Events of the past 12 months have seen many of us change our working habits to some degree and the number of people remote working, or homeworking has increased significantly. According to the Office for National Statistics, the proportion of working adults in Great Britain who worked exclusively from home in the previous seven days in 2019 was just 5%, but in the week ending 10 January 2021, it was 34%.
Although it was already becoming more popular, world events in 2020 made remote-working mission-critical for many businesses, almost overnight. However, the transition from office-based working to homeworking was much easier for some companies than others – with the biggest hurdle felt by companies using on-premise systems that often can’t be accessed from outside the office.
There are other factors too – we all have different home setups, which include: the number of people we live with; the available space in which to work; the strength of broadband connections, and of course access to the tools to do your job. This can include everything from a desk and a comfortable chair to sit on!
But, most importantly for companies to function effectively with staff working from home, it is vital that employees can communicate and collaborate using the right systems and files. This is where a true cloud-based ERP system like NetSuite is invaluable – it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection and is updated in real-time ensuring everyone sees a unified, up-to-date view of data. NetSuite can be accessed via a laptop, smartphone, or tablet without having to fork out for extra setup fees or ongoing costs. You will still need a chair, however!
Whilst homeworking might not suit everyone (some people prefer the separation between work and home and enjoy the interaction with colleagues), it is likely to stay with us long after we return to ‘normal’. For many people it provides them with greater flexibility – particularly parents who struggle to balance the demands of work and raising children. Removing the daily commute can free up 4 hours a day for some people! Last year Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey went as far as to announce his employees could work from home ‘forever’ – giving staff the option to continue to do so if they so wished.
It is a safe bet to assume the way we work has changed forever and ERP is at the forefront of that change. The Enterprise Resource Planning Market is expected to exceed more than US$ 49.50 Billion by 2025 and companies need to accept that, or risk being left behind. Job hunters are also more likely to consider flexible working as a deal-breaker when looking for new positions, but it is also vital that businesses have the agility to respond to world events should we ever find ourselves in a similar position again.
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