While chief executives may worry about the challenges of motivating and managing staff at a distance,just under half (46%) of NZ respondents reported that effective management of remote workers is perfectly achievable if managers undergo special training. The Regus survey canvassed over 26,000 business managers across 90 countries.
Key findings in NZ show:
· 57% said they manage someone who works remotely
· 48% said they are supervised by a remote manager
· 40% of companies use reporting systems to monitor mobile employee efficiency
· 38% use video communication between managers and employees
· 48% said their superiors consider trust an important issue
Director of Regus Asia-Pacific John Henderson said: “The rise towards remote working is looking stronger than ever – and it’s only going to continue to grow. The most significant issues seem to be trust and freedom but once businesses and employees can look past that, they are going to reap the benefits of greater productivity, less operating costs and better staff retention.
“Two- fifths of New Zealand professionals work away from the office for half the week or more and though we have a little way to go to catch up to the US (47%) and the UK (42%), the research shows that in this digital age, workers are ditching the desk and the days of the traditional Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm office are numbered.”
The research also found that while 79% believed that junior employees will develop less rapidly if they are managed remotely, 40% reported that it helps them to become more responsible.
In the US, health insurer Aetna, a thought leader in the field, has added training courses to the mix so remote workers and their managers can be brought up to speed on effective flexible working methods. Of Aetna's 35,000 employees, 14,500 do not have a desk. Here in New Zealand, 40% of companies have a specific reporting system for managers to monitor efficiency in teams that work remotely at least some of the time.
Mr Henderson commented: “Technology is one of the main drivers for remote management for companies big and small. With cloud services, video conferencing and various devices becoming more easily accessible and often at low costs, businesses of any size can effectively manage remote working.”
“In New Zealand, Regus supports many customers with flexible workplaces such as co-working spaces and drop in business lounges. From start-ups and SMEs to larger corporates, New Zealanders have many advantages to look forward to with the rise of the remote workforce.”
Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces, with products and services ranging from fully equipped offices to professional meeting rooms, business lounges and the world’s largest network of video communication studios. Regus enables people to work their way, whether it’s from home, on the road or from an office. Customers such as Google, GlaxoSmithKline, and Nokia join hundreds of thousands of growing small and medium businesses that benefit from outsourcing their office and workplace needs to Regus, allowing them to focus on their core activities.
More than 1.3 million customers a day benefit from Regus facilities spread across a global footprint of more than 1,500 locations in 600 cities and 100 countries, which allow individuals and companies to work wherever, however and whenever they want to. Regus was founded in Brussels, Belgium in 1989, is headquartered in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange.
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Reuters. com, In telecommuting debate, Aetna sticks by big at-home workforce, 1st March 2013