– Victor Brown, inbound marketer and technical writer for Cirrus Hosting, says:
The Cloud Is Enabling A Remote Working Boom
The cloud is a foundational technology driving the remote working boom, allowing them to collaborate, communicate, and access data from everywhere.
More people than ever are working from home, from the coffee shop, from co-working spaces, and from the beach. Perhaps not the beach — sand and laptops don’t mix well. The thought of grinding through a data entry workload while getting a tan is compelling, but a lack of WiFi generally scuppers the dream. Nevertheless, there’s no denying that remote working has taken off in a big way in the last couple of years.
The reasons are complex and include an economy that created an ever expanding freelance workforce and the desire for companies to save on office costs.
In some cases, remote working conforms with the philosophy and nature of a business. Both 37signals (now Basecamp) and Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, have largely remote workforces distributed across the globe. The guys from 37signals wrote a book about it.
They choose to go remote because it allows them to hire the best people regardless of location and because they believe it leads to happier employees and greater productivity. Even old-school tech companies like China’s Lenovo are adopting remote working where practical.
Whatever the incentives might be for a company to allow its employees to go remote, the ability to do so is powerfully enabled by cloud platforms.
Cloud storage is a clear example. Companies have become comfortable with entrusting at least some of their data to the cloud. With data hosted on secure cloud services, accessing it becomes trivially easy from any location. That access-anywhere capability makes it simple for remote workers to share data and collaborate on projects without having to jump through the hoops that would be required if data were held behind the firewalls protecting a company’s internal network.
SaaS solutions for groupware and collaboration are replacing the old desktop application model, which is freeing workers from their cubicle and its Windows PC. SaaS allows workers to access the software they need through browsers on any device. The ability to log in from anywhere via a phone, tablet, or laptop has the potential to lead to a massive change in a company’s culture.
Some are going all the way and getting rid of the fixed desktop altogether, hosting all of their application in cloud workspaces with Desktop-as-a-Service solutions.
The cloud can also have an impact on the way businesses handle older technologies like the telephone. With IP PBX solutions running in the cloud, calls can be automatically routed to workers via their mobile phones, obviating the need for internal telephone systems.
For workers, the remote working boom has the potential to improve their work-life balance, removing the need for energy-sapping commutes and freeing them to work around events in their lives while maintaining levels of productivity that equal or outstrip their office-bound peers.
The confluence of the cloud, mobile technology, and ever-present WiFi is making a difference to how companies think about human resource management. As the technology continues to improve and more businesses come to see the benefits of allowing their employees the freedom of working away from the office, we can expect to the remote working boom to grow.
About Victor- Victor Brown is an inbound marketer and technical writer for Cirrus Hosting, the leading Canadian hosting company.