at the same time in the same way one would hold a regular company meeting. This way, they do not feel as though they are being left out of the loop.
While it is accepted that many businesses are happy to trust their employees to get on with their daily duties away from the watchful eye of the higher levels of the office hierarchy, those who still have their reservations can use teleconferencing to maintain the application of pressure – when they feel it is required, of course!
One of the great benefits of teleconferencing is that it allows you to conduct meetings and other exercises like training courses or brainstorming sessions that you might otherwise have to travel to and from. For flexible workers, this is useful as it still enables them to maintain the freedom of where and when they do their job, without having to continually think about how they are going to get from A to B within the constraints of their nine-to-five hours.
This flexible approach to operating a business is only going to become more prevalent among organisations, so employers need to be thinking now about how they can accommodate their staff. Teleconferencing is the best option, see for yourself!