It was not long ago when working from home was a privilege very few people had. Today, it is becoming an important part of the work culture for many organizations. Hiring remote employees is becoming an important hiring strategy.
According to Upwork’s future workplace 2018 report, 53% of companies are using more flexible talent. This talent could be in the form of remote employees, freelancers or contractors.
There were always concerns about giving remote access and allowing employees to work from home. Concerns such as employees’ productivity while working from home, internet connectivity or data security. Technological advancements have already addressed many such challenges. Hiring remote employees is becoming more and more beneficial to companies. Here are some benefits of employing remote workers.
Hiring Remote Employees Saves Infrastructure Cost
Cities that were once popular destinations for people looking for their dream jobs are now increasingly becoming hard to live in. Cost of real estate is always going up and it is impacting both employees and employers.
Since last decade companies had already started shifting their majority workforce from big cities to tier-2 cities. And these new destinations are also getting expensive.
Also, along with real estate expenses there are many other operational costs associated like workstation cost, power bills, stationary cost, etc. Most of these expenses can be avoided with remote employment.
Hire Best Talent Globally
Companies often run into a situation where skills they are looking for are not easily available in the market. They spend months looking out for talent in their geographical areas. But they struggle. This could be easily addressed by hiring remote employees.
For example, if you are hiring for Haskell developer which is a very niche skill; chances are you may not find candidates with Haskell skills in your area. It is a hard to fill role. However, if you are open to hire remote developers, you can find great candidates across the world.
Talent is everywhere. Also, people are either acquiring or upgrading their skills using various online platforms like YouTube, Upgrad, Coursera. People are acquiring niche skills too. When you search for talent globally, you have great chance of finding some of the best minds in different parts of the world. You just need to use top candidate sourcing strategies to source them.
Better Work & Time Coverage
One of the biggest advantages you have is that you can serve to different geographies across world. If your remote employee is working from a different country and from a different time zone, you get the advantage of serving your business 24 x 7.
You can complete your work much faster with better support round the clock.
Better Employee Satisfaction And Retention
Every organization wants their employees to be happy. Organizations deploy many facilities and schemes to keep their employees happy. Here are some natural benefits that remote working employees can avail.
No Traffic. Save On Commute time.
One of the biggest challenges employees face today is their commute. Traffic situation in every city is getting worse. Traffic causes stress too. It impacts health of every individual. According to US Census data, CNBC has reported on commute time in various states in US. People in New York, Washington D.C. spend more than an hour commuting to and from office.
Enabling remote work culture would save huge amount of time for employees. They would be stress free and energetic to start their work.
Saves Money For Employees
Renting a place or owning a home in every city is becoming more and more expensive. Hence, people are living on the outskirts of cities and commuting long distances. If you want to save on commute then you need to pay heavy amount for your accommodation.
With remote work option employees can live in any part of the city and be happy for not traveling everyday. It saves them money and time.
Work From Anywhere, Anytime
If your employee can work remotely, he or she can practically work from anywhere. It’s not limited to work from home option. They can visit their natives, take extended vacations and work from there. Many successful startups in their early days had built products working on beaches! As long as they are delivering their work on budget it should not matter where they work from.
Work Flexible Hours
Working remotely offers great flexibility to their employees. Employees can start their work early in the day as they don’t have to “get ready” for work. Although, they will need to attend scheduled meeting, they don’t need to stick to 9 – 5 fixed schedule.
Flexible work hours helps them in maintaining work life balance.
Remote Work Vs Work From Home
Remote work and work from home could be seen as same thing. But it need not to be. When we consider hiring remote employee, we expect that the employee is more available. There shouldn’t be any distractions when they are working from home. People generally work from home when there are personal emergencies like they need to see a doctor or they need to attend their kids. However, when it’s a permanent remote employee role, you would expect them nothing less than being physically available at office.
Diversity And Inclusion
When you hire remote employees, you bound to get diverse workforce. It is great for business when people from different culture, race, religion, regions come together to work towards same goal. It adds more perspective to any problem or mission you are working one. Look at most successful cities in the world, one thing you will find common is diversity and inclusion.
How To Enable Remote Work Environment
Although, all these benefits of hiring remote employees sound great, you need a different mindset and various technology tools to run a remote team. Here are some key factors that will allow you to run a remote team.
Communication is the key. Tools like Slack are pretty cool. It allows you to stay in touch with your team. Slack allows you to create different groups to keep all stakeholders in touch. It would make sure remote employees do not feel disconnected.
B. Work Management
Use tools like Trello, Asana to manage tasks efficiently and effortlessly. These are all SaaS products which allow you access from anywhere and at anytime. These tools are pretty agile and makes everyone feel connected, unlike old project management spreadsheet.
C. Face Time
It is always great to put a name to the face. Tools like Zoom, Skype, Hangout allows you video calls and web meetings. Encourage your employees to use video calls and web meetings.
D. Get Together
Meet more often in person. Arrange team lunches or schedule team web video meetings so that everyone meets everyone. It is important that everyone in the team stays connected and shares the vision of the company.
In last decade we have seen skills are getting more specialized and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find good talent for these skills. At the same time factors like long commute hours, increased real estate costs, hike in operational costs are forcing companies to reconsider their hiring strategies.
Hiring remote employees is working successfully with many companies. It has improved their retention rate. These companies are hiring better and faster. Many successful startups have proven that working remotely can work efficiently. Now it’s time for companies to make policy changes to accommodate fast changing remote work dynamics.