If you run a business with a robust in-house team, you might just be in the minority sooner rather than later. There’s a growing shift toward employing a remote workforce – and it actually offers some serious benefits to companies willing to say goodbye to the traditional 9-5 desk-jockey life. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider going office-free.
Imagine this: you own a business but you don’t have to pay to lease an office space, you don’t have to pay to keep the lights on, and you don’t need to worry about finding a space big enough to hold your growing company. Year over year, those savings can add up to the thousands.
In fact, the average real estate savings for workers who are off-site one hundred percent of the time is $10,000 per employee per year.
Research has proven time and time again that remote work situations create a happier work culture. Studies have shown that workers who are remote feel more valued and more productive since companies are placing value on a better work-life integration.
If you can’t come around to the idea of a totally remote work team, you may want to consider renting out a coworking space that gives your employees the chance to choose whether they want to come in or if they want to work remotely.
In addition, remote work opportunities have been shown to both retain top talent and attract talent from other companies. Plus, since your workforce is remote, you can cast a wider net when you need to hire since a new employee doesn’t have to be in the same geographical location as you.
Better for the world
Besides being great for the workers themselves, remote work can also save around $20 million in gas costs and 119 billion miles of highway driving. By keeping more people off the road, there might also be positive secondary effects such as less traffic and fewer accidents.
Working from home isn’t just more comfortable for workers, it also gives them a chance to be more productive compared to a day in the office where meetings and coworkers could end up being a near constant distraction. Remote workers learn to be self-motivated and with a more flexible schedule, they can take mental breathers when necessary. Plus, they don’t have to spend time commuting into work.
According to one study, remote workers also are more likely to go above and beyond for companies that allow for a flexible schedule and remote work.
One serious pro you might not be aware of is the health benefits of remote versus in-house work. There are actually studies that show in-office work actually contributes to negative health consequences. Workplace stress has been shown to be reduced when employees are given the chance to work remotely. And studies have also suggested that workers who currently don’t have the chance to work remotely on a flexible schedule would be healthier and less stressed if they did.
Tips for introducing remote work
If you currently have an in-house team, it’s ideal to spend time talking about remote work opportunities before fully diving in. You’ll also want to make sure that all of your workers are equipped to handle their work remotely, which means that they have the tools they need like portable document scanners or a spacious desk to get work done and be productive.
It may be a good idea to start rolling out remote work a few days out of the week. For example, Monday through Wednesday could be designated as remote workdays while the rest of the week, employees are required to be in the office.
You may have to tweak how you measure employees’ productivity when you move to this system, such as tracking by project completion rather than tracking hours spent working. However, by rolling out a remote system, you’ll likely see an increase in company morale and happier, more productive employees.
Takeaways: remote workforce
Some companies and businesses are scared by the prospect of letting employees work on their own time where they can’t be monitored. However, there are plenty of studies that show that remote workers end up being great for a company’s bottom line and overall productivity.