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Like many companies, Crowd have had to adapt how we work over the past year. With offices all around the world from San Francisco to Sydney to Shenzhen, we were used to collaborating via video call, but working from home has presented other challenges…

The pandemic started with anxieties of being stuck at home with housemates or families and toilet roll shortages. However, our views on life slowed down and maybe even some values and life outlooks were changed. Companies were forced to adapt and thus remote working became the only way of working for many of us.

Offices are great places for socialising and getting to know your team, but does this matter when you can spend all day with your dog by your side and never miss an Amazon parcel again? Even with restrictions now easing, by 2025 it is predicted that 70% of the workforce will be working remotely. This is up from only 5.1% of UK employees working remotely in 2019. This appeals to the ‘stay-at-home’ life-stylers and digital nomads. As long as we have WIFI, we are free to roam wherever we please!

5 Tips for remote working

Remote working requires a mix of discipline and self-care. It may be easy to get carried away with your work without others reminding you to go on breaks, share a coffee with and forget about life outside of work. Here are some tips for your new remote working life:

Have a Comfortable Workspace – You need the top of your screen to be at eye level so you can sit with your neck straight and your back upright and try not to skimp on a comfortable chair. It’s worth talking to your employers as they might even have some budget to support you and your lower back!

Movement – Get up early and move before work. The Bournemouth team here at Crowd, are lucky to live so close to the beach for quick dips before our morning meetings! Yoga is also a great way to move about, even just following a quick 15-minute YouTube video can work wonders. I recommend Yoga with Adriene.

Take Screen Breaks – Staring at a screen for too long can lead to difficulty focusing, headaches and eye discomforts. A walk around the block will rejuvenate you with a fresh body and mind to continue work.

Cooking – In the comfort of your own home, your kitchen is readily available. Make the most of this by cooking up healthy lunches, whilst saving money from those calorie heavy ‘meal deals’.

Stay Connected – Keep in regular contact with your team through group chats and video calls. Check in on how they’re doing even if you don’t need anything – to keep those connections and friendships.

As society starts to open up again, Crowd UK have started to meet up socially and ‘in-person’ client meetings at our office space are another excuse for a bit of face-to-face contact. These social meet ups are also an opportunity to do some good; we have a beach clean scheduled for our next monthly meet. So we can catch up and clean up at the same time.

We’re proud of how our team around the world have helped us survive and thrive over the last year by working together whilst we’ve been apart. We’re stronger and closer as a team and we’ve produced some amazing work. We even won an award for our customer service!

No matter where you are in the world, our team is waiting to hear from you. And though your project might get done from the back of a camper van, it’s still going to deliver the same quality results for your business that our clients come to expect.

The global Covid-19 pandemic has unquestionably forced changes in the way people work. M365, Teams and SharePoint specialists Silicon Reef took a deep dive into employee attitudes to how they are working – both now and in the future – and uncovered a widespread appetite for greater flexibility. Alongside, however, is a worrying indication that the tools needed to support remote working in the long term are seriously lacking.

As an agency specialising in Microsoft-based transformation solutions, Silicon Reef have long supported companies as they transition into more flexible, more productive and happier ways of working. Conscious of how traditional ways of working have been holding back most UK businesses from achieving optimum engagement and results, we saw the positive opportunity that the pandemic created for fundamental, widespread change to working practices. But, we wanted to find out, was this change sustainable, and what was the appetite for making flexible, remote working a long-term proposition?

Silicon Reef commissioned a UK-wide survey of 1,000 respondents across a broad spectrum of age and income levels and asked 15 simple but probing questions based on attitudes and tools to work pre- and post- pandemic.

The survey returned a vital insight into the attitudes and capacities of UK businesses to working remotely or from home.

Results showed that, before the pandemic took hold, just 8% of the workforce had the flexibility to work remotely or from home when they wished and a staggering 61% was either not allowed to work from home at all, or rarely permitted. Since lockdown measures came into play, and employers were forced to support their workforce carrying out their roles from home, the respondents have welcomed the change with 70% claiming that it has been like normal or (62%) saying it has been good or even better than before.

As massive advocators of flexible working, and of businesses providing employees with the tools and support to create their own work/life balance, maximise engagement and increasing productivity – a concept they have termed ‘Work Happy’ – Silicon Reef were pleased to finally see a step change in this area, although the reason for the immediate shift due to the pandemic was terrible. Now, 73% of respondents feel supported by their company in working from home and 80% are maintaining positive relationships with their manager or colleagues.

This is all excellent news says Silicon Reef Co-Founder and Managing Director Alex Graves, but we were interested in how sustainable this new way of working was for the majority.

Most significantly in our survey 55% of respondents state that they don’t want to return to previous ways of working, and 87% overall want to continue with the flexibility to work from home. Our experience tells us that organisations need to adapt fully to enable this change and empower their workforcetransformation is required across tech, training, communication, visibility and employee recognition.

To measure this readiness the survey looked at the practical side of working remotely, finding that 33% of employees did not have the tools or technology in place to work effectively and a further 38% were claiming they were merely ‘just about ok’. That’s 71% needing an improvement in tools and tech to enable sustained, effective remote working in the long term.

“2020 has been a year of immense change across the world, and in all aspects of our livesAlex continues.Our research shows us that there is a tremendous opportunity to make that a change for the better in the way that we all work, as long as businesses are willing to acknowledge that they need to provide a different, more sustainable infrastructure.”

Silicon Reef truly believe that businesses willing to adapt and embrace a Work Happy culture will reap the benefits of improved employee engagement, and unlimited productivity. Our work with SharePoint and M365 tools has shown us that this change can be relatively painless and is highly rewarding. Most importantly, by transitioning to a new way of working, businesses are also preparing themselves to imbed flexibility and resilience for whatever the future has in store for us all!”


Download the full survey results and read up on our movement to Work Happy.