Remote work is already a growing workforce trend. An increasing number of businesses are offering remote work on a part-time, if not full-time, basis. Companies like Buffer and Zapier have been almost completely "virtual offices" for years, proving that companies can be productive and thrive in a remote work arrangement.
Employees are drawn to this type of working arrangement, as it offers a wealth of benefits for their personal and professional lives. Employers may want to consider this arrangement due to its major benefits, and money-saving opportunities.
Here are six reasons why you should embrace telecommuting if you want to compete.
1. Teams enjoy added flexibility
Employees are proven to be more productive when they work remotely. If your employees are working efficiently, this means better time management and fewer resources wasted for your business, saving you money. Having remote capabilities puts workers at ease, both physically and mentally, and many find it easier to focus away from other distractions.
For some this means an entire day at home, working away from everyone in comfort and quiet. For others, this could mean hopping from coffee shop to library, to outdoor picnic table, for a variety of ambiance.
Having the freedom to pick up and move throughout the day helps increase comfort and concentration. Best of all, your employees are less likely to default to unrelated conversation or mindless phone scrolling when working remotely, which is always an issue in a traditional office space.
One of the most common distractions in the workplace reported by employees is conversation. This is not to say that all office conversations are unproductive or irrelevant, but when discussion carries on for 30 minutes to an hour of topics unrelated to work, serious progress and productivity is lost.
If working in the office is an employee’s only option, they lose the freedom to be as productive as possible.
2. Businesses can save on office space
Large businesses require grand office spaces to accommodate the whole team. But increasing the percentage of remote workers at your company means less money is spent on leasing out office space. Even if a small portion of employees choose to work remotely on a full-time basis, you can lease a smaller space which costs less than it would to keep all of your employees in one space.
And of course, as the business grows so too will the office. Naturally, you'll need more space and equipment to accommodate the increase in people. These costs can really add up, and before you know it, your company is spending an outrageous amount on office space that may not be as good a fit as it was when you first signed that 5 year lease agreement.
When your business is growing and expanding, saving costs wherever possible is important.
You still need to make sure your employees are equipped to perform their best work. But flexible conditions that allow them to do so, and will cost you less, is a smart move for the budget and future company success.
3. Remote work can make customer communication more effective
While remote work offers a multitude of benefits for both employers and employees, a common fear is that those outside the office won’t be able to communicate with customers as they would from their cubicle.
Physical distance from office tools may make it seem impossible for employees to keep up with customer requests and the fear is that customer satisfaction will suffer.
Fortunately, remote work actually has a positive impact on employee/customer interaction and collaboration — as long as they have the right tools. Rather than tethering your employees to their desks via a landline, set them free with the simple help of good software.
A cloud-based contact center gives your team the ability to communicate with customers from anywhere with an internet connection. These tools bring web, chat, SMS, social media, and voice channels to one central platform.
When your customers call, you need to answer them right away. With the help of cloud-based technology, your employees can answer from wherever they choose without missing a beat. This way, neither inclement weather nor the common cold will hold your customers back from speaking to a representative when they need support.
4. Today’s job seekers want to work remotely
Amazingly, 80% of U.S. workers say they would turn down a job that doesn’t offer remote work in some capacity. These days, it has become so common for businesses to offer this opportunity. And if job seekers don’t find it with one employer, they’ll move on to the next who does.
Just as with health benefits and 401k, remote work is another major incentive that job seekers are looking for. Today’s workforce is diverse, creating many different lifestyles for businesses to cater to. When giving your employees the option to work remotely, you satisfy the needs of many, rather than forcing such diversity to fit into your own mold.
This means that the mother who wants to spend more time with her newborn can work from home and do so. The military spouse who moves frequently can continue to work for the same company, even after moving out of state. The world traveler can pursue their passion, while still holding down a job.
Remote work is truly a versatile solution to a variety of lifestyles, and helps your business attract those who live them.
5. Employees stay with companies that offer remote work
As we've seen flexible work brings added satisfaction for employees.
Freedom makes people happy, and happy people don’t rush to leave their jobs. 76% of remote employees say that because they're given the opportunity to work remotely, they feel more likely to stay with their companies.
For employers, not only does this mean your employees feel trusted and valued by you, but it also helps you save money because of remote work. When employees stay with your company for a long period of time, you obviously save on the expensive and time-consuming hiring process.
It's always more cost-effective to keep employees in the company for the long haul.
When you let employees work remotely, not only do you save money with a lower turnover rate, but you also won’t find yourself repeatedly hiring employees who end up dissatisfied with their work experience.
Give remote work a try at your company
Remote work is now an expectation in modern companies. If you want to find the right employees for your business, and give them a reason to stay, remote work will need to be added to your list of benefits.
Low in cost and very simple to implement, remote work is the answer to your business’ concerns with overspending on things that can easily be solved with remote work.
If you are to truly run an effective and competitive business, accepting remote work is your next step.
More from our remote work series
- How to work from home: 44 resources, tips & tools for remote teams
- How to manage company spending for remote teams
- How Spendesk became a remote company overnight
- Things we’ve tried to get closer while apart