Remote working has been growing in popularity over recent years and, thanks to the pandemic, is quickly becoming the new normal. This new style of working was once loaded with apprehensions and concerns over productivity and governance. Today, businesses are opening up to the idea of remote working and beginning to see the many benefits it can bring.
A huge range of industries and sectors are seeing remote working as a growing trend, and the emergence of digitization has helped to accelerate this. More and more businesses are focusing on the flexibility of remote working, which eliminates the issue of location among workers.
In the US, 57% of employers are now offering remote working. This has risen from 39% at the beginning of the year. During the pandemic, 62% of employed Americans say they are working from home. This figure has doubled since the beginning of March 2020. Furthermore, three in five workers want to continue working from home as much as possible, meaning there could be a considerable shift in remote working culture as employers tailor their business to suit remote working demand.
Across the pond, 1.7 million workers in the UK work from home, which is 5% of the country’s total workforce. This has risen from 4.3% in 2015 and continues to increase dramatically. The outbreak of COVID-19 in the UK resulted in the government ordering workers to work from home where possible, and during this time, 49.2% of employed adults reported that they were working from home. While this was an unprecedented event, and many workers will be returning to their usual workplace, it has caused many businesses to see the potential of remote working.
The accessibility and availability of digital technology and SaaS solutions have played a vital role in encouraging remote working. Without these technologies and applications, remote working wouldn’t be possible for many organizations and individuals. SaaS solutions are critically important for remote working across many industries and help with everything from collaboration and communication to security and data protection.
SaaS stands for Software as a Service, and it refers to cloud-based solutions which are accessed via the internet. Unlike traditional applications, they are not downloaded onto a device or network but instead are used on an internet browser. SaaS solutions can be anything from communication to office software, and there are a huge number of business applications available.
When it comes to remote working, SaaS solutions are used all the time. They are accessible and compatible with almost any device, meaning workers can access them from anywhere. Most SaaS solutions have a much lower upfront cost compared to downloaded and installed software, so they are more accessible for businesses of all sizes.
One vital thing to bear in mind when it comes to SaaS solutions is that they usually require an internet connection, which in today’s connected world isn’t often an issue. Furthermore, there are some SaaS solutions which offer an offline mode with basic functionality.
When you require new software or applications, you might be deciding between a downloaded option or a SaaS solution. No matter the application you are considering, there are many reasons why SaaS solutions are a great choice. Some of the key advantages of SaaS applications are;
Because SaaS solutions run from an internet browser, it makes no difference what operating system or device is being used to access it. You can be using Mac, Windows or Linux computers, or even a smartphone or tablet, and still have full access to the software.
Because of this, SaaS solutions are incredibly versatile and accessible. When it comes to remote working, this is vital because not only can software be accessed in an office, but from anywhere on any device. Employees could access the platform from home on their tablet, from the office on their PC, or from halfway across the world on their mobile phone.
Not only that, but there is no need to worry about hardware specifications and ensuring devices can handle particular software.
Traditional downloaded software often requires security and compatibility testing before updates and patches can be rolled out. This is time-consuming and can cause disruptions to businesses using the software.
SaaS solutions avoid these issues because vendors can push out updates and patches quickly and centrally. As they run on the cloud, there are no adverse effects for the businesses using the applications. This means updates and security patches can be released very quickly, and issues resolved without much hassle.
Vendors of SaaS solutions are able to reach a huge number of businesses and industries, as opposed to a targeted segment. Because of this, pricing is often much cheaper, making SaaS solutions more accessible to businesses of all sizes.
Many businesses are able to access applications that previously haven’t been available to them, which helps to improve services and productivity. With a team of remote workers, a business can provide access to relevant SaaS solutions as opposed to making sure they all have pricey software downloaded.
Analytics And Data:
With SaaS solutions, everything is running through one centralized platform, which means capturing data is easy. This data can be used for analytic use and can provide businesses with intelligence tools, reporting and visualizations into how operations are going.
Even with a remote working team all across the globe, important data and information can be seamlessly collected and used to streamline workflows.
No Hardware Investment:
One of the biggest costs of traditional software and system is hardware. With on-premises software, there is often a need for additional equipment such as servers and network switches. These, as well as PCs for staff, are a significant investment.
SaaS solutions don’t require any additional hardware, and businesses that previously couldn’t afford these systems can now access them. On top of this, SaaS solutions are fully scalable, so as the team grows, more users can be added easily.
SaaS solutions are available for a huge range of business processes, with tools for everything from project management to communication. When it comes to remote working, there are some solutions that are more useful than others. Many of these tools can help teams to collaborate and work seamlessly together, no matter where in the world they are based. Some of the key SaaS solutions for remote working are;
Efficient business processes and workflows are vital, particularly among remote working teams. The days of paper checklists and lengthy email chains are behind us, and SaaS solutions such as Flowmingo are far more effective for managing processes.
Repetitive business processes are time-consuming and can easily be simplified using technology. Processes such as invoice approvals, document routing and order fulfillment can easily be automated.
Tools such as Flowmingo help by creating workflow templates, which remote teams can then execute. This can help workers follow the correct processes efficiently, whether they are working from the office or at home. Workflow templates can be created for teams to follow, and tasks can be easily assigned to different users or groups.
Remote workers can access these workflows from anywhere and see exactly where a project is at or what needs to be done next and who is responsible. Transparent business processes are vital for remote teams because they help to keep everyone in the loop and on track.
Workflows are only one component when it comes to SaaS solutions that are essential for remote working. In conjunction with these applications, communication software can also be used. There are loads of SaaS solutions for communication among teams, such as Slack and Zoom. When you are working with remote teams, communication is more important than ever.
Slack can work like a virtual office, where workers can connect with each other either individually or in teams. These team communication platforms can be accessed on smartphones or desktops and help keep the team motivated to work towards a collective goal. Video conferencing tools like Zoom are great for holding meetings with remote workers. Because these tools are SaaS solutions, they offer integration with many other applications, including file sharing and messaging.
Even when sitting in the same office as team members, scheduling a meeting time for everyone can be difficult. There are SaaS solutions which are designed to make scheduling meetings with others quick and easy.
Calendly is an excellent example of this. Remote workers can input their available times, and the application will work out the best time for a meeting for everyone. One of the best things about these scheduling tools is that they can work with various time zones and integrate with calendars such as Google and Outlook.
Data protection and security is more important than ever, and when teams work remotely, it can leave gaps in security. Most SaaS solutions have base-level security features built-in, but sometimes it is worthwhile having added protection. VPN services, such as Encrypt.me, are good for ensuring that data is kept secure. These virtual private networks can protect data from various SaaS applications, no matter the device they are accessed from.
Remote workers could be accessing platforms and applications from any number of laptops, desktops or smartphones, and ensuring the security of each device individually is impossible. A VPN means that both customer and employee information is kept safe and secure.
Remote Working With SaaS
So, with remote working being more in-demand than ever before, there has never been a better time to take a close look at the SaaS functions that can help your business seamlessly transition from office to home working. More than this, what are the SaaS functions that can help to propel your business forward? If you need any support, understanding where SaaS workflow solutions can improve your business, chat to our team today.