Naturally you’ve likely heard of the need for more remote work options (or mandates) in recent weeks, in order to keep productivity going and businesses afloat and working despite circumstances closing offices or making things difficult for employees to get to work. However, for many, remote work has been around for years now, and the advantages have made themselves clear. It’s absolutely something to invest in, and that isn’t necessarily a difficult task.
Here are some of the main reasons you should consider opening up more remote work positions and keeping options open to shift current employees to remote work.
Travelling and Easy Access Becomes More of a Possibility
While you should naturally maintain a presence at the office yourself when you can if your setup is based upon it, there is also the truth that you will eventually need to be able to make sure things are running smoothly when you are out of the office yourself. If your employees are already used to working in a remote or partially remote environment, then you will have a much easier time making sure that everything is going and proceeding as normal.
Similarly, if you’re sick or stuck at home yourself, there’s a much easier infrastructure to check on things, handle important tasks, and otherwise deal with company business wherever you are, which is a major convenience.
Think about it: the number of people able to do most of their life’s tasks completely online has made many other things obsolete. People are considering cutting their cable subscriptions frequently in lieu of streaming. Bills aren’t paid in person or by mail nearly as frequently. Companies and service providers often assume internet access on the part of the customer. With all of that possible, keeping in contact is a non-issue.
You Gain Access to a Vastly Larger Pool of Talent
If you are hiring for a purely remote position (or one that might require someone be at the office once or twice a year), then there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be considering candidates from around the world, given that the talent pool is large and many prospective employees are happy to work from home (and are counting on employers interested in just such an arrangement).
Whether you want to keep things in the country or open it up worldwide depends on your business, tax considerations, and more. A freelance position or freelance work is generally much easier to hire anywhere on earth for, so long as you’re happy with the results, and in addition to this most freelancers will supply their own computers and basic equipment (unless you are looking for a specialized sort of job).
While the main downside is that you’ll need to whittle down a much larger pool of candidates, you will also be able to be a lot more selective during the hiring process. Just remember this and a few other factors when you’re setting up the job posts, and you’ll find just the right staff you need.
Employees Can Remain More Focused
While you may worry about distractions for workers at home in the form of television, online activities, and family members, this has mostly shown itself to be a non-issue. Anyone with a dedicated home office or home work space will be able to focus just as much as they could at the office, and employees will likely get bored or unhappy with working on the couch after a week and take efforts to build a better space, especially with a bit of prodding if required.
Think about all the potential distractions at the office, and the fact that employees have smartphones if they truly wish to not work at the present time. There are tradeoffs regarding communication at the start, especially for a poorly managed or newer organization, but a more focused employee is often worth it.
You Can Focus More on Results
While you should always remain aware of the fact that some employees might not do their jobs remotely properly or slack off, you shouldn’t let this worry scare you off of the idea of remote work. After a few days or a few weeks, the work easily catches up with them and you can tell if someone is doing their job properly or not.
Additionally, the people who wouldn’t work much at home probably wouldn’t be the most productive at the office either. After weeding these people out from your team and finding more well-suited replacements, you’ll find a team that is more productive and more focused on getting the important work done.
By having employees work from home, you can have a work culture that is more focused on results than having people clock in and clock out their hours. Many employees will be much happier with this, getting their work done and then moving onto the rest of their planned day or other tasks.
This all being said, you should remember that you will want to make sure your work culture and guidelines complement any changes. If you’re still requiring people to unnecessarily log hours and providing unnecessary busy work, you may not see the full benefits of a more remote work-friendly space.
Your Best Team Members Can More Easily Stick with You
People move for circumstances outside of their current job, whether that means for reasons relating to other family members, the opportunity to buy or build a better home, or even just the need for a change of scenery. And seeing as how for many people a long commute can be a dealbreaker to the degree that a reduction in commute makes people as happy as a pay raise (which doesn’t come as a surprise), and there is a sense that
With the option of remote work, these people don’t need to leave your company when they leave the area. If they’re leaving for a new job that’s one thing, but if they want to stay, working something out can keep your team happy, save you thousands in hiring and training costs, and provide additional benefits.
Stay-at-home parents have also become one of the largest groups of people endorsing the remote work lifestyle, whether to keep busy and maintain a job during school hours or to use the often-flexible scheduling allowed to their advantage. Employees making this transition in their life might be people to talk to about remote work as well, or perhaps setting up a more flexible arrangement that involves some remote work. If you can reduce the stress of an employee in that situation, they’re sure to do better for your business or not feel like they need to quit to stay sane.
While working remotely isn’t possible for all employees of all businesses, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the possibility if it’s open for you. With a little bit of thought (or no thought with some office jobs), your business can be more adaptable, more open to change and benefits from those changes, and even more productive. We hope you’ll consider the above and start making changes soon, if you haven’t already.