Remote working has been around since the early days of the internet, but it remained practically a novelty until the COVID-19 pandemic forced millions to work from home for extended periods. This caught many companies off-guard; in fact, while many stock exchanges were already geared up for this move, many small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) weren’t sure how to go about getting their team to perform financial remote working successfully.
Now that we’re almost back to normality, many companies continue to allow their employees to work remotely, while others prefer having their workers at the office. Whatever working model you opt for, the reality is that we can’t ignore the lessons this unexpected mass shift to remote working taught us.
What If It Happened Before? What If It Happens Again?
Imagine if the pandemic happened in 1995, at the beginning of the internet era when we were plagued with low bandwidth and no remote working software… As well as no cloud, no virtual inboxes, and no Zoom… What would we have done? How much worse would our businesses and economies have been hit?
It’s stressful just thinking about it… But we are at an advantage because all those things now exist, and they’ve existed for a while…
The start of remote working dates to the early 2000s, when faster internet speeds and a rise in personal computer ownership led some US companies to allow their workers to work from home for the first time.
This was a revolutionary way of going about tasks that previously required workers to be in the office, and it is all down to technology. In fact, many businesses owe technology their very existence post-pandemic.
And, yet some companies remain apprehensive about using technology to their benefit…
Financial Remote Working Doesn’t Work Without People
Two of the main reasons sceptics bring up are, in certain ways, direct opposites:
- Using technology to make remote working possible and easier makes employees lazier.
- Some of the technology makes human beings almost redundant, and it may lead to people being laid off in the future.
Well, we’re here to tell you that neither of these two scenarios has to be the case.
- Having more time does not necessarily make people lazier. The time saved on certain work tasks, as well as on commuting, means that employees have more time for more important work and to unwind; both of which are essential to ensuring personal satisfaction, which leads to better work and better teamwork.
- Moreover, as the unexpected shift to remote working showed us, technology is only a tool, and the human factor remains crucial. People are still the ultimate intelligence behind any technology, and it is how we use it that delivers the results we need.
It’s Not All Black And White
This doesn’t mean that remote working is perfect. In fact, as The Economist pointed out: remote workers tend to work longer, but not necessarily more efficiently. But it’s not a one-sided affair, either. Often, remote workers feel they need to be constantly available and may not really know when to switch off.
Even so, working from home – even financial remote working – remains the preferred mode of operation for many companies. This is partially because the world of finances has long been online – 80% of trades were done electronically in the US by 2018 – and also because companies realised that they could save money on infrastructure while still running a successful business.
Moreover, those that haven’t embraced this change are actually finding it harder to employ people who are willing to go to the office day in, day out. They are also realising that their talent pool is far more limited.
So, Why Not Trust Us With Elevating Your Financial Remote Working Team?
The message most employees and companies are sending out is crystal clear: people want and need more flexibility in their roles – and the best way to achieve that is through technology.
Thankfully, you’re in luck as we design, develop, and implement bespoke solutions to enable flexibility for our clients to meet their goals today and in the future.