Almost a third of the workforce have left a job because of a lack of flexible working options

Remote working

Opportunities for remote work are increasingly being demanded by prospective employees

The statistics, technologies and trends all point to remote work being central to employment in the future. Craig Penfold, chief customer officer at remote access software provider RealVNC, discusses. 


Connected devices have become a familiar part of both our personal and business lives.

Everything from mobile phones to machine operating systems have aspects of IoT built into them, making the idea of all sectors being able to work remotely a reality.

In spite of this innovation, it is becoming clear that many sectors are slow in adapting to the trend.


Statistics and trends point to remote work as the future

Recent data shows that 38% of employees have limited access to remote working, as well as 30% of employees having left a job due to lack of flexible working options.

It is obvious there is still an unmet appetite for greater flexibility when it comes to working away from the office.

No longer do employees have to log on from the same PC in the same office to access work.

New technological innovations for endpoint devices are making it much easier for staff to work from any location; everyone from accountants to manufacturers are now able to work remotely, gaining access to a corporate network.

In addition to this, employee desires are changing, as we have seen.

Because of technological advancement, people have become used to having instant access from anywhere.

Knowing they can access work emails, documents and even folders from any location, employees now look for remote working opportunities in any new career opportunity.


Impact of remote work on future office culture and talent retention

As a result, there has been a minor office revolution occurring and the traditional office environment is consequently changing.

Established businesses are revising their employee offering by switching out stationary PCs for laptops and putting remote working clauses into contracts while a proliferation of start-up businesses are choosing shared workspaces and remote staff to save money and create a more agile workplace.

Looking to the future, technological advancements are driving innovative ways of working, making it highly likely that we’ll see more and more decentralisation of workplaces.

wework losses
Co-working spaces are popping up everywhere in major cities, like this WeWork office in Paris (Credit: WeWork)

Tackling the skills gap will play a huge part in this. Businesses can’t push back on ways of attracting additional talent when there is a need to fill job roles, especially digital ones.

By not adopting remote working capabilities, businesses actually alienate a percentage of potential talent.

For example, remote working would enable businesses to attract more diverse candidates, such as women, disabled and young people.

Much has rightly been made of the skills gap across industries – bringing, for example, a work-around for firms whose facilities or location don’t lend themselves well to accessibility.

Businesses who don’t adopt flexible working practices are not just failing to attract a portion of the population, they are actively alienating a percentage of potential talent.


Technology a key enabler of remote work in the future

Remote access technology, combined with the rise of augmented reality, will undoubtedly continue to open up new opportunities for collaboration and enhancing productivity in a range of sectors.

For example, in the future the technology is expected to enable everyone from engineers, to creative designers and CEOs, to “remote in” to a model of a future product with an augmented reality headset.

Engineers or architects could collaboratively explore and change “virtual” construction models, using AR headsets with screen-sharing technology to share their experience in real-time.

Film studios could allow creative studios and film directors to remotely collaborate on special effects.

AR glasses, augmented reality glasses, 5G for consumers, remote work future
Augmented reality headsets could help people work remotely in future

Equally, transport organisations can combine headsets and remote access technology for rail construction projects.

The combination of remote access and augmented reality therefore has the potential to transform many workplaces including future construction sites and design studios, allowing unprecedented collaboration between product designers or infrastructure developers in multiple locations.

By adopting and investing in technologies that facilitate remote access technology, businesses across all sectors can ready themselves for the direction in which the workplace is unavoidably heading.

They can also attract and retain workers from all backgrounds and at all levels, maximising fairness and representation.

Embracing the growing desire for individuals to be able to access the data they need, when and where they need it, will ultimately create fairer, more efficient workforces and more profitable businesses.