Not long ago, the idea of employing a remote workforce or even offering the option of being able to work remotely seemed impractical. There would be too much employees wouldn’t have access to and their ability to collaborate with coworkers would be highly diminished. Nowadays, however, those concerns have been mostly eliminated. Corporate networks are accessible anywhere in the world via an internet connection and coworkers are able to collaborate via email, Google Hangouts, or through collaboration software such as Slack.
While offering remote work may not work for every company, the benefits of offering this perk are undeniable. In this blog post, we discuss the benefits employers can expect to recoup by offering remote work.
Remote Work Benefits
- A Larger Candidate Base – When looking to staff open positions, recruiters will set search parameters around an employer’s location. Usually somewhere in the 30 mile range (meaning all candidates within 30 miles of the set location will be viewed). For employers located in densely populated areas these searches will turn up candidates in the dozens if not hundreds (dependent upon the skills needed). For employers located in less populated areas, however, candidates are fewer and further between. This means expanding commute parameters (to around 50 miles) to find more candidates. Even once found, though, most candidates don’t jump at the chance to commute for an hour, in one direction. By offering the opportunity to work remotely, even if only part-time, those concerns are alleviated. The remote work option increases the size of the candidate base and allows the employer to select from a nationwide, and sometimes worldwide, candidate pool; allowing the employer to hire the employee that they want, not just who’s available. Not to mention, it also helps employers staff for positions with hard-to-find skill sets.
- Ability to Better Compete with Competitors – The IT skills gap has created a candidate driven marketplace. So with so much demand for top IT talent, candidates can hold out for what they really want instead of settling for a lesser position. And what many candidates want is the option to work from home. Employers who offer this option/perk position themselves far better to land said talent than organizations who do not – even organizations who are well-established. This levels the playing field with those businesses who may be able to offer more in other areas (e.g. salary, benefits). If a candidate’s number one priority is being able to work from home, they’ll wait for that opportunity to present itself.
- Increased Worker Productivity – One of the more popular arguments against offering remote work is that employees would be too distracted at home and wouldn’t get their job done – or wouldn’t be able to find the proper motivation to do so. Statistics, however, suggest otherwise. In a report conducted by CoSo Cloud – a private-cloud solutions provider – they found that 77% of the workers surveyed reported being more productive while at home and that 52% of them were less likely to take time off. So not only does remote work offer a more productive employee but it also keeps them on the clock longer (especially when adverse weather keeps the traditional worker at home). A win-win.
- It Drives Employee Efficiency – According to that same report mentioned above, not only does working from home help employees be more productive, it also helps them be more efficient. The numbers suggest that 54% of remote workers accomplish more in less or the same amount of time as they would when working in a traditional office space.
- Improved Morale – Today, more than ever, there is a large focus on striking a happy work/life balance. While working from home may turn the home office into THE office, it also keeps the employee from a lengthy commute. According to analysis by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the average American commuter spends 42 hours per year stuck in rush-hour traffic. By turning the commute into a telecommute, stress levels for the worker are decreased dramatically. This is not only a good thing for the worker but also for the company that employs them. Happy workers make for more productive workers.
- Lower Overhead – Remote staff has no need for a physical office at corporate headquarters. Their home office is their work office (and many times their home computer is their work computer). Meaning, companies who allow their employees to work from home don’t need as much physical real estate. This results in smaller work spaces and in turn lesser rent/utility costs for the employer, allowing for money saved to be invested elsewhere.
- It Meets the Demand of a Younger Workforce – Studies have shown that a good work/life balance has helped employees avoid stress, mental exhaustion, and burnout. That’s what the younger generation of workers seeks and that’s what a remote work option can offer. In fact, a staggering 68% of job seekers who are millennials said an option to work remotely would greatly increase their interest in specific employers, according to a survey published by AfterCollege. Any organization looking for sustained growth and success needs a healthy pipeline of young talent at their disposal. Offering a remote work option is the first step to achieving that.
So as we continue to delve deeper into the technological age, don’t be surprised to see remote work options becoming more and more commonplace. If, however, you continue to defy the trend, you’ll only be hurting yourself.
If you have concerns over managing a remote workforce, don’t worry, we have you covered.