For small businesses, strategic planning can (and should) have an impact on all areas of operations, from the smallest tweaks right up to complete structural overhauls. Each individual part of your company should ideally be working towards the overall goals, complementing and collaborating with one another to get the best results.

With that in mind, it’s important to note that the ways in which people collaborate are constantly evolving, thanks to innovations in the technological space. The traditional office environment is going through a period of transition, and incorporating new developments into your overall strategy should be high on the agenda as we move further into the digital age.

The ways in which people collaborate are constantly evolving.

Breaking down the office walls

While not exactly a new initiative, the idea of remote working has been the focus of much discussion over the past few years. With continuing improvements in internet infrastructure – such as the ongoing rollout of New Zealand’s ultra-fast broadband network – systems are now in place to essentially replicate much of the office environment from anywhere.

Offering greater flexibility in the way or employees work has benefits that go beyond being able to conduct business from the comfort of our own homes, including improved performance from workers. Economic analysis carried out by Deloitte found that 29 per cent of workers in Australia responded that they work remotely at least some of the time, while 15 per cent said they actually worked more hours from home than they would in the office.

Tapping into that boost in productivity could be as simple as developing a remote working strategy and deploying it. So, how does one go about that?

Unified communications and cloud computing

The key to maintaining a consistent working environment is unification – making the transition from office to remote working location as seamless as possible. With advances in cloud computing and unified communications technology, this streamlining is more effective than ever before, and according to IDG Enterprise two-thirds of SMEs plan to shift towards this technology in the next year.

Many common office utilities, including email, telephones, word processing and document storage, now have more than adequate online alternatives from the likes of Google, Dropbox and Skype. Most also have apps optimised for smartphones and tablets, making working from almost any device possible.

Moving your business forward requires the support of everyone on your team, but that no longer means each person needs to report for duty every day. Consider how remote working could factor into your strategy execution.