Remote working has increased in popularity among businesses. In fact, in the last 5 years alone, there’s been a 44% increase in remote work (source). But is it right for your business?
We’re outlining the pros and cons of remote employees to help you make the right decision when it comes to your own business.
THE PROS OF HAVING REMOTE EMPLOYEES
Productivity. Research shows that 85% of businesses have seen productivity increase in their company as a result of the flexibility that remote working can bring.
Increased advantages in recruitment. Potential employees are looking for more flexibility and better work-life balance. Many candidates seek out opportunities for remote working, so offering this option gives you a leg up on your competition.
Reduced stress on employees. One of the main stressors for many employees is traffic (and if you have a long commute, you probably know why!). Eliminating traffic to and from work can significantly reduce stress and improve their quality of work. Remote work can also give employees a safe, private place to get work done which can also reduce stress.
Reduced costs. This benefits both you and your employees. They’ll save on transportation, food, and even clothing, while you’ll be able to save on space and amenities with fewer employees in the office.
Less distractions. As we move more and more toward open offices, more potential distractions for your employees are created. By allowing them to work remotely, they can avoid distractions that may come from in-office conversations and happenings.
Flexibility. Flexible hours give your employees the ability to tend to important things going on in their lives while still prioritizing their work. By giving your employees some extra time with their families in the mornings or some time to take care of an errand, you’re showing that you value them and their time — which can lead to more commitment and a better retention rate.
CONS OF HAVING REMOTE EMPLOYEES
Lack of morale. Remote employees can put your company at risk for losing out on a strong company culture. Company culture is at its best when people interact, when morale is high, and when natural conversations happen. All of these things are less likely to happen with remote employees.
Less visibility into their work. By not having them in your office daily, you lose the real-time ability to see the way your employees work and how productive they are. That’s why key performance indicators (KPIs) are especially vital for remote employees in order to evaluate their productivity and ensure they’re staying on track.
Distraction risks. While some employees can be less distracted by working remotely, others will actually find that working from home or from a coffee shop can create their own unique distractions. It all comes down to knowing your employees well enough to know who works better remotely versus in an office.
Lack of collaboration. Have you ever tried to have a brainstorm over the phone? The energy and creativity levels simply aren’t as high as they would be in person. Working remotely also eliminates the opportunity for off-the-cuff conversations and spontaneous collaborations that can create better work.
Security. Working outside the office can always pose potential hazards. If your employees are working from coffee shops, hotels, or restaurants, they could be putting sensitive information at risk. It’s always a good idea to use a VPN to protect your employees and company information, but this can be tougher to regulate with remote employees.
Take some time to assess your employees, your business structure, and your culture. Are you able to allow your employees to work remotely without sacrificing productivity or culture? Do your employees want remote options?
If you’re not ready to have fully remote employees, test out a remote working policy that allows your employees to work remotely when they need to, or give them one remote day per month.
Need some more help? That’s where we come in. We’d love to talk to you about some of our tools and processes to help take the payroll and HR burden off of you so you can focus on your people.