Remote workers in teams are no longer just a unique niche for the workforce.
The pandemic drives remote working at the forefront of our fight towards a new normal.
Businesses moving online is now a staple for businesses to survive and thrive.
Technological leaps in communication, productivity, even cloud-based touchless solutions have made distributed teams with remote setup possible.
These technological advances and tools make collaborative work easier, even when teams work remotely.
What is Remote Working?
Remote working is the ability to work from flexible workspaces at any time. Even prior to the pandemic, the number of freelance and remote workers have been on the rise.
Pre-pandemic, Forbes mentions that In the U.S., 50% are working remotely, while Europe’s remote workforce grew almost 10% in number in the last decade.
In fact, top companies of today offer various working arrangements that include some level of remote working.
Interestingly, 9 out of 10 remote workers plan to do so for the rest of their careers.
Different Remote Work Arrangements
According to your existing business requirements, here are types of remote work policies you can choose from:
- Limited remote days per month: This work arrangement gives you the best of having your staff in-office while giving them some flexibility on some days as well. You can choose to allocate 2-3 remote working days per month or more as you see fit.
- Flexible Friday: Giving Fridays as a remote workday allows your staff to have a long weekend with their family. Even just a day spent remotely can go a long mile for working parents. You can also choose other days of the week, of course, but Mondays and Fridays are the most sensible as it extends weekends for your staff.
- Full remote flexibility: It is a work arrangement that is fitting now for most companies, especially for those classified as non-essential businesses in areas still under social distancing measures.
- Full-time remote work: A lot of businesses worldwide employ remote staff full-time, and you can too. Just bear in mind that it introduces new adjustments to work setup and team collaboration, even in timekeeping policies. Some of the changes include onboarding remote employees. Whatever the changes are, it is easy to transition with a little bit of preparation and flexibility.
Benefits of Remote Workers for Your Business
It does not matter where you are a startup, a growing enterprise, or a long-time business owner.
Hiring remote workers is good for your business. The benefits actually outweigh the challenges.
First, it helps your company cut costs or losses, and opens up your workforce to globally competitive talents.
Here are 10 of the benefits remote workers bring to businesses:
1) Access to a More Competitive and Global Pool of Applicants
The millennial effect has driven the demand for more flexible working situations. Younger employees look for more workplace flexibility as a crucial factor in their career decisions.
If you want and need to attract younger, highly-skilled talents, you need to think about the inclusion of remote working to some degree in your company policy.
You also remove geographical limitations of hiring talent outside of normal commuting distance.
The world is now open to you as a remote employer, and you can get the best of the best talents in the world if you like.
2. Less Time Wasted on Travelling
Your workforce’s wellbeing and wellbeing have proven ties to performance, lower turnover, and reduced absenteeism.
Reducing or eliminating excessive, stressful, and even unpleasant commute is not just for the employees’ benefit, then, but also for the businesses, since it will boost employee performance.
Remote working also minimizes travel costs, which translates to more earnings for your employees.
It helps businesses have a happier, healthier, and more determined workforce.
3. Reduced Costs
Hiring remote workers reduce costs not just on the side of employees, but considerably on the side of employers too.
For one, businesses do not have to occupy big spaces to accommodate all their staff. Even just a fraction of their team are remote workers, the reduction in rent and utilities is already significant and affects the total ROI of the company.
Operational expenses are reduced, while employees also reduce travel, food, and clothing costs, among other costs.
4. Higher Productivity
Remote employment improves efficiency. Surveys show that remote workers and freelancers are even more efficient than most in-office workers who clock in the time. Remote workers are more goal-oriented and even clock in more hours to finish a task.
A traditional employer may want to see their staff know they are working well, but forward-thinking employers know there are many ways to gauge efficiency than just time records.
Trust is crucial in today’s modern workforce. Employers’ willingness to trust their people, mainly while working remotely, could be essential to achieving more efficiency than ever before.
A two-year study done by Stanford University shows that remote workers showed a 13% boost in work productivity, fewer sick days, and a 50% decrease in employee attrition than traditional workers.
Adopting remote working policies does not mean businesses close their offices and send everyone to work all week remotely.
It is best to have a time where remote workers can be in the office, too, say for important events or quarterly meetings.
It fosters camaraderie between in-office and remote staff as well.
But if your remote workers are out of the country, you can either schedule a once a year trip, if you can afford such a thing or encourage meeting often online. Make sure you also can meet with your remote worker outside of a conference call, so they will still feel connected to the vision of your company since you maintain a connection with them.
5. Remote Work Promotes Better Work-Life Balance
Maintaining a balanced work-life balance is essential for many workers. The desire to navigate well between these two priorities is a secret of being happier and more efficient at work.
Once commuting or traveling is reduced, the remote worker has more time to spend on other things beyond work, like quality time with family and handling family affairs. Being in the same location for work and family life also helps facilitate better handling of priorities.
6. Reduced Turnover and Increased Employee Retention
As an attractive bonus, an increasing number of businesses utilize flexible schedules to help them secure top talents. It seems like the key to keeping employees around for years is to let them work with flexibility.
A survey shows that 73% of remote workers show higher job satisfaction, while 54% of in-office employees are thinking of finding new jobs. Employees tend to remain in a company allowing remote working.
Although statistics show that 39% of employees have not taken a new job or have quit a job due to inflexible work options, 82% of employees showed more loyalty to employers who allow flexible work options. 95% of employers also say that remote work remarkably made an impact on their employee retention.
7. Happier, Healthier Workers
Being a remote employee encourages worker wellbeing.
With no commute, no lunch rush, and no extended hours away from family or friends in the office, working remotely can improve employee health and wellbeing by reducing stress. It also limits exposure to potentially sick coworkers, especially now in a time of the pandemic.
But employers should also encourage physical wellness among their remote workers. You may give gym membership benefits or require a healthy bill of health from your remote staff through yearly or bi-annual health check-ups.
Mental health is also a priority. You may have online meet-ups that focus on wellness. You may require staff to attend an online Yoga session, for instance, that even in-office staff attends as well.
A stress-free employee is less likely to have mental health issues like depression and anxiety, especially for remote workers. Isolation and loneliness are some of the pitfalls of remote working.
So even if they may have chosen a remote working lifestyle, check up on your remote workers one in a while too.
8. Remote Working is Economical and Environment-Friendly
When you hire remote employees, your business helps reduce exhaust emissions by eliminating the need for daily commutes. Nielsen also conducted a survey in 2018 that shows dollar sales of goods, like bath products, chocolate, and coffee, from businesses with legitimate product sustainability claims outperformed the rate of growth for total products in each category. Thus, introducing remote working reduces a company’s carbon footprint.
9. Improved Diversity and Equal Opportunity
When recruiting employees from across the world, diversifying your staff gets easier. You will have the opportunity to hire people from different cultures and nationalities. It is also easier for companies to give equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
You not only promote diversity, but you also diversify ideas, creativity, and knowledge to come up with the best possible solutions for and through the business.
10. Better Use of Technology
Leveraging software for businesses is also key to business growth in this modern, digital age. Without the advanced technology, we have today, remote working would be challenging. Technology has enabled the freelancing and remote working lifestyle through fast Wi-Fi connections, mobile devices, cloud computing, and many others.
There are even a plethora of mobile apps that help you be productive at home. There are many ways how to become an effective freelancer or remote worker.
Conclusion: The Advantages Outweigh the Challenges
The advantages of a remote working environment outweigh its challenges. In fact, by 2030, remote working will be the norm.
It is not just for the younger generations in the workforce, but for the seasoned ones as well. Businesses do not have to go full remote right away.
But looking at how this pandemic has upended our lives and livelihood, your companies might have had no choice but to go full remote right away.
Either way, by now, you have already seen how remote working benefits businesses greatly, even enabling businesses to survive severe global crisis such as we are going through today.
As the world is increasingly becoming technologically advanced and digitally connected, remote working will be more common and is here to stay.