The 2019 Global Workplace Survey found that 2 fifths of all professionals consider their daily commute to be the worst part of their job. The report also found that 40% of people dread coming to work every day. Combine the stress of having to sit in a cramped train, on an uncomfortable bus, or in frustrating traffic with the threat of unpredictable weather, and it’s easy to see why flexible working is growing so popular.
The idea of commuting to work is bad enough when the weather is fine. However, if you’ve got a long or complicated drive to worry about, that stress only becomes more significant when the sun turns your car into a mobile sauna, or the snow leads to slippery or dangerous roads in the winter. As companies continue to discover the vast and varied benefits of remote working, over 52% of commuters in London have the potential to work remotely, and the numbers are going up.
Keeping Employees Safe, Motivated and Productive
For a while now, advocates of flexible and remote working strategies have drawn attention to common advantages of working away from the office, such as:
- Achieving a better work/life balance
- Reducing the amount of stress or pressure experienced in the office
- Allowing for freedom in schedule for personal reasons
- Supporting a unique lifestyle
- Eliminating distractions common in the traditional office
However, few people have considered the benefits of remote working from a health and safety perspective – particularly when it comes to dealing with the unpredictable weather that’s so common in the UK. During the summer, overwhelming heat waves can leave employers paying over the odds for air conditioning, while employees struggle to remain comfortable in the blistering heat – mainly when they’re commuting too and from work.
In the winter, heavy snowfall, storms, torrential rains, and even rough winds can make the roads and other transportation systems incredibly dangerous, increasing the levels of stress that employees feel when it comes to getting to and from work.
The Power of Remote Working
In the past, an uncomfortably hot day or dangerous winter weather would mean that employers would need to choose between putting a staff member’s health and safety at risk or experiencing costly downtime. However, in the age of cloud computing and collaboration tools, there’s no need to make this choice. Employers can install cloud-based UC solutions that allow their team members to stay in the safety and comfort of their own home when the weather is causing problems, while still contributing to the workforce.
Indeed, tools like RingCentral Office and Glip mean that team members can access the same software and crucial solutions they use at work, at home. This means that you get the same level of productivity from your employees, without putting them at risk. Studies even show that the option to work from home can make your employees more engaged, productive and efficient. What’s more, the freedom to work away from the office when necessary also means that your valued employees are less likely to leave your organisation and seek work elsewhere.
Not having to deal with the risky commute to work will save your employees time, stress, and effort. Plus, it gives you a chance to show your team how much you value and respect them by going above and beyond to keep your employees safe. Today’s teams don’t have to choose between safety and comfort and a productive workforce. The cloud means that your employees can continue contribute, come rain, sleet or snow.
Contact RingCentral today to find out more.
Originally published Dec 31, 2019, updated Jan 16, 2023