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Illustration of a woman at a desk and two men by a window, depicting the benefits and flexibility of working in a home office environment

The benefits of working from home

The old cliches of people working from home in their pyjamas were blown out of the water after the whole world was forced to work remotely during the global pandemic.

Organisations quickly realised that successful home working was not only possible but improved business performance in many cases.

This revolution has led to a major rethink about the future of work, as offices worldwide start to reopen. While hybrid working has long been predicted as the future of work, it’s clear that it’s happening now.

It’s not about closing offices and working entirely from home. Instead, companies are taking the best from home and office environments to create new, better ways of working better for everyone.

Benefits of working from home

During the pandemic, working from home was unexpectedly stress-tested in ways no one could have predicted. Arrangements had to be implemented at speed and new technologies utilised in exciting ways – many businesses were forced to make reactive procurement decisions to address the overnight change in the working landscape. The results transformed how many organisations viewed home working, and despite an initial short-term approach there were clear benefits realised immediately and more within reach.

Increased flexibility and empowerment with better work-life balance

Working from home allows staff to work where they want and when they want – within reason, of course. People have reported feeling more comfortable and more productive while working in their own space with less rigid working times. The working day is no longer strictly 9-5 when home working. Instead, it can be shaped around other commitments like childcare. Extra independence gives workers the freedom to develop new ways of working and better ways of doing their jobs. As you might expect, this has improved office-worker morale around the world. Happier employees are more efficient and productive, so it’s a win-win for both workers and organisations.

Your workforce being out of sight doesn’t necessarily represent a risk. Many devices are designed for security, like Brother’s professional print range, which comes with Secure Print+ and Secure Print Advanced, automatic intrusion detection, and digitally signed firmware. Print management software like Kofax ControlSuite is also available.

No commute means less stress, cost savings, and is better for the environment

Few people miss the busy daily commute to work. Having no commute instantly saves time and allows staff to get straight on with the job at hand for maximum efficiency. It also removes one of the working day’s most stressful pressure points, getting to work on time and worrying about getting home late. Naturally, it’s also better for the environment when we leave our cars at home, and there’s less public transport on the roads.

Improved health

While the pandemic took its toll on mental health, working from home had notable benefits, especially for colleagues who find traditional office environments triggering. This has been reflected in fewer absences and less sickness while working from home.

In addition to mental health, there are also hygiene benefits. Working from home naturally ensures staff aren’t mixing as much in person, which can help reduce the risk of Covid and other sickness-related absences. This can be supported by technology, thanks to innovations like touchless printing. Brother’s printer range comes equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled ID cards, mobile apps, and QR codes for contactless printing.

There’s also the Brother Mobile Connect app, which lets you print from anywhere around the house, manage ink and toner supplies, and operate your printer all from your smartphone or tablet.

Cost savings

While there is a cost to equipping home workers with the technology they need, more money can be saved by organisations thanks to reduced workspace and utility bills. Working from home also supports cloud-first solutions, desktop virtualisation, and other innovations, focusing less on expensive hardware.

Brother has partnered with ThinPrint, an expert in enterprise printing solutions, to help reduce print costs and network bandwidth for organisations adopting a virtual desktop model. By optimising performance to compress print jobs to a smaller size, ThinPrint offers significant cost savings across multiple locations. Brother ThinPrint Client is a plug-in that enables efficient printing from a virtual desktop environment, reducing costs and enhancing employee productivity in a distributed workplace.

Greater inclusivity

Working from home has been a massive plus for diversity and inclusion. Those unable to apply for jobs because of physical or mental health issues, who can adequately work from home, now have many more career paths open to them than ever before. Similarly, because people can work remotely from almost anywhere, even geographic restrictions are a thing of the past.

Your workforce can also feel more supported thanks to innovative business solutions from Brother. These include remote monitoring and management, automatic supply ordering, and access to our expert IT support team. Our devices also offer a remote panel tool that allows IT managers to investigate and solve technical issues for users without ever needing to touch the machine itself. What’s more, the IT manager needn’t be in the office themselves to support their users.

More environmentally friendly and sustainable

Sustainability has been high on the agenda of many businesses and other organisations for years. Working from home benefits the environment by reducing the carbon footprint of staff and organisations.

This can be further assisted by implementing managed print services (MPS) from a trusted printer manufacturer such as Brother. MPS is a programme offered by print providers to manage your printing devices, scanners, faxes, and copiers, including replacing supplies. This ensures usage is constantly monitored and managed to reduce waste and ensures everything is recycled where possible.

Brother is also offering short-term MPS home working contracts for organisations moving to hybrid working who don’t yet want to commit to lengthy contracts.

Summary

When it comes to businesses, hybrid working is the new normal. While it brings unique challenges and risks, it also offers exciting opportunities and a wide range of benefits. Of course, there are pros and cons to working from home. Even so, the direction of travel is clear. The future of the workplace is going to be about balance and bringing together the best of office and home working environments to create a new hybrid way of working. Business leaders and IT decision makers will need to incorporate the lessons learnt from the reactive decisions made during the early days of the pandemic and apply a strategic approach to ensuring that hybrid working practices remain sustainable, productive and secure.

Find out more about our hybrid working solutions, here.

 

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