If we examine the kind of direction businesses around the world have been taking, the reality is that there has always been a steady surge in remote working trends over the past decade or so. If anything, recent events have merely expedited the already emerging trend.
Researchers, human resource managers, and key stakeholders have been observing the benefits of remote teams for years not only in the APAC region but all over the world. In 2013, Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom conducted a study where he closely observed two groups of employees of a Chinese travel agency: ones who worked from home and ones who worked from the office. The study revealed that employees who worked from home were more productive than their in-office counterparts. They were more focused, took shorter breaks, lesser sick leaves, and as an added benefit, they reduced their carbon emissions by avoiding the commute. The company also saved lots of rent money by reducing its overall office space.
From startups to big corporations: More businesses are opting for remote staffers
With the world turning into a global village, thanks to technology, from startups to SMEs and big corporations, all kinds of businesses are getting increasingly inclined towards remote teams. Founded in 2017, Singapore-headquartered public relations and content marketing startup SYNC PR has a presence in four different countries, including Malaysia, India, and Indonesia, and they have built the entire business on solely remote staffers. US-based GitLab, one of the world’s top enterprise software startups, has no offices. It has been remote since its inception in 2014.
Automattic, the parent company of WordPress — the most popular blog and website creation tool in the world used by around 30 per cent of all websites, was created with a completely virtual workspace. InVision, a product design and prototyping app, has been operating with a distributed team across 25 countries. In fact, startups in Southeast Asia love remote teams so much that recruitment companies like Glints saw the opportunity to offer remote teams for hire to companies around the region.
Increased productivity and better outcomes
Since 2005, the number of people who work remotely has increased by 140 per cent and it is estimated that by 2028, 73 per cent of all sectors will have remote workers globally. There are several factors that have contributed to the rise of remote teams in the past few years. Companies get to dab into a larger talent pool, localising and conquering new markets have become relatively easier with teams on the ground across the market and real estate as well as electricity costs can be cut down significantly. Furthermore, studies have shown that remote teams get more done in less time, which allows them to start new projects, spend more time doing what’s working, and ultimately improve the bottom line.
Another key aspect of working from home is better work-life balance, and hence, happier employees. Happier workers are automatically better workers. They are able to focus more and do better because they are happy and content in their personal lives. Studies have proved that remote work helps improve retention rate by over 10 per cent. So, it is a win-win situation for both employers as well as employees.
Struggles and challenges of working from home
According to the 2019 State of Remote Work Report by Buffer with 2500 remote staffers, 99 per cent said that they prefer working remotely citing a flexible schedule as the biggest benefit. However, remote working comes with its own set of unique challenges and struggles. As per the Buffer survey, among the top three most common struggles that people who work remotely face are:
● Unplugging after work
● Collaborating and/or Communications
Companies can help improve productivity among remote employees by providing them with the right kinds of tools and resources. For starters, a flexible, comfortable, and efficient workstation at home is a must. There have been many reports and studies on how the right kind of IT support, as well as access to the right tools, can help employees perform better when working remotely. In India, companies like Royal Bank of Scotland even went ahead to the extent of providing comfortable chairs and tables in addition to laptops and wifi for their remote employees during the pandemic.
Ergonomics and optimising productivity
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of workers experience musculoskeletal problems, including back pain, neck pain, and knee injuries, as a result of working from home, according to a recent study by the health insurer, Bupa. Meanwhile, a Facebook survey with respondents from the American Chiropractic Association suggests that more than 92 per cent of chiropractors have reported a spike in patients with neck pain, back pain, and musculoskeletal injuries since they began working from home.
This means that despite all the benefits that come with working from home, both for employees and employers, it often comes at the price of working under less-than-ideal ergonomic conditions. This problem underscores all the reasons why companies should invest in tools that help support remote working employees especially in terms of mobility and ergonomics.
How can employers support remote teams?
One of the first, and arguably the most important things to focus on is the laptop. Being a remote worker and freelancer for the past five years now, I can personally attest to that. My laptop is my office and having just the right device is crucial. A device that can be adjusted to different angles for different work nooks and is lightweight is always a better choice. Not only does it help with working in different postures comfortably but also enables concentration and focus for long hours.
One of the best choices in the market when it comes to devices ideal for working from home is Dynabook’s Portégé X30W-J. Built with magnesium alloy offering excellent durability and weighing only 989 grams, this is the world’s lightest 2-in-1 convertible.
The laptop can be adjusted to five different work modes- Laptop Mode, Audience Mode, Tabletop Mode, Presentation Mode and Tablet Mode.
● In the Laptop Mode, the Portégé X30W convertible PC functions like a traditional laptop and can be used easily while working on a desktop or a café, a table or a plane seat—anywhere you want to be productive.
● The Audience Mode allows users the flexibility to flip the screen and create their own viewing space to consume content anywhere- in the break room, remote office or study hall.
● The Tabletop Mode is ideal for those who love to collaborate. Users can lay the device flat and collaborate with colleagues in smaller workspaces using this mode.
● The Presentation Mode helps users share engaging presentations with larger groups in sales meetings, conference rooms or customer sites easily.
● Last but not the least, the Tablet Mode is perfect to use the convertible PC as a large-screen tablet to browse the Internet, read documents or take notes using Dynabook’s exclusive Active Pen with Wacom AES 2.0 Pen Technology & 4,096 levels of pressure for exceptional natural handwriting.
A durable, secure, and powerful device for remote teams
Offering flexibility with multiple modes, a device like the Portégé X30W is ideal for remote teams. In addition, the Portégé X30W is loaded with the high-performing 11th Gen Intel® Core i5 and i7 processors. It is also equipped with powerful storage and memory options, including up to 32GB of dual-channel LPDDR4x memory running at 4266MHz, and ultra-fast PCIe SSD storage (up to 1TB) for uninterrupted productivity. Ideal for today’s increasingly data-intensive business applications, the convertible is also available in configurations with the new Intel® Iris® Xe powered graphics technology, delivering best-in-class performance, discrete-level graphics, responsiveness and battery life.
The device also comes with other perks like battery life that last up to 16 hours and long-lasting durability owing to its high-strength magnesium alloy chassis and Corning® Gorilla® Glass NBT®. The Portégé X30W is engineered to pass MIL-STD-810G standard testing methodologies for strength and durability. Plus, Dynabook also conducts an array of extreme tests on the hinge, keyboard and ports; these laptops are subjected to Highly Accelerated Life Tests (HALT) that simulate repetitive motions of a laptop user over time and undergo tests for drops, spills and other mishaps as well, ensuring durability.
Equipped with a robust combination of next-level hardware, software and identity protection, including Dynabook’s own BIOS, enterprise-grade encryption and authentication using face and fingerprint biometrics, the device has a solid security foundation. A webcam shutter and security Lock slot also provide further privacy options.
With video conferencing seeing an unprecedented increase in recent months, the device is well-equipped for dispersed teams. It boasts high-quality sound with harman/kardon speakers and Dolby Atmos for sound enhancement, as well as noise-cancelling dual mics. The webcam and a further 8MP world-facing webcam with anti-reflection coating also help to deliver an unrivalled audio/video experience.
For startups, SMEs and big corporations exploring tools and resources to help their remote staffers increase productivity and help with business growth and scalability, Dynabook’s Portégé X30W-J is an ideal choice. Empower your employees with the right tools and build a better, more resilient team for a brighter tomorrow.
Please note the following product disclaimers:
Lightest disclaimer – Based on 13.3” convertible laptops with 11th generation Intel Core processors as of 4 Nov 20, research conducted by Dynabook Inc.
Weight Disclaimer – Weight may vary depending on product configuration, vendor components, manufacturing variability and options selected.
Battery Life Disclaimer – Battery life rating based on MobileMark 2014 running Windows 10. MobileMark is a trademark of Business Applications Performance Corporation.
This article is produced by the e27 team, sponsored by Dynabook
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