Can Managed IT Services Improve Your Remote Work Strategy?
March 28, 2022
The global pandemic brought massive changes to the way we all work. While “work from home” programs had been steadily gaining acceptance in the years leading up to the outbreak of COVID-19, the pandemic turned what was once a “nice-to-have” work perk into a must-have business necessity.
Let’s take a dive into what remote work is, why it’s a necessity for modern offices, and how managed IT services could help empower your remote work strategy!
What Is Remote Work?
Remote work, also known as “work from home” or “telecommuting,” is the practice of allowing employees to perform work duties from their home (or other remote location) via telecommunications solutions.
Instead of forcing employees to drive to the office directly, employers with a remote work infrastructure and strategy allow their workers to have more flexibility in their schedules. This brings a lot of benefits for both employers and employees!
What Are the Business Benefits of Remote Work?
The benefits of having a remote work infrastructure set up are numerous—both for employers and for employees. Some of the biggest benefits include:
1. Recruitment Benefits
A lot of workers are getting more than a bit tired of the daily grind. The stress of having to commute to work (either sitting in heavy traffic or leaving at an extremely early hour in the morning to beat the rush) is a commonly-cited complaint for workers.
Additionally, a given market may not have a large population of people with the skills your business needs. When you’re limited to hiring people who can make the commute to your place of business, you might have to either miss your recruiting goals or make do with the talent available in your local area.
According to ZipRecruiter data, “jobs specified as ‘remote’ receive 300 percent more applicants than jobs that are not.” This demonstrates two things:
- Just how strongly modern workforces favor jobs that allow them to skip the commute.
- How much easier it is to fill a given job opening when you can draw on talent from all over the country versus workers in your immediate geography.
By enabling a remote work strategy, you can make filling your job openings much easier.
2. Reduced Employee Stress and Increased Productivity
Many companies that provide a “work from home” option for their employees on at least a partial basis report increased worker productivity. According to a survey conducted prior to the pandemic, nearly two-thirds (65%) of workers were “more productive in a home office” than they were in a traditional work setting.
Meanwhile, the same survey indicated that nearly one-third (32%) of workers were about as productive at home as they were in the office. Only three percent of workers reported being less productive at home than they were in the office.
For many in the workforce, not having to sit in traffic to get to the office by 9:00 am is an enormous time-saver that allows them to get right to work as soon as they’re ready. This helps to alleviate stress so workers can focus on getting things done. It also helps to reduce employee burnout—which is a major factor in voluntary employee turnover (i.e. people quitting).
3. Improved Employee Retention
Employee churn is a constant concern for any business. The cost of attracting a new employee to fill a job vacancy naturally varies by role, but a common estimate says that recruiting a new person can cost almost 25% of that role’s annual salary.
While some churn is unavoidable as employees age out of the workforce, find new opportunities elsewhere, or experience significant changes in their personal lives, excessive amounts of “voluntary withdrawals” from the workforce can severely impact your business.
High turnover can impact revenue, increase recruitment costs, damage workplace morale, and even affect overall productivity. This can cause the actual impact of turnover to have a higher price tag than even the 25% of annual salary common estimates claim.
Even when you can fill an open position quickly, a brand-new employee fresh from high school or college just isn’t going to produce the same results as the 15-year veteran who just left.
By improving an employee’s work/life balance and removing a major source of stress (the daily commute) remote work programs help businesses improve their employee retention for many key roles. Also, by offering this benefit to employees before competitors do, workplaces can help prevent key staff from getting poached by seductive offers from other companies that have a solid remote work infrastructure in place—and often for a fraction of the cost per employee that renegotiating their compensation packages would be.
Considering that many businesses are setting aside 3.9% of their payroll for wage increases to try to improve retention, continuing to offer (or expanding) your remote work infrastructure could be well worth the time and resource investment.
Using IT Service Management to Fuel Your Remote Work Strategy
Even as the COVID pandemic passes and things start returning to normal, employees are unlikely to fully return to the old way of doing things. Between the pain being felt at the pump due to increasing gas prices and the mass resignations that occurred in 2021 (especially among the tech and healthcare industries), workers are more comfortable walking away from their jobs than ever before.
So, implementing a “work from home” program—or expanding your existing program as much as possible—is no longer just a “nice to have” bonus for your employees. Now, it’s a vital business strategy for improving employee retention and productivity.
Where do managed IT services fit in with your remote work strategy? Can’t you simply buy or subscribe to a few ready-made remote work solutions like videoconferencing, productivity, and work chat software and call it a day? Well, the issue is that remote work is often more complicated than that!
Different aspects of your business processes may require different kinds of software—and not all software applications have ready-made application programming interfaces (APIs) to make integrating them into one smooth workflow easy. Also, choosing the best software solutions to meet all of your specific needs can be difficult when you have to consider all of the solutions you’re already using and how they would interact with the new software.
This is where a fully managed IT service can prove indispensable to your remote work strategy’s success.
With a dedicated team of IT experts supporting your remote work strategy, you can:
- Avoid the Hassle of Optimizing Software Solutions In-House. Picking and choosing between all of the different software solutions out there to find the one that is best for your remote work strategy is a pain. With a fully managed IT service, you can skip the hassle and use the best solutions offered by your IT partner—and have them optimize each solution to provide the most streamlined and efficient workflow possible for your remote workers.
- Quickly Troubleshoot New Remote Software Integrations. Integrating a new piece of software often requires significant time and effort simply to identify potential program bugs and issues caused by the API used to interface it with your existing software. This normally takes a lot of time, work, and resources for an in-house dev team working with the software for the first time. However, with a third-party team who has run integrations dozens or hundreds of times between different programs, you can benefit from their extensive experience to save time and make your new software integrations smoother.
- Get Peace of Mind That Your Software Will Work. In many organizations, there’s a hodgepodge of software solutions used that aren’t all well integrated and aligned. Old software solutions are kept simply because of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. These legacy solutions aren’t always integrated well with more modern business software—potentially leading to instability that affects service uptime and business productivity. With a fully managed IT service to optimize your entire tech stack, you can rest easy knowing that your software will work when you need it to.
- More Predictable Monthly IT Costs. When going through trial-and-error implementation for remote work solutions, the capital expenses of acquiring new software licenses (or the inefficiencies caused by sticking with substandard solutions just because you’ve already paid for them) can be a drain on your company. With an experienced managed service provider (MSP) assisting you, you can identify the best solutions for your needs and get a more consistent operational expense on your balance sheet as opposed to a variable capital expense for software licensing and new platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or software-as-a-service (SasS) costs.
Do you need help empowering your company’s remote work strategy? Reach out to IT Proactive today to get the managed services you need to take your “work from home” strategy to the next level. Why wait? Don’t let your competitors take the lead!