91 percent of workers believe they are more productive when working at home, according to a survey by TinyPulse. However, mobile working offers far more than just a shorter commute and increased productivity.
For some, being able to complete work from home or on the move, means the difference between employment and unemployment.
From empowering people with disabilities to helping close the gender gap, the positive implications of a mobile workforce are huge. In this blog, we take a look at some of the ways mobile working is helping to improve equality in the workplace.
Giving opportunity to those with disabilities
Around 15 percent of the world’s population has a disability. And, although recent government figures show there are more than one million disabled people in the UK who want to work, unemployment among disabled people is worryingly high. In some countries, the rates are as high as 90 percent.
Mobile working significantly benefits those with illness and disability. The ability to connect to the internet, complete work at home, and collaborate with employees using cloud applications allows disabled people to participate in a work environment, without having to worry about office facilities or difficult commutes. In fact, Action For Me, a chronic fatigue charity, highlights flexitime and remote work as a lifeline for ill or disabled people in the workforce.
There are many cloud services that make remote work easier. Office 365 has multi-editing features, allowing people to edit and collaborate on work without having to be in the same room. While communication tools, such as Skype for Business, allow teams to speak face-to-face, regardless of where they’re working.
Broadening the hiring pool
There is huge disparity in job creation between the north and south of the UK. While numbers are improving, unemployment is still three percent higher in the North than it is in the South. Furthermore, ten of the UK’s most unemployed cities are based in the North of England.
With so many employment opportunities in London, many feel the only way to secure employment is to relocate. In fact, 31,000 highly qualified British residents leave the North each year to move to London.
However, by embracing remote working schemes and cloud technology, employers have the power to employ the best talent. Cloud-based communication tools such as Yammer and Microsoft Teams in Office 365, help businesses broaden their hiring pool, by allowing employees from all over the country to collaborate on the same project.
Supporting working parents
Flexible hours grant working parents the ability to support their family needs without giving up on their careers. 47 percent of 35 – 50-year-olds state family and childcare responsibilities are the biggest drivers for mobile work.
Businesses can support working parents by investing in tools that make the process easier. The cloud has a host of services that support remote working from collaboration platforms to highly accessible video conferencing tools. By embracing mobile working and flexible cloud applications, working parents can balance work and family commitments.
Another way to support remote work is by introducing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative, which allows employees to work from the same device, regardless of whether they’re at home or in the office.
Closing the gender gap
Remote working opportunities are especially attractive to working women. A staggering 51 percent of women say being a working mother makes it harder for them to advance their careers. By contrast, only 16 percent of fathers feel the same way.
At the moment, 56 percent of women leave their tech jobs mid-career, with family commitments cited as a major reason. Mobile working is a simple way for employers to support working mothers and enable them to maintain a sustainable work/life balance.
Striving for equality with mobile work- Lower employee stress levels
- - Higher employee engagement
- - Keeping older people in the workforce longer
- - Positively impacting the environment
But the ability to promote equality in the workplace is a key benefit that should not be ignored. By embracing remote work, and investing in the right tools, employers can support their employees from all walks of life and help to create an equal, diverse workforce.