UK businesses are being advised to ensure they are ready to accommodate the rise of remote working - or risk being left behind as the digital economy takes off.

The advice follows the publication of a new essential guide to remote working, produced by utilities and communications specialist Glide, which contains new research, predictions and guidance for businesses.

Between 2008 and 2018, there was a 74% increase in the number of people working from their own home, while 68% say they’d like to work flexibly “in a way that is not currently available”.

Remote working has been found to boost employee well-being, help with recruitment and support business expansion, while 77% of workers report that flexibility at work is important to them. So, it’s no surprise that more and more business leaders are racing to incorporate the concept into their workplaces - but there are challenges to being able to facilitate remote working.

Potential obstacles include the risk of workers feeling isolated, with fewer natural opportunities for collaboration, alongside concerns regarding data security, while recent data suggests that 22% of current remote workers struggle to unplug after work, 19% feel lonely and 8% can’t stay motivated.

The new guide aims to tackle common issues associated with remote working, by equipping business owners with the insight they need to build an efficient framework.

James Warner, Managing Director of Glide Business said: “Where people once expected to travel to a place of work, clock in and stay there until eight hours later, employees are demanding more freedom. One of the biggest influencing factors has been the emergence of the digital economy. 

He went on to say that traditionally, companies needed a physical presence to do business, but this is no longer a prerequisite, and many now exist solely to provide online services, or make their money from intangible assets, like software, these changes can include investing in software which allows for online document collaboration, cloud storage, and task management. These changes are making it less essential for employees to be physically present at their place of work in order for their task to be completed but evolving your business to provide this facility for employees isn’t without its challenges.

“It’s crucial that businesses embed a culture that is applicable inside and outside of the physical office, while a secure server, VPN access and a reliable superfast broadband connection are also essential for remote working facilitation,” James Warner concluded.