Allowing employees to telecommute can carry a number of benefits from an HR standpoint. Telecommuting is undeniably a trend that is set to continue, having already grown at a rate of 80% since 2005 in the USA alone. Benefits of telecommuting for businesses include higher retention rates, a lower overhead, and heightened productivity. Employees who telecommute on a part-time basis often report higher levels of job satisfaction, due to a better work-life balance.
Yet at the same time telecommuting isn’t for everyone just yet – it relies heavily on technology to succeed. If a Skype connection drops out or you aren’t able to quickly share files with your team, it can have the opposite effect and lead to frustrations. A boost in network quality and speed with the advent of 5G could change all that. Here are five ways that 5G could help make telecommuting a more convenient option for businesses when it arrives in the next few years.
- No more dropped connections.
As mentioned in the introduction, successful telecommuting requires a certain reliance on technology, particularly VoIP and messaging services like Skype. You can easily take part in conference or sales calls at a distance. But what happens when these calls are dropped or experience lags due to buffering? Slow networks can be a real problem. When 5G arrives, it will be up to 1000 times faster than existing 4G networks, bringing video streaming to a whole new level.
- Boost in productivity at home.
Whether or not telecommuting is successful depends on the motivation of the employee. Some find it easier than others to be productive at home. Yet with faster connections and new forms of technology, it will be easier to feel connected to the workplace even when at home.
- Synced up 5G devices.
As companies like Nokia Networks work on 5G, they have an eye towards the future when devices are able to communicate with one another. Wearable devices, like today’s smartwatches, will make it easy to keep all business transactions in a single place, with the bridge between home and office more connected than ever. All electronics will be synced up instantly, and with the rise of the “Internet of Things” they’ll be able to give you real-time alerts about what’s happening in the office even when you’re not there.
- New ways to communicate.
While video streaming and phone calls will become more reliable, there will be even more exciting ways to communicate. Companies like Skype have already expressed interest in the next generation of 5G-enabled communication, which will include holographic video calls. This will bring an entirely new dimension to business meetings, no matter where the participants may be physically located!
- Better online security.
Another potential drawback of telecommuting at the moment is the need for employees to be able to access files in the cloud. Faster, more reliable 5G networks will lead to better security for this type of function. As devices communicate rapidly with one another, any irregularities can be sensed and dealt with straight away. Your patterns will be recognized and data will be analysed for tighter security overall.
These are just a few ways that 5G will make telecommuting even more convenient, ensuring that this HR trend is one that’s set to continue well into the next decade.