You seemingly can’t open a blog, newspaper or business article at the moment without facing the word ‘flexible working’. We hear a lot about the rising push for flexible working as people prioritise a healthier work-life balance. This might even be the reason that you’re self-employed.

Flexibility is the key to competitivenessRemote working is the future

There’s no doubting that, whatever niche you operate in, it’s increasingly competitive. What’s more, you’re certainly not the only new business trying to jostle in to the marketplace.

In order to stand out from the competition, you need to step away from rigid approaches and find a way to be flexible.

This isn’t only for your customer’s sake, but yours too. Being able to flex to changes in demand is crucial to your long-term success.

Flexible talent for small businesses

Hiring talent costs money. Traditionally this meant hiring staff. However, there has been a rise in a generation of workers, mostly millennials, who are looking for a more flexible approach to work.

These individuals in the workforce are champions of flexibility. They seek flexible hours for their own reasons. You can tap in to that by hiring freelancers and remote workers. This way you’re not limited only to hiring people in the local area, you can find the very best regardless of distance.

Technology makes remote working viable

Even just a few years ago remote working meant battling with technology issues from getting through your firewall to operating shared systems. Now remote working is made possible through the reliable technology on hand to make business processes seamless and workable.

At the heart of this is cloud technology. Being able to share data instantly, as well as access and edit it simultaneously and in real time, suddenly makes business activities possible wherever and whenever.

Remote working is booming

As a result, it’s no surprise that remote working is booming. By using tools such as Trello, Dropbox and Slack, the concept of an office becomes more redundant. If you can employ the talent you need, with them working from home, then both of you win.

As cloud technology can be accessed anywhere with internet access, you are able to break down the barriers to traditional employment roles. You can, for example, use a freelance web developer for a one off project, or hire in extra hands when you experience a demand spike. You buy the services you need when you need it.

Collaboration must not be underestimated

What drives remote working to be successful is exemplary communication and collaboration between you and your remote workers. Whilst technology enables this, you need to prioritise it and ensure you have the skills to make it work.

At a basic level this centres on being contactable and approachable. Invest in collaborative relationships and they will prove to be the backbone of your business growth.

Remote working can prove to be highly-efficient when used appropriately. It can give you a means to be flexible in exactly the way you need to be.

When offered to your workers, it can help improve staff retention and improve their work productivity. When hiring freelancers, you have the flexibility to grow without having to invest in full-time office workers, saving you money.

 

Have you introduced flexible working in your business yet? Have you ever hired a freelancer? Please share your thoughts and experiences below.