Onsite and remote – taking a best-of-both-worlds approach to your business operations

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By Andrew Bourne, Region Manager, Africa, Zoho

Companies around the globe have had to adopt remote working in a short period of time. Some have thrived and won’t go back to the office model, with the likes of Twitter, Quora, and Slack all indicating that they’ll either be fully remote or remote-first for the foreseeable future.

Others, however, have struggled with the transition and are hankering to get their teams back into the office. The ideal solution is probably somewhere in between these two extremes with employees able to work remotely when it is suitable and returning to the office as needed.

Onsite and remote - taking a best-of-both-worlds approach to your business operations - Brand Spur
Andrew Bourne, Regional Manager, Africa, Zoho Corporation

Here’s how businesses can take a best-of-both-worlds approach to their operations:

Assess needs

It’s important to first weigh out the real benefits of a fully-staffed workplace. This helps decide what functions need to return onsite and which ones can continue being remote. Bearing in mind that due to comfort zones and habits, staff may feel the function needs to be onsite when in fact it may be more cost-effective or more efficient to do remotely.

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For instance, if your teams collaborated really well and were far more creative in the office, office space is worth the investment. Similarly, employees may feel more comfortable approaching management face-to-face than over email or video call. There is also the issue of mental health.

Remote work is not suitable for everyone, and some people may need human interaction to enable them to cope with being stuck at home. It may not be a daily interaction, it may just be a staff social event once a month, each circumstance or function should be assessed on a case-by-case basis to make the best decision for the future of the business.

Utilising technology

Having a blended workforce that adds a significant amount of remote workers to the mix can make striking a balance a little more difficult.

Fortunately, virtual networking technologies can help here. A virtual meeting, for instance, allows both on-site and remote workers to hold brainstorming sessions and meetings without losing any of the benefits of being in physical proximity to each other.

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When it comes to collaboration, a cloud-based office suite can enable seamless communications and teamwork, facilitating the faster accomplishment of projects. That can be massively beneficial for both remote and on-site workers.

Technology can also help with another oft-cited headache when it comes to balancing remote and on-site work: project management.

A good project management tool will help you manage budgets, timelines, resources, communication and quality with a calendar, Gantt chart, time tracking, and group chat type functionality. If you can find one with automation capabilities, you’ll also save time on routine tasks. Meanwhile, a visual workflow builder with a simple drag-and-drop interface is useful for making automation easier.

Remote or not, these types of technologies can streamline your day-to-day operations with meaningful enhancements like task list templates and routine task automation. It won’t just make things easier if you’re ever forced into a scenario where you have to take your operations remote for a period, it’ll also help improve overall productivity.

Making the most of the ‘new normal’

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In truth, most businesses have been heading towards, at the very least, a hybrid model where some employees are remote and others work on-site. But this needn’t be problematic.

Both offer distinct advantages, according to the function or individual task being fulfilled. With the right approach and technologies, it’s possible to leverage the benefits of both without falling prey to any of the disadvantages traditionally associated with them.

Andrew is Zoho’s Regional Manager for the Africa region and is based in Cape Town, South Africa. He has more than 15 years of experience in sales and marketing and has spent the last five years focusing on the implementation and testing of various business technologies. He is very passionate about Zoho and has exceptional insight into the business and marketing world.

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Onsite and remote - taking a best-of-both-worlds approach to your business operations - Brand SpurOnsite and remote - taking a best-of-both-worlds approach to your business operations - Brand Spur

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Onsite and remote - taking a best-of-both-worlds approach to your business operations - Brand SpurOnsite and remote - taking a best-of-both-worlds approach to your business operations - Brand Spur

Latest News

New entrant AECO Energy launches business innovation to deliver ‘last mile of value chain’ to Singapore’s maturing open electricity market

  • AECO Energy announces the launch of its operations in Singapore to provide innovation to the open electricity market for businesses with generation 2.0 of its technology and service offerings.
  • The company will introduce three solutions as part of its initial portfolio, customisable to specific business needs.


SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 13 April 2021 - AECO Energy, a new entrant to Singapore's electricity sector, has today announced the launch of its operations. AECO Energy will be the first-of-its kind energy technology and services company aimed at innovating customer-centric offerings in electricity and renewable energy markets.

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With over 12 years of experience in delivering open market electricity services and solutions to businesses in Australia under the Power Choice brand, AECO Energy is bringing its second generation of services and technology to Singapore for the first time. AECO's second generation delivers on two major offerings.

Firstly, AECO delivers the 'last mile' of value in Singapore Open Electricity Market (OEM) value chain by providing innovative services to assist businesses to manage, plan and make better buying decisions.

AECO is all about enabling increased profits for businesses. AECO has a customer-centric mission to use its low-cost proven technology and expert-led services to enable better business decisions within a complex electricity market with multiple providers and opaque medium- to long-term pricing information. This comes against the backdrop of Singapore's maturing OEM, which gives businesses and consumers the autonomy to buy and choose their electricity providers - the freedom to choose.

AECO Energy's technology platform, MarketPro™ with its unique, electricity futures market simulator Rate Watch™, delivers business and electricity efficiency and empowers businesses through relevant and timely pricing information, while also helping Singapore businesses make better buying decisions via automated tenders and reverse auctions. Moreover, for businesses who do not have the capability and capacity to manage and purchase its own electricity, AECO Energy Portfolio™ delivers scalable buying power with a fully-managed contract management and purchasing aggregation service for small, medium and large businesses.

Alan Jones, CEO, Chairman & Founder, AECO Energy, said: "We are incredibly excited and humbled to be joining Singapore's dynamic energy scene with our low-cost, high-value products and services. Our mission is clear: just like Amazon is revolutionising the 'last mile' of product supply chains with its same day delivery, we are also delivering the 'last mile' of the value chain in Singapore's OEM that enables more businesses better purchasing decisions, more business profitability and growing all of Singapore's economy."

Secondly, with SGX-listed entities, enterprises and multinational corporations (MNCs)' increasing emphasis on sustainability, AECO (through its SustainPro™ offering) will bring for the first-time in Singapore the benefit of AECO's direct relationship with generators of International Renewable Certificates (I-REC). This enables Southeast Asian markets the benefit of medium- to long-term low-cost and structured REC solutions to meet renewable energy targets and sustainability goals. This translates to more profits by providing more predictable costs for businesses in meeting their sustainability and renewable energy goals.

"As a specialised company, unburdened with corporate overheads and distractions from Singapore's local market participants, we can offer companies who are based anywhere in Southeast Asia, sustainability and renewable energy solutions that span markets and countries at a lower and more predictable price. We are honoured to play our part to bring sustainability and increased renewable energy throughout the world and to do so while benefiting our customers' cost structures," continued Mr. Jones.

AECO Energy is introducing three offerings as part of its electricity management solutions:

  • MarketPro™: Businesses can optimise costs and seize market opportunities with exclusive access to customised market price information through AECO Energy's integrated online procurement and management platform equipped with Rate Watch™, a market simulation and automated procurement technology from as low as SGD $149 per month.
  • Portfolio™: Businesses get exclusive access to economies of scale with better buying power through professional and expert-managed energy procurement portfolios overseen by AECO Energy experts. This allows enterprises to focus on their core business while AECO Energy experts will fully-manage their electricity contracts and make better buying decisions on their behalf from as low as an additional SGD $74 per month.
  • SustainPro™: SustainPro focuses on helping businesses meet their sustainability goals at the lowest cost. AECO Energy offers lower costs on the procurement of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and tailored REC supply solutions designed to meet transition needs towards a more sustainable business.

"With the understanding that business needs are unique for every organisation, our energy experts will work closely with customers here in Singapore to help them reduce costs, drive efficiency and make better buying decisions. By providing technology-enabled, insights-driven energy technology solutions, we want to create a profound impact on our customers' businesses to better position them for sustainable growth in the long-term," concluded Alan.


About AECO Energy:

Based in Singapore, the AECO Pacific Group owns and operates the Power Choice and AECO Energy brands. A leading pioneer for more than 12 years in electricity brokerage and consulting services in Asia Pacific focusing on deregulated electricity markets, AECO Pacific helps businesses with electricity procurement and management backed by market intelligence. Transforming and saving businesses more, AECO's combined experience in energy leadership and innovative technology solutions remain unmatched in dynamic and changing energy markets. For more information, visit https://powerchoice.com.au/ and https://aecoenergy.sg/.

Onsite and remote - taking a best-of-both-worlds approach to your business operations - Brand Spur
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