Work Smart, Work Remote

Date: 24th January 2014


These days it seems like every other person you talk to in #gigatownWanaka is working remotely, either as an employee with their head office based more than commuting distance away, or as a self-employed business person with clients and markets based nation and/or world-wide.  In fact, 40% of New Zealand business leaders are now working remotely for half the week or more.

And why not?  There are so many benefits in working from home, connected only to the head office or clients by phone lines and fibre networks.  Benefits such as having a rewarding lifestyle as well as career.  (We discussed the workstyle-lifestyle benefits of having ultra-fast broadband in What does #gigatownWanaka mean to you? and GigatownWanaka: not just a hashtag.)

In an article by the New Zealand Herald, John Henderson, the Asia-Pacific director of global service office provider, Regus, commented that “The rise of 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.”

“Technology is one of the main drivers for remote management for companies big and small,” said Henderson. 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,” he said.

According to a recent article from Stuff there are vast potential pay-offs from working remotely:

  • Working from home or away from the office has proven to increase productivity and happiness within the workplace. Twenty seven percent of SMEs stated their employees are more productive and 24% said they were happier.
  • Businesses with teleworkers also reported other benefits such as improved work/life balance, a greater potential choice of employees, and support for employees returning to work after having children.
  • A reduction in travel costs and carbon footprint were other notable benefits, particularly as previous research indicates that the price of fuel is a pain point for local businesses.
  • It’s no surprise that the city dwellers that battle lengthy commutes each day find the option of working from home, and saving hours in travel time is an appealing option.
  • Fallout from the earthquakes also meant many Cantabrians faced disruptions to their daily commute. As a result, many were forced to try working from home and found that it worked well for them.

In a case study on Alkemi – one of Australia’s largest specialist internet marketing agencies – Xero reports that cloud computing, including use of on-line accounting software, is making working remotely more of a reality.

Nathan Stewart, founder and CEO of Alkemi, felt the confines of using a desktop-based accounting system for two important reasons: Alkemi staff were restricted by not being able to work remotely and; his shareholders didn’t all have easy access to their financial investment.

“Because the application wasn’t online, shareholders in New York didn’t have direct access to reports. We were not easily able to make strong decisions based on simple, clear financial reports.”

Alkemi’s management and shareholders now reportedly, logon more frequently to access the information they need. And they love it.






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