Many employers have reservations about hiring remote workers. These include things like:
- Failures of communication around processes, expectations, and deadlines
- Difficulties building trust
- Managing remote workers requires a completely different management style
- Cross-cultural conflicts and miscommunications
These are legitimate concerns. When working with remote staff, care must be taken to prevent such difficulties from arising. However, this doesn’t mean you should avoid hiring remote workers altogether.
Most of the problems above can be easily resolved with the help of a well-planned remote work strategy and tech such as Google Hangouts, quick chat software, Trello, Google Docs – the list goes on!
When managed in the right way, remote workers offer a lot of benefits. In this post, we’ll explore the ways in which they can help your business grow and succeed.
Achieve greater levels of productivity
While it may seem counterintuitive, a growing body of evidence indicates that remote workers are significantly more productive than office-based employees. One notable study which was reported in Harvard Business Review examined staff at the Chinese travel center Ctrip. The study revealed that among the workers who worked from home:
- 13.5 percent more calls completed
- A significant decrease in the number of sick days
- Self-reported increased job satisfaction
So what exactly is it about remote working that resulted in these significant changes?
Well firstly, remote workers have fewer distractions to contend with. They are free to concentrate on their own tasks without interruption. Even a 30-second distraction can wreck an employees train of thought and require them to spend an extra few minutes figuring out where they were and what they were thinking of.
Secondly, remote workers feel in control which can be very empowering. They can set up their work environment in the way that best suits them and works to a tailored schedule which boosts their output. Furthermore, greater freedom and flexibility allows for a better work-life balance.
Reduce office costs
For small to medium-sized organizations, hiring remote workers offers an opportunity for expansion without the accompanying costs of bigger and more expensive commercial real estate. Indeed, a 2017 report published by Regus found that the main driver for allowing remote working is to reduce fixed office costs.
Expand your talent pool exponentially
For those with in-demand skills and experience, there’s no shortage of job opportunities. If your company is based in a major city, you can be sure there will be intense competition to hire the strongest candidates in the local area. Some businesses win and others inevitably lose out as there isn’t enough local talent to go around.
Expanding your candidate pool is one of the best ways to get hold of top-notch talent. Hiring remote workers enables you to tap into the huge global network of highly-skilled candidates. And there’s no need to compromise on quality. You can still put them through the same rigorous interview process you put everyone else through. The only difference is it will be done via video chat.
Bring in different perspectives
Having employees who work in different countries and cultures introduces variety into your team. There is great value in hiring people who think in different ways as they may be able to find unique solutions to challenging problems. It’s also very helpful when trying to reach out to a broader audience. A deep understanding of the target demographic is vital to rolling out any successful product or service.
Increase employee retention
The cost of replacing an employee can be huge. Recruiting and training new employees involves a ton of time and resources, so you want to be sure that new hires actually stick around long term. Remote working goes a long way to achieving this. In fact, a study conducted by TINYpulse found that companies that allow remote work have a 25% higher retention rate than companies that don’t.