Business ideas for 2021: Remote working services

From video conferencing, to virtual socials, and more, discover how the remote working services sector is connecting teams - wherever they may be located...

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We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality. This article was authored by:
  • Henry Williams

Working from home might have been enforced but, if nothing else, 2020 has proved that remote teams can be just as effective as office-bound ones in many cases.

Sure, there’s no replacement for the kind of camaraderie and cross-team collaboration you get from having everyone in the same place, but once we’ve emerged from this pandemic, the evidence is pointing to much wider acceptance of remote and flexible working in the UK.

And with that, the need for tools, services, and expertise that can help teams work effectively and productively from home has grown exponentially greater…

Want to read about more top business ideas? Check out the full list of the best business ideas for 2021

Why are remote working services a good business idea?

According to official government advice, any worker that can work from home should do so until at least April 2021.

But even before the pandemic, research from Glassdoor found that the proportion of workers able to work from home has nearly doubled (from 28% to 54%) since 2011. And, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2020, 44% of all workers were able to work remotely during the COVID crisis. Meanwhile, the number of jobseekers looking specifically for remote job opportunities nearly doubled in June.

That’s an astonishing shift, and a great advert for the viability of remote working – certainly within suitable sectors in advanced economies like the UK. Nevertheless, the report found that 78% of business leaders expect some negative impact on productivity, and just 15% expect that it will have no impact, or even a positive impact on productivity.

However, as they’ve been forced into the situation, 34% of those same leaders have taken steps to create a sense of community among their employees online, and have introduced measures to ensure the wellbeing of their remote employees. Meanwhile, 84% are set to “rapidly digitise” their working processes.

If tech giants are anything to go by (and they usually are), then the fact that Google has extended its work from home policy until September 2021, with plans to trial hybrid working after that – and that Twitter has given staff the option to work remotely permanently – surely heralds a new dawn for the way we work.

All this points to a general (though sometimes begrudging) acceptance that working from home is here to stay.

Remote working services: Business opportunities

Inevitably, many have already taken advantage of this big new commercial opportunity, particularly those that were already in the game – Zoom saw its daily meeting participants jump from 10 million in December 2019 to more than 300 million in April 2020.

With the likes of Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Skype, the video conferencing market is pretty sewn up. However, there’s still plenty of room for new entrants in this burgeoning remote working sector as a whole, and lots of scope for innovation.

Just look at Vitrue Health, the Startup Series winner that’s aiming to become “the gold standard” for musculoskeletal assessment. One of its latest products is an AI-led virtual desk assessment service, Vitrue VIDA, which provides personalised recommendations to your team members to enhance their remote working, avoid injuries, and help them be more productive.

But it doesn’t have to be as complicated as that. Ergonomic products – such as the chairs, keyboards, footrests, and sit-stand desks sold by Osmond Ergonomics – are sure to see a sales boom as people start to assemble a more remote working setup.

Besides improving posture and comfort to help with productivity, there are also plenty of software solutions that help teams collaborate successfully when working separately. Check out messaging apps like Slack, or these top CRM systems for inspiration.

Staying social

Of course, efficient and productive working isn’t the only thing that should be maintained by diligent employers. A big part of office life is its social side, which helps form the kinds of bonds and relationships that are absolutely vital for employee wellbeing and, in turn, business success.

We’ve discovered a number of concepts that help teams socialise distantly, and there’s plenty of room for new ideas.

For example, RADA Business has launched One Voice: Virtual – a 90-minute online singing workshop to help teams have a virtual festive get together.

We also love the idea behind mmhmm. This unique app is an add-on for video conferencing software that allows people to place themselves in virtual rooms with immersive slides.

The remote working holiday

Or how about this: If you don’t need to work from the office, why do you need to work from anywhere?

Many people are taking advantage of being untethered from the office by taking their work on the road, and companies have sprung up to accommodate them.

Remote Year is one such company. It runs work and travel programmes for professionals who want to live and work in different cities around the world without changing their current job. For a monthly fee, Remote Year takes care of all the logistics, from flights and workspaces to accommodation and activities.

Remote working service: Insider opinion

Annil Chandel, co-founder of Wurkr, states: “Throughout 2020, we’ve seen a huge shift in the adoption of remote working services around the globe. Unfortunately, it wasn’t through choice – however, it has shown how easy it can be to embrace remote working technologies.

“Remote working solutions open us up to a world of opportunities, and give us the opportunity to make wiser decisions – whether that’s eradicating travel to and from work, or travelling for work, lowering carbon emissions, or simply supporting staff in their quest for a more balanced life.

“For years, we’ve been governed by what we can and can’t do by our employer. Remote working services now offer choice and flexibility, and also form a greater level of trust between employer and employee.

“With more people accepting and embracing remote working solutions, now is a great time to create something that will continue to support the evolution of how we work.”

Henry Williams
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