A few years ago, working remotely was a luxury. A manager could let a worker perform their duties from outside the office due to personal reasons or poor weather conditions. Today, we are learning to live with a new reality as employees increasingly work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fortunately, with technological advances, it is easier to be efficient and productive anywhere, anytime, provided that one has a solid Internet connection. Instead of managing an on-premises environment, businesses are hiring talent from across the world and allowing them to work from any place as long as they deliver results.
As with any change, accepting new ideas can be challenging at first. Some companies may not be convinced about extending remote work opportunities even though doing so can be a key enabler of digital transformation.
According to HubSpot, here is an interesting remote work stat to know as we approach the end of 2020. The amount of individuals working remotely at least once a week has increased by 400% since 2010. This is a fascinating figure and one that will have an impact on the future of business.
So, whether you are an SMB or enterprise, the benefits of working remotely are practically endless. Let’s have a look at why you should opt for this route.
The world is more connected than ever on account of technological developments. With cloud computing, Wi-Fi, Thin Clients, Zero Clients, laptops, and smart mobile devices, businesses can easily communicate their requirements and collaborate on projects across the globe.
When teams must come together and meet virtually, they can instant message, e-mail, or participate in video conferences. They can also exchange paperwork, task notes, and progress reports over platforms like Microsoft Teams, Google Cloud, Slack, Asana, etc. In this way, everyone stays on the same page especially when it comes to meeting deadlines.
IT need not individually visit an employee’s home and install expensive equipment or infrastructure to facilitate consistent communication between teams. All a user needs is a device or two and a reliable Wi-Fi connection, and they have all the communication resources of a standard office. Let technology do the heavy lifting as employees interact with each other across multiple devices, apps, and operating systems.
Remote work promotes a positive and productive professional culture. When an employee gets to choose where they work from, they have the potential to achieve more. This is because they free themselves from the daily distractions of performing their duties on-premises. They do not waste time by dealing with impromptu meetings or colleagues dropping by at their desks. It is also possible for employees to start work earlier because they need not commute. They can then focus deeply on the task at hand and save time by taking shorter breaks.
How does this help your business further realize the value of remote work? You can be flexible with letting your team members choose their hours because this will allow them to work at the time they feel the most productive. When you enable employees to take intelligent control of their respective schedules, you create routines that support productivity and complement unique lifestyles.
When you sign up for the services of a remote team, you get to scale back in real estate costs. These include expenses such as office space, supplies, furniture, IT equipment, janitorial services, or utilities including electricity and water. With the COVID-19 situation, the chances of teams spreading the virus by being in close physical contact reduce when everyone works remotely.
There are lesser medical reimbursement plans to arrange, and unscheduled absences like sick leaves to compensate for. Not to mention reduced employee turnover as remote work provides opportunities to retain talent through flexible work hours and less burnout. In turn, you do not have to recruit and train new staff. Add all these numbers, and you can estimate just how much you can save annually.
Remote teams benefit as well. They save money on gas, vehicle wear, and tear, car insurance, or public transport as they do not have to come to the office five days a week. Also, why not factor in the cost of buying lunch out almost every day when they can prepare affordable meals from the comfort of their homes? This is a win-win situation for both sides.
Access To A Wider Talent Pool
When you hire employees from a set location, you are limiting your talent pool to your geographical region. Going remote offers access to an entire world of top talent, increasing your chances of making excellent hires. Even if you want A-list employees within your budget, you can find full-time experts willing to accept new opportunities at a fraction of the cost. Professionals expect growth prospects in their careers, and if they see you as the ideal employer to work with, they are likely to accept your offer.
You do not have to go for an applicant who only meets your job requirements. When you collaborate with a remote team, you increase diversity by having staff coming from varying backgrounds with unique ideas. As long as you have the proper technical setup, you can onboard talent from practically anywhere. There are readily available communication platforms and social networks to leverage, and you can even expand your network.
Happy employees largely contribute to business success, and companies must show them that they are valued. This is all the more important as organizations trust their teams to consistently demonstrate high levels of performance and work ethics no matter where they are. So, what are the advantages of working from home for employers?
Firstly, employees get to spend more time with their family, friends, and loved ones. Being able to choose where they want to live makes them happy, and they can move closer to their families. Others may want to relocate to countries or cities where they can make the most of activities in urban areas. You increase job satisfaction for remote teams when they are given the freedom to choose between multiple options. This improves the quality of the work they provide and ensures that they continue to work with you for as long as possible.
Saving time and money is not only essential for businesses. It matters just as much to employees, especially considering how the competitive marketplace in this digital world may lead to stress or burnout. Imagine having a worker who clocks in and they are already frustrated or exhausted from navigating the traffic just to reach the office. Compare this situation to an employee who can work comfortably in their home, and you can see the difference.
You can also show initiative by providing company benefits for remote employees. This can be anything from providing an allowance for their Internet or electricity bills to investing in a one-time home office set up. All these efforts will pay off in the long run.
Today, there is heightened environmental awareness as governments and communities urge businesses to adopt greener approaches in their organizational activities. This is another reason why companies hire remote workers. With nearly zero commutes, you will have a smaller carbon footprint, and remote employees significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is because you save the environment from air pollutants by taking cars off the streets and reducing overall toxic chemical, gas, and oil products usage.
What could be better than committing your business to protect the environment and fulfill your corporate social responsibility? These measures will improve your reputation and put your company on the map as you adapt to a new normal.