You probably have an idea in your head about what a remote worker does all day. Maybe they live their life in sweatpants and watch Netflix for hours while “working.” Or maybe you think they pay loose attention — if any — to deadlines, especially without anyone physically in the room to hold them accountable. A remote workforce is something that is growing in popularity. And it’s something employers and employees are both benefiting from.
While it’s true that some remote workers are lazier than others, the same can be said for all workers, anywhere. In fact, studies have shown that remote workers are just as productive as their in-office counterparts.
Why Would Anyone Want to Work Remotely?
It may be hard to believe, but the reality is that more and more businesses are allowing their employees to work from home, or wherever they happen to be. This is hugely beneficial for many workers. For one thing, if they have young children, working remotely at least a few days a week greatly helps reduce daycare costs. Not having to pay full time daycare is a perceived benefit that is often overlooked by employers and employees.
Remote work also often allows for a more flexible schedule, so that parents and others can get their work done at whatever time is best for them. As a result, many remote workers actually put in MORE time than their in-office counterparts.
Another big benefit is that remote work gives employees the opportunity to travel without taking large chunks of time off from work. If the job simply requires a laptop and an internet connection, employees can work from virtually anywhere in the world.
Also, not every person is going to find the same office environment to be beneficial. Working remotely allows employees to tailor their home office or workspace to their own needs, rather than trying to force productivity on them in an office space they didn’t choose.
These are some of the main points behind why working remotely is appealing for employees. But how do employers benefit?
Remove Distractions from the Workplace
While there are plenty of positions that depend on interacting in person, many simply make more sense as remote positions. For example, web developers spend most of their day looking at screens full of code; they often rely on having minimal distractions in order to maximize productivity. Those employees productivity actually can go up because they are not being pulled into meetings or asked questions by others in different departments.
And with apps like Slack at your disposal, remote team communication is simple and efficient. Allowing employees to work wherever they are best motivated to complete projects in a timely manner could be great for your whole business.
It is also important to mention that an entirely remote workforce eliminates some interoffice distractions. There may still be tiffs between coworkers, but it is much easier for people to get along when they don’t have to spend time in the same physical space. If there is a human resources issue, you can easily handle it by outsourcing to a professional employer organization.
A Remote Workforce Saves Costs on Office Space
Renting an office space can be one of the biggest costs of running a business, depending on what line of work you’re in. Some employers choose to have a remote workforce, but will still give employees the benefit of paying for monthly membership at a coworking space. Some coworking spaces allow individual workers to pay to either use common spaces for working or rent an entire private office. Depending on the city and specific space in question, this can still be a lot more cost-effective than leasing or owning your own office suite or building.
Also, remote workers often use computers and other equipment that they already own. That means you could save thousands — or more! — in equipment and technology costs every year.
Hire the Best of the Best
Geographical restrictions are often a real issue when it comes to hiring the right person for the job. There are a lot of great employees out there that aren’t in your area. Many of them prefer to work from home. But, if your employee base is remote, you can essentially hire anyone from anywhere in the world. Of course, it might be beneficial to keep your employees within a few time zones, so that your workdays line up and interoffice communications don’t become a nuisance. But that still allows you to cast a much wider net in the hiring process than requiring your employees to come into a physical office.
Expand Your Client Base
That being said, there are also benefits to having employees located all over the world. It makes it more possible than ever to have clients anywhere in the world — which would give your company an incredible edge. There’s big benefit to having a local person in a market you normally wouldn’t service since you have no office there. Local people generate local lead – regardless of their capacity. Every employee has a sphere of influence in their local community. Tap into that.
Optimize the Hours in a Workday
By allowing employees to work from home, you essentially cut out any lost time spent commuting. This means that your employees may have no problem expanding their workday by an hour or so, which could do wonders for your business’ overall productivity. It also increases their quality of life since they can say goodbye to rush hour traffic and crowds. That’s one of the biggest benefits remote workers claim to garner from telecommuting.
All in all, being able to work remotely gives employees the opportunity to improve work-life balance. This is not only good for the health and well-being of your employees. It’s also good for your business health. Happier employees mean a better company culture and less turnover. While a remote workforce may seem like a foreign concept to a long-time business owner, it may just be worth looking into.