The Business Advantages of Hiring a Remote Staff
Not long ago, working remotely every once in a while was a nice job perk. If the weather was bad or an employee had a personal engagement, a reasonable manager would allow them to handle their duties at home.
But times have changed and we’re now in the midst of a whole new “remote work” era. With technological advancements, it’s now easier than ever for employees to be productive anywhere they can get a solid internet connection. Instead of getting an office and filling the desks with local workers, more and more companies are hiring employees from around the globe and allowing them to work where they want.
As with any major change, remote working has its detractors. Plenty of people claim a centralized workplace is needed to ensure collaboration and maximum production.
Despite the resistance, hiring remote workers is going to become far more common. According to Upwork’s Future Workforce Report, 38 percent of hiring managers predict their staffs will be predominately remote in the next decade. Additionally, the World Economic Forum referred to remote work as, “one of the biggest drivers of transformation of business models.”
Embracing new ideas can be tough, especially one as drastic as letting employees work from home every day. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of hiring a remote staff.
Reduced office costs
We’ve all heard about the steady incline in real estate prices over the past few years. While most the media coverage focuses on the cost of buying or renting a home, leasing office space has also gotten expensive.
It has always been pricey to have an office in major business hubs like New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, or Chicago. But secondary markets like Denver and Seattle have seen some of the most drastic increases. Even rents in mid-sized cities like Charlotte and Nashville have shot up in recent years.
There’s really no bargain to be had for office space in an urban area. So why not forgo the expense altogether and evolve into a remote company? Your employees will also benefit since they won’t have to pay exorbitant rent to live in a city, unless of course they want to.
A limitless talent pool
Certain industries are concentrated to a handful of cities because they go where the talent lives. The tech industry is a prime example of this. Even though Silicon Valley is synonymous with high labor and office costs, tech startups have to consider setting up shop there to meet their hiring needs.
Going remote gives organizations access to an entire world of possible employees, increasing the likelihood of making an excellent hire. Instead of settling on a candidate who simply meets the job requirements, you can find someone who shares your company’s values and will go above and beyond if hired.
A geographically-distributed workforce also leads to employee diversity. Many organizations struggle with diversity but it comes naturally for remote teams. And having a group of employees who come from varying backgrounds results in truly great ideas.
Remote work naysayers claim employees can slack off in the privacy of their own homes. However, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report, employees who work remotely 60 to 80 percent of the time strongly agree they make more progress in their workday away from the workplace.
When you think about it, a typical office is full of distractions. There’s so much energy that it’s often difficult to focus on the task at hand. But when someone works at home, they can get comfortable and zero-in on what they need to get done.
Remote policies that go as far as to allow employees to work on their own schedules also promote productivity. Some people prefer to get after it in the morning and others find their motivation at night. Simply having the option to take a break in the middle of the day lets an employee step away to recharge, instead of struggling to push through a 9-to-5 workday.
Increased employee happiness and retention
It should come as no surprise that people love working remotely. And happy employees stay at their jobs for a long time. Here are a few of the many perks remote working offers:
- Go wherever you want – Imagine being able to move anywhere in the world and having a job when you got there. Some places, like Vermont and Tulsa, Oklahoma, will even pay eligible remote workers to relocate to their communities.
- More time with the people who matter – Working remotely allows parents to spend more time with their kids and people to move closer to their family and friends.
- Improved quality of life – Being able to choose where you live is a key to happiness. City life is stressful for some and they would prefer to live in the middle of nowhere. But others enjoy all the activity an urban area offers.
- Save time and money – Commuting isn’t just costly. It also sucks time and energy out of people before they even get to the office. But when you work at home, you can start as soon as you wake up.
Remote working not only removes many of the burdens that come with a traditional profession. It also shows the organization values its people and trusts them to do great work wherever they happen to be located.
How to evolve into a remote company
Moving to a completely remote workforce is easier said than done and will certainly come with some growing pains. Let’s conclude this article with a few tips for making the change work for your organization:
- Have a centralized place for communication – Keeping everyone connected is the biggest challenge of having a distributed workforce. A solution like Slack is an absolute must for maintaining consistent communication.
- Make it easy to share work and collaborate – It’s difficult for people to work on the same project when they’re not together. Fortunately, collaboration tools like Google Docs make it possible.
- Plan for health insurance and payroll taxes – From an administrative perspective, employees in various states and countries means different insurance and payroll tax requirements so plan accordingly.
- Schedule regular all-hands meetings – Remote employees are often out of the loop when it comes to organizational progress and news. Be sure to schedule meetings monthly or quarterly to provide an update for all.
- Strive for a time zone overlap? – Some remote organizations require employees to be in similar time zones. It’s not a must but it’s worth considering for positions that will regularly work closely with others.
No one can predict the future but many people believe remote workforces are an inevitability. Your organization can experience these advantages and more if it embraces the change sooner than later.