Ok, we get it - you already think that allowing your staff to work from home isn't right for your business, but as long as success can be measured just as though your staff have come in to the office, what's to lose? When businesses make the move to allowing members of staff to work remotely, the below 4 areas are quite typically seen as areas that benefit a company and individuals the most.
Restricting your business to an office means you must recruit workers from people already living in your local area or those looking to move or commute there. But you may not be able to recruit the best and brightest who don’t necessarily want to live in your town, city or even the same country as your company. Advertising the possibility of flexible remote working is one of the many ways you can offer a more attractive proposition to employees, and at the same time expand your pool of candidates to a wider range of people, with different skills and experience. Expanding your workforce to beyond who is able to come into the office can certainly help you to discover new talent. Remote working means you can recruit whoever best suits your company’s needs, no matter where they are.
Many employers have the view that remote working will reduce productivity, when in many cases, the opposite is actually true. Working remotely eliminates commuting time which is a time staff often feel compelled to use that extra hour it may have taken to get to work and start an hour early, or even work an hour extra at the end of the day. It also does away with the adjustment period that we tend to go through when arriving at work – as we recover from our commute into work and prepare for the day ahead. Similarly at the other end of the day the last hour is often spent preparing ourselves for leaving work and bracing ourselves for our journey home. Cutting down the amount of time that employees spend traveling to the office helps to reduce the stress of the daily commute and enables them to put this time to better use.
Still don’t believe us? Let’s say it takes the average worker 30 minutes to arrive at work, and then somewhere in the region of 15 minutes to get into the office, turn on the computer, make a coffee and get settled. That’s 1.5 hours a day, 7.5 hours per week (nearly an entire days work already) and up to 400 hours a year, that you could share between your business and your workers personal time.
Let’s also not forget to mention the savings made by not having to fuel up the car, or paying for public transport. None of us enjoy sitting in heavy traffic, or the daunting thought of sharing the tube while fighting for somewhere to sit. By the time your workers have even stepped one foot into the office, they have already experienced an exhausting and stressful morning; how is their negative mood going to reflect onto their (and their colleagues) productivity for the day? With all these benefits of avoiding the morning and evening commute with remote working, you gain a happier member of staff and a happy member of staff is a more productive one.
Don’t limit your company’s growth due to expansions costing too much. If you’re limited to the number of seats that you have in your office, this doesn’t offer much flexibility at all. Managing expansion as your business grows can put a strain on you and your staff. Especially the thought of relocating to a larger premise every time you want to grow. Not to mention the possibility of longer commutes for staff that may now appear disgruntled at your need to move location to expand. Compared with the alternatives of either expanding your office to accommodate extra staff, cloud-based remote workers are sure to save you money. By building a team of remote workers, you can grow faster and quickly as the need to establish a ‘real’ office becomes unnecessary.
If all of your staff are working remotely, there is no need to spend money on office space, which can end up being very costly. So if you can save money on expensive office space, you’ll even save on office costs such as power, heat and consumables. By reducing the overheads associated with a premises, funds can be placed into other more productive areas of your business. However you may still need an address to meet clients; increasingly coworking spaces or private members clubs offer an alternative to your usual office space. Remote working also saves your employees money as they don’t need to travel to and from work every day, effectively increasing their salary.
Of course, remote work comes with challenges for recruiters and management alike. Integration of people who are not in the office every day with a normal communication structure can seem difficult, making remote workers feel disconnected or seem unavailable and even isolated. Perhaps more importantly, it can appear tough to manage performance and ensure quality when staff work virtually and can’t be easily observed by their managers.
Embracing remote work is not something to be taken lightly, but businesses who are able to utilize available technology and smart management techniques will be well positioned to attract the best talent, increase placements & business growth and gain a competitive advantage. With the help and advice in this 8 lesson course, we will cover the challenges employers may face when recruiting remote staff and show you how easy these challenges can be overcome.