Is your Business taking advantage of the Benefits of Remote Workers?
In today’s digital world, more and more businesses are hiring remote workers. With the technological advancements we see nearly every week, justifying all in-person employees is getting more difficult. Hiring remote workers is highly beneficial, and these benefits are far more numerous than those of in-person employees.
What Are These Benefits?
For managers who are pro-in-person employees, their main argument is that they can watch their employees to ensure they are actually working. This is not an issue of remote working, but rather an issue with who you have hired or your managerial skills. As Assistantly’s CEO, Laith Masarweh, puts in one blog post, “While it’s important to make sure your employees are a good representation of your business, you also shouldn’t be hiring people you don’t trust. Only hire people who are clearly capable of doing a great job and that have a great track record. When you do, you can completely trust everyone to do what they are supposed to.”
They also believe that working in an office provides capabilities that working from home cannot. While this is true in some cases, such as manufacturing, engineering, baking, etc, the vast majority of jobs can be done online. Now, you may be thinking, “But our culture feels different when people aren’t in-person.” The truth is, there are options for this too, such as round-the-clock video calls. There are even telepresence robots that people can use to make it “feel” as though they are in the office. The options are endless, and they’re only growing.
These two arguments are the most typical. And, they’re obstacles every manager may face at one point with remote employees. But, for nearly every business, they can reap the benefits of remote employees we discuss below.
Have you ever worked from home, whether it be because of a severe storm or a sick kid? If you have, you likely remember the feeling of happiness you felt since you could wear what you want, eat what you want, and work where you want (I’ll take the couch, please!). You aren’t alone in feeling joy that you don’t have to smell your co-worker’s tuna sandwich or hear the repetitive elevator music. In one study from Stanford, employees who worked from home reported feeling much happier and were more satisfied with their work when they made the switch. Chances are, many, if not all, of your employees will feel the same.
More Productive Teams
The same Stanford study found that attrition, or the weakening of productivity, decreased by 50% when people worked from home. We don’t know why this is – perhaps it’s that employees get to choose what type of coffee they drink. Can you imagine if your team was currently 50% stronger mentally by the time the clock hits five? What could get done if your employees could work 50% faster and were 50% sharper? For some teams, this would be game-changing and would increase profits significantly. For others, it could mean getting along better as a team, with everyone bright and cheery.
Fewer Sick Days
We are finally in an era where sickness is taken seriously. I know I personally have felt pressure to go into the office when I have a cold or a stomach bug. However, this means that sick days are increasing, which also means productivity is decreasing. But, remote employees get sick far less often, as they are exposed to far fewer people every day. Not to mention, you won’t see your entire team getting sick at the same time after they all sit in the same room for a meeting.
In the same vein, remote employees are less likely to take a sick day. A simple cold that can be knocked out with some DayQuil isn’t enough for most employees to take a sick day. However, they will take a sick day to avoid getting others sick in the office. With remote working, they save a sick day, increasing your employees’ work capacity. And, it protects other employees.
Larger Pool of Employees
When I was growing up, my mom was always home, but she still had a thriving career. As a kid, I asked her why her company allows her to be home with me, while my friends’ parents couldn’t be home with them. She told me something that I never forgot – ”My company values hiring the best people, no matter where they are at. As long as they can speak English and are the best fit for the job, they get the role.” I was young when she told me this, but it made me wonder, even in the early 2000s, why more businesses weren’t like my mom’s.
I still wonder today why companies exclusively hire people in their local area. Between someone having the perfect experience, the right culture, the relevant degree, and the population of where you’re located, this doesn’t leave many options. For big cities, this narrows the role down to a few dozen people. For smaller towns, this narrows the role down to one or two people at the most. And who’s to say these people are even looking for a new job? If you adopt remote working, you could have hundreds of perfect candidates trying to fill your open role.
If your company has over 100 employees, there’s a good chance you spend a ton of money on your office lease. You also probably spend a lot on office furniture, electricity, water, and necessities like toilet paper and paper towels. All of this could be completely eliminated if you allowed your employees to work from home. If you would like to, you could give your employees credit towards computers and Wi-Fi, but that’s it. Your employees have all of these things at home, so these costs are unnecessary. The next time you're budgeting for your business or team, look at how much you could be saving if you allowed your employees to go remote.
Should You Let Your Employees Be Remote?
So, what does this mean? It means that if you would benefit from any of the above, you should at least give the option of working remotely. It also means that you should consider hiring a remote employee the next time a position opens up. Today, there are far more cons than there are pros of working in-person for most businesses. So, take the step thousands of other teams and companies are taking, download Zoom, and send your team home.
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