Thanks to digital transformation, there are now more ways for people to stay connected than ever before. Smartphones with business apps, software available through the cloud, and faster internet connections mean that people don’t necessarily have to be “in the office” to get work done.
Many companies are beginning to explore the benefits of remote working for themselves. Why bother wasting time and money on a boring commute when you could start getting work done faster at home? Why stifle your productivity and creativity in an office when you feel more comfortable in a coffee shop?
By 2020, 50% of workers in the UK will be working remotely at least some of the time. Here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of remote workers.
Pro: Access to a bigger talent pool
Finding the right employees for any team is easier said than done. There are a lot of companies out there all competing for the same talent. If you’re looking for someone with specialist or in-demand skills, it’s tough to find someone who is simultaneously close enough to come to the office every day, and available to fill your open position.
The good news is that with remote workers, you can access talent from virtually anywhere. As long as your people can log into their must-have accounts online, they can join your team regardless of wherever they are in the world.
According to the International Workplace group, 69% of millennials will happily trade other benefits at work for more flexible employment options. This means that you not only reach more potential talent, but you may be more likely to convince them to choose you over a competing employer.
Pro: Increased productivity
According to countless surveys, people feel more productive when they can work wherever they want. Around 53% of people seeking flexible working solutions believe that they get more done when they work from home. On top of that, a comprehensive Stanford study found that there was a significant productivity boost among telecommuting employers.
Ultimately, everyone works differently. Some people get more done in a busy office environment where their peers surround them. Other people feel more comfortable having the option to choose their schedule and block out unwanted distractions.
While it takes the right kind of person to thrive in a remote environment, you could find that your team starts to accomplish more when they’re not shackled to the office.
Pro: Reduced expenses
One of the biggest benefits of remote work that appeals to business leaders is the amount of money they can save by choosing flexible workers over in-office employees. When you hire people to work for you in-house, you not only pay their salaries, you also need to pay for the electricity and hardware they use each day. On top of that, there are real-estate expenses to think about too.
One study from tech giant Dell found that the company could save about $12 million each year in office space expenses. Other studies have shown similar results too. Combined with video conferencing and collaboration tools, a remote working strategy can save money on everything from daily overheads to commuting costs.
What’s more, you could even hold onto your cost-effective employees for longer just by offering them the opportunity to go remote. Businesses can reduce their turnover rates by approximately 25% only by providing any form of remote work.
The problems with remote work…
There are a lot of benefits involved in supporting remote workers.
Get your strategy right, and you’ll end up with more productive, dedicated employees, and reduced outgoing expenses. However, you need the right plan in place.
For instance, when you’re working with remote employees, you can’t just check what they’re doing by walking up to their desk and tapping them on the shoulder. There’s no watercooler conversations or daily meetings. You need another way to keep people connected.
VoIP telecom services that your workers can tap into remotely is a good start to keep your employees connected to your customers and shareholders. Today’s cloud-based employees can access business numbers wherever they are through softphones downloaded onto their PC or other devices. However, you’ll need other strategies in place too. For instance:
- To prevent company culture from suffering, you’ll need to ensure that your employees can bond: This might mean encouraging people to stay connected over instant chat tools or inviting remote employees to regular video conferencing services.
- To keep your data secure, you’ll need to set up advanced privacy and protection guidelines. Make sure that your employees know how to keep their information safe wherever they are. With help from Nice Network, you can also set up mobile device management systems, biometric security measures, and two-factor authentication.
- To ensure that work gets done according to deadlines, you’ll also need to ensure that all of your employees have access to the business essentials they need. This includes business email, file sharing tools, and even cloud-based software.
Making your remote strategy work
The benefits of remote working mean that flexible employment is a strategy that most companies should at least consider. However, supporting remote workers is tough. You’ll need to ensure that you have the right communication, security, and employee management tools in place to keep your business on the right track.
For help with your remote working strategy, or assistance considering the next step of your digital transformation campaign, reach out to Nice Network today!