Remote Working Increases Productivity, Staff Loyalty and Eliminates Office Expenses.
Should you hire remote workers? Perhaps, an even more profound question: Should you give your current employees the ability to work from wherever they want?
The prospect of a remote team may conjure up nightmares of losing control of employees as they rapidly slip into a slob-like existence “working” from home in their pjs. A common misconception is that virtual workers are less productive but this couldn’t be further from reality. Here we explore 8 reasons why remote workforce solutions are a great choice both for companies and employees alike:
#1 Increased Productivity
It may seem counter-intuitive but work productivity is reportedly higher outside of the office.
While you may imagine that it’s easier to be distracted at home by the constant call of the fridge or the TV, the average virtual worker produces better work in a shorter timeframe when given the flexibility to carve out their own schedule and work in a space of their own choosing. From a 15 minute meeting running late to a newbie regularly asking you questions to a co-worker playing irritating music, interruptions are constant, inevitable and for the most part unavoidable in an office environment.
In a recent Global Workplace Analytics survey, 53 percent of remote workers stated they were likely to work overtime, while only 28 percent of their in-office counterparts suggested they would do the same.
#2 Eliminate Expenses
From lower costs in real estate to energy cost savings for lighting, heating and cooling to less office equipment and supplies, there are many expenses that are not just reduced but literally disappear when you chose the virtual staff route.
Companies of all sizes report significant reductions in operating costs, remote work stats show. According to Forbes: Aetna (where some 14,500 of 35,000 employees don’t have an “in-office” desk) shed 2.7 million square feet of office space, saving $78 million. American Express also reported annual savings of $10 million to $15 million thanks to its remote work options.
#3 Wider Pool of Talent
Traditionally, organizations have been limited to hiring those based in the same location as them. However, virtual working means companies can now access a much wider pool of talent with more diverse skill sets and experience. This empowers them to hire the best person for the job rather than settle for the best of the candidates in their limited neck of the woods. The option to work remotely also helps you compete for highly skilled employees who your business would not be able to afford otherwise.
#4 Reduced (or No) Commute
Telecommuting means you can wake up and start working from a laptop right away without having to think about the best form of transport to avoid rush hour. Having the option of working from your home office, a nearby coffeeshop or co-working space means you’re already at an advantage given how your workday starts compared to in-office employees who may have draining commutes that can be as long as 1 or 2 hours. These hours saved are time that can be spent working instead of travelling. Furthermore, railcards and travel passes are expenses that will have to be incurred by the employee or the company.
#5 Increased Collaboration and Connectivity
Advancements in technology and software mean you don't have to be physically next to a colleague or your entire team to communicate with them effectively. Cloud-based platforms like RingCentral that shares screens and record demos in real time, or Hubspot that allows HR to monitor every candidate, and sales departments to track every lead, means collaboration has never been easier for team members spread out across the world. This enables virtual workers to feel better connected to their colleagues, perhaps even more so than their in-office counterparts and many even report greater employee engagement. As a result telecommuting not only becomes more effective and efficient but is also the preferred option for happier and more engaged workers.
#6 Lower Attrition and Better Morale
Improved engagement and flexible work translates not just to higher standards (in terms of productivity) but also to a better quality of life given the improved work-life balance that follows. After all the ability to squeeze a nap into your day that allows you to destress at the comfort of your own home, while still meeting and exceeding expectations on deliverables, is pretty awesome. Right? This freedom further guarantees better job satisfaction, improved company-wide morale and staff retention as employees feel more empowered. The subsequent lower turnover also spells substantial cost savings in the recruitment, on-boarding and training of new staff.
#7 Greater Autonomy
Choice is important to today’s workers regardless of their age or profession. It’s no wonder then that telecommuting appealing as it gives the motivated working mom more quality time with the kids or the millennial a more dynamic and productive working environment than if they were stuck in a 3x3 cube in an office. It could even mean the choice to remain a part of the workforce longer for the older employee who as a senior citizen had been forced to retire by their previous, more conventional employer.
According to Robert Gorby, marketing director of Powwownow, remote working provides choice. "Choice is very important. There shouldn't be a technology-driven compulsion to work in a certain way."
#8 Reduced Carbon Footprint
Reduction in office supplies (paper used for printouts, cardboard packaging, disposable coffee cups or boxes of printer ink cartridges) is a natural result of telecommuting, digital file sharing, online meetings and video conferencing. Remote staff not commuting results in fuel savings and lower gas emissions as well as improved air quality. Furthermore, less office space and devices sucking up electricity drastically cuts down your organization’s and employees’ carbon footprint.
Remote working, telecommuting or whatever you choose to call it is the future and is completely transforming the workplace. If you’re wondering if you should dip your toes in and test the waters we’re here to tell you this - you can because it’s no longer out of reach. Technology and software has advanced to where it is not just plausible but is the most optimal way to work. The digital nomad lifestyle is here to stay and it’s time you stepped into the future too.
Assuming that the average worker travels 30 miles or less each day for work (7,839 miles per year), each telecommuter can reduce transportation-related carbon emissions by about 69% or 3.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.