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Moving forward: Why LatAm SMEs are taking remote working seriously

You make your way in to the office. You sit down, before being told you need to be in a meeting with a client in an hour. You quickly set off in a taxi. Get to the meeting place. The person you are meeting is delayed by 30 minutes, so you sit and wait.

You look around the room, rifle through a couple of magazines placed on the table in front of you, and make awkward eye contact with the receptionist four times. You drum your hands on your lap, impatiently.

In today’s globalised business world, all of this can be seen as lost time. And lost time means lost opportunity. With mobile working, you could even question the need to go into the office in the first place.

 

On the move

We conducted research that looks at how small businesses across Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Spain and the UK are using digital services to change how they operate, their importance to future growth, and plans for implementation. One part of the survey focused on mobile working, and the findings were fascinating.

The LatAM region is embracing mobile working; 84% of those in Chile and Brazil say that to manage their business effectively, they need to be able to work from multiple locations and on the move. Meanwhile, only 63% of German businesses think the same. This is reflective of a general gap between LatAm and Europe, with the former readier and willing to embrace digital services.

 

Out of office

So why this chasm of opinion? Remote working is being embraced, particularly now that the best talent is seeking workplaces that shun silos and support flexible working. Couple this with evolving and emerging technologies such as 5G, plus an increase globally in Wi-Fi hotspots, and it makes it difficult for business-owners to stick to traditional nine-to-five offices.

The idea of ‘digital fatigue’ in Europe could well have set in. It’s possible that European businesses are of the opinion that they were successful before remote working became practical, so can’t see the tangible benefits. Meanwhile, LatAm SMEs are on the look-out for services that will get them ahead, and are open to trialling new processes and ideas.

 

Catch up

Remote working benefits everyone. By being available wherever you are, you promote a flexibility in business that was previously impossible. Customers are happy because of faster turnarounds, employees are motivated by a more personal approach to the workplace, the organisation is agile - and this can positively affect the bottom line. LatAm SMEs realise this. It’s now up to those in Europe not to be complacent.

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