The founder of telecommunications firm Odyssey Systems says the widespread adoption of home working by North East business due to the coronavirus lockdown will have beneficial and far-reaching consequences.
Mike Odysseas predicts that, with the communications technology proving itself both reliable and user-friendly, companies will continue to embrace the concept of remote working once the pandemic has passed.
Increased acceptance of teleconferencing and teleworking may also give businesses in the North East an advantage over their counterparts in London and the South East, where operating costs are higher, as the traditional emphasis on geographical location grows less important.
Mike, who is managing director of the Stockton-based firm, said remote working will deliver a decrease in carbon emissions as fewer people are required to commute.
With video and audio conferencing now an accepted way of communicating, there will be a reduction in the number of physical meetings with clients – allowing staff to spend less time travelling.
Employees will also benefit from greater flexibility and an improved work-life balance while businesses make cost and efficiency savings while maintaining or even increasing productivity.
Mike said: “The genie is out of the bottle in many respects and I believe businesses, which are already seeing the many advantages, will continue to embrace remote working.
“In future, it may result in the demand for less office space as a proportion of staff work from home at any one time, reducing overheads.
“This trend may also make business in the North East more competitive over their counterparts in other regions where operating costs are higher. With greater acceptance of communication via video or audio conferencing, geographical location is far less important.
“The biggest benefit for both businesses and employees is time, which is a commodity that you can’t buy, and the time gained can be more efficiently and productively used.
“Covid-19 is a disaster for both our society and economy but it has forced businesses to adapt and use technology to continue to function in what are very challenging conditions. Once this is all over, I believe those businesses that emerge will continue to take advantage of a whole new way of working.”