With today’s historic levels of employment, many businesses are trying to come up with innovative ways to attract and retain top talent; this is especially true in the IT industry. Many companies are embracing remote work as a way to accomplish this task. So, what are the benefits of remote work for both employer and employee?
Benefits of Remote Work
Exploration Beyond Geography and Time
When companies are open to remote workers, the potential pool of candidates opens beyond the normal geographical or time boundaries. Many professionals are unable or unwilling to relocate yet will gladly work remotely. For example, in Silicon Valley and other high-priced cities, many companies are opting to hire remote workers since it is hard to find local employees that don’t require exceedingly high salaries to keep up with the rising cost of living. Additionally, some companies may want (or need) to keep workforce operations going beyond the local workday hours. Hiring remote workers in various time zones allows for this capability without having to worry about paying overtime or additional compensation for the “night shift.”
Save Money on Physical Office Space
By utilizing remote workers, it allows employers to spend less on physical office space. This lack of demand for physical space also contributes to lowered facilities costs for utilities, equipment, food, and janitorial expenses. Over time, these savings can really add up, especially when a company is in a growth stage and adding remote workers prevents the need to move or purchase additional office space.
Ability to Hire and Retain Top Tech Talent
Hiring and retaining talent can be a real challenge. For the tech industry, where employee turnover is higher than in other sectors, remote work policies can be a real game changer for hiring and retaining top talent. Remote work allows employees to control work-life balance. This better control provides employees with the ability to confront issues such as child-care and commuting costs with more flexibility. This engenders good will on the part of the employee that could lead to longer tenures. In some cases, employees have been known to accept a lesser salary in order to work for a company that has a flexible, mature, remote work policy in place.
Happier, More Productive and Creative Employees
When employees have a better sense of work-life balance, they are oftentimes happier and more productive. Also, in remote work situations, employees tend to be more productive since workplace social distractions are limited. A 2-year study from Stanford found that remote employees were highly productive and worked a full shift compared to onsite employees who were either late to work or would leave early multiple times a week. The study also found that retention rates were higher for remote workers than onsite workers and that remote workers took shorter breaks and used less sick days than their onsite counterparts.
Considerations Before Implementing a Corporate Remote Work Strategy
While there are many benefits to remote work, it’s essential that a company’s remote work strategy is thoughtful and organized to ensure success. Haphazard remote work programs can be detrimental to a workplace leading to lost productivity and reduced morale.
Ensure there is Set Policy in Place and In Writing
Before hiring a remote workforce, it’s best to have a policy in place with clear, concise regulations and guidelines. Making sure that a plan is in place will prevent confusion and headaches down the road. Include in your policy what type of employee can work remotely, when, and how. In some cases, remote work just may not be practical to get the best performance out of an employee. Make sure to include who can approve remote work. Also, what are the procedures regarding disciplinary actions when remote work issues occur such as missing deadlines or not fulfilling work hours?
Is Your Technology Up to the Challenge?
When you have a remote workforce, it’s vital that your company’s technology is up to the task. Do you have video conferencing platforms that are dependable and easy to use? What VPN technology can your remote workers use and is it secure?
Remote work will only increase in the years ahead as both employees and employers see the many benefits it provides. For remote work arrangements to be successful, organizations should have clear, concise policies in place. When the time comes to craft your remote work policy, contact a personnel management specialist. At Open Systems, we are experts in recruiting and retaining tech professional, especially remote workforces. Let our experience and expertise help you create successful workplace strategies.