How cloud computing enables a flexible workforce.
It’s no secret that there’s been a significant shift in the way many people in the workforce think about the office. Some employers had already begun shifting to hybrid or remote work arrangements, but the COVID-19 pandemic sped up the transition. Customers also found themselves transitioning to online services to fulfill their needs.
While some people are eager to return to a traditional workplace, many prefer the convenience offered by remote work. As employers compete to hire new workers, many are looking to cloud computing to help them create a more appealing work model along with an improved customer experience.
Even before the pandemic fully took hold, a Gartner survey of CFOs revealed that more than 70% intended to move at least 5% of their existing workforce from the office to remote positions. With more remedies available to combat the impact of COVID-19, more employers are starting to recognize that work that’s essential to the organization doesn’t necessarily have to be tied to a specific location.
Cloud platforms help organizations transition to remote work by providing a centralized tool set that workers can access from anywhere. Regardless of where someone is in the country, or the world, they can log in and communicate as necessary for their role.
Collaboration can happen without two workers at the same company ever meeting in person. Instead, they can conduct video chats, edit documents together, and send items out to other team members and leaders for approval quickly and efficiently, thanks to cloud technology.
Employers that shifted to remote work quickly started seeing the benefits. Working from home gave many employees the flexibility to achieve a better work-life balance. A review from Global Workplace Analytics noted that workers tended to be more productive while working at home, without distractions, than their in-office counterparts.
Researchers at the Ladders career site noted that many employers would continue making at least a quarter of their positions available remotely over the upcoming months. Increased adoption of cloud technology has played a prominent role in expanding work-from-home options.
Gartner estimates that IT investments in transitioning to cloud resources will hit $1.2 trillion in 2022. By modernizing their IT infrastructure, companies are better positioned to invest in faster and more innovative services, more resilient business processes, and improved business agility through a mobile workforce.
As we’ve noted throughout, the pandemic has been the most significant catalyst for the adoption of cloud services. Companies needed a way to continue functioning at a time when being together in an office space was dangerous. Cloud technology made it possible for everyone in the workforce to access the same data and resources that were necessary to complete essential job functions.
In addition, by the very nature of its architecture, cloud platforms require no upfront capital investment, removing traditional financial barriers to the adoption of new technology. Companies working with outdated legacy systems can plan for the transition to modern workflows without financial strain. A fully realized cloud infrastructure creates opportunities for the expansion of robotics, AI, and a virtual customer service experience. That means that customer service reps can securely aid consumers quickly and easily from a home office, and companies can conduct disaster recovery procedures with essential personnel located in different parts of the country.
As the world continues adjusting to a life beyond the pandemic, employers continue to find ways to support different work models using cloud technology. Let’s look at some of the most common setups found within various organizations.
Employees spend all their time working from home. In some cities, employers may no longer have a dedicated office space, instead using cloud computing to complete their work. Organizations save money by not paying for expensive building leases or maintenance costs.
Although some workers enjoy the perks of working from home, others still want the option to connect with others in person. To that end, some employers have turned to a hybrid model of in-office and remote work. Employees may spend two or three days collaborating via cloud platforms in the office, and then they return home to focus on their work.
Employees come into the office only when they need to complete a specific activity. For example, a computer engineer may go into the office for a month to collaborate on a project for a new website. Team members typically do not have assigned desks. Instead, they move between various workspaces while using laptops or other mobile devices for work and communication.
After the initial kickoff phase, team members may come into the office on designated days for further collaboration and then spend the rest of their time working from home. The amount of time individuals spend at home or in the office varies depending on the specific activity.
Instead of traveling a long way to get to a large office, workers commute a short distance to a smaller satellite office that’s closer to their homes. This cuts down on the amount of time workers spend in traffic while giving them the benefit of face-to-face interactions with other colleagues.
Every model has its tradeoffs, and each person has their preferences for how they wish to work. Some people thrive in an environment where they can have face-to-face interactions with coworkers. Others prefer to work from home without distractions.
One of the benefits of cloud computing is that it can support a variety of work models, giving employers the flexibility to provide options that suit the personal temperaments of their workers. Making employees happy goes a long way toward improving retention rates, reducing burnout among experienced workers, and attracting top talent.
Cloud services make it possible to deliver quick turnarounds to customers. Companies can use it to simplify the purchasing process or streamline a user’s ability to request assistance. Consumers have come to rely on and expect quick service and better experiences that are made possible through cloud technology.
One of the drawbacks is that reliance on cloud computing for faster service can lead to more opportunities for data breaches. Any investments in cloud technology should be accompanied by an equal commitment to protecting consumer and company data.
Cloud-based software makes it possible to do everything from offering more flexible work arrangements, improving the customer experience as well as improving the employee’s experience by now having the opportunity to design workflows which mesh more closely with each individual's preferences and needs. Find out how Aizan can support your cloud communication needs by scheduling a demo of our services.