As the world begins to reopen its doors, many companies are stuck between a rock and a hard place. With the pushback by Apple employees to launch a campaign against a widespread return to the office, the question of flexibility comes back into the spotlight. While many businesses are desperate to bring their employees into the office, many are looking for hybrid models, but also, there is still the group that is 100% dedicated to remote working. For the latter, the idea of going back to the office is simply not an option. Remote work is, in many ways, here to stay. Not just because of its value to employees, but its value to employers as well. So why is remote staffing here to stay, from the perspective of businesses and workers?
A Wider Access to Talent
Businesses with fully remote workforces have the ability to tap into a wider pool of talent. Companies that are looking out for the best virtual assistant, or are outsourcing specific components, will have a wider choice, regardless of geographic location. A company in the United States will have the same access to talent as a company in the Philippines. There is the question of time delays but if the objective is to find talent, there are no boundaries.
It Increases Productivity
Many businesses have had to completely rethink their approach to optimizing productivity as a result of COVID, and many worried that teleworking would be a significant barrier to productivity. However, the reality appears to be the exact opposite! Two-thirds of managers reported to Fundera their working employees increase their overall productivity, while 86% of employees stated they are more productive for many reasons, including fewer distractions. When we look at the office environment's added benefits, there is the notion of increased socializing, however, this has a detrimental effect on productivity. From an employee's perspective, if they want to get more work done, remote working is the better option.
The Financial Perks
This is something that benefits both sides of the equation: workers and employers. From the perspective of an employer, the overhead operating costs of an office building can be exorbitant. When looking for an office space to house hundreds of employees, the costs will go into the thousands per individual employee. A study conducted on remote work showed that companies could save, on average, $45,000 per remote employee! Even if a business needs an employee working in an office, because of the reduced need for space, this saves on overheads. For the employees, remote working will save on commuting costs. Primarily, this has a positive impact on the temperament of the individual- because they're not sitting in traffic or train delays, so they are less stressed when they sit down to work. An employee will have a better frame of mind and will be more productive. This will obviously benefit employers, but will also have a positive impact on the overall temperament of the organization too. Employees that are more engaged at work will be more productive and are less likely to stray to a job that pays more to cover rising living costs because they are saving on the cost of commuting.
The Focus Is on the Company, Rather Than the Location
Remote work is beneficial for companies because of its ability to attract a certain caliber of talent, but location does not factor into an employee's decision-making process when the staff is working remotely. A company in a rural location can attract the same type of employees as one in a bustling urban setup. Many people relocated from cities to the suburbs during the pandemic and would look for a new job if they needed to go back to the office full-time. From the perspective of the company that is offering remote work on a permanent basis, this is going to attract more talent who have already decided on their priorities in life.
Why Remote Staffing Helps Businesses
We've already touched upon the operating costs, but now, in this post COVID world, the benefits of remote working mean that there will be a reduced rate of absenteeism. Prior to the pandemic, many employees would have ventured into the office if they were under the weather, but fast forward to now and COVID-19 has made us all aware of our own health, but also how it affects others. With remote work, employees have the opportunity to stay at home without spreading illnesses. It also allows employees to stay home and look after sick children, or work from home if weather conditions make for an unsafe commute. This can only boost the business in terms of its bottom line, engagement, and productivity. If more businesses offered remote working, this would increase the level of engagement. It's also important to note that remote working comes with a few concerns, not least when it comes to collaboration. However as the last 15 months have highlighted across the world, collaboration doesn't need to decrease. While there were many hiccups with regards to learning the ropes with Zoom, once people learned the etiquette of communicating from a remote location, it became easier for everybody. Remote working can help businesses because people can work more autonomously, but with a variety of collaboration tools, employees are able to work on projects, communicate, and even put themselves across in a far better manner.
The remote working revolution has been around for many years, but only a small percentage were doing it. But now, the pandemic has not just forced people to work from home, but has made people understand what they want out of their working lives. Flexibility is essential for everyone, and now, as people have understood how much they were giving themselves to the daily commute but also how their working week impacted life outside of work, remote working has become something that benefits the employee, but the concept of remote staffing is something that every business should now take onboard. Remote staffing, when done right, can be an incredible boost to business in many ways.