Does Remote Work Make Sense for Your Company?
Several things that were once essential for running a business have gone the way of the dinosaur. Almost nobody uses a typewriter anymore and it’s relatively rare for a company to send or receive faxes these days. Next up on the chopping block might just the traditional office. As technology has made it easier than ever for employees to communicate and connect, even when they are miles apart, the remote office seems to be the workspace of the future.
But remote work isn’t always the best option for every company. If your company is considering offering remote work as a perk or options, take a look at the pros and cons of it before making the switch.
Pros of Remote Work
Perhaps the biggest benefit of offering remote work is that doing so makes your company more attractive to employees. About two-thirds of employees would like the option of working from home, as it would eliminate the need to commute and allow them more time for their family or other non-work obligations. Giving your team the option to work remotely also helps lower your rate of turnover, as employees who are satisfied with their work conditions are going to be more likely to stick with a company.
Reducing turnover leads to another indirect benefit of making the switch to remote work. Doing so can save your company money. If fewer employees leave, you’ll spend less trying to replace them. You’ll also be able to grow your company without having to lease larger office space or without having to lease an additional office.
Another “pro” offering your team the option to work remotely is that you can expand your hiring pool. Instead of only hiring people who live nearby, you can look for new employees across the country. If you end up hiring someone who lives far away, you don’t need to offer to cover the cost of moving him or her, as the employee can remain in his or her current location.
Cons of Remote Work
One of the drawbacks of remote work is that it does blur the line between “home” and “work” for some people. In some cases, that can mean that you have employees who feel that they need to be available and need to response to emails, texts or calls at all times of day or night. In 2014, the New York Times reported that people worked remotely worked 9.5 percent longer than those who worked in an office.
Of course, it’s also possible for productivity to slip when people start working remotely. Some employees need the structured environment found in a traditional office space to help them concentrate on their tasks and get their work done.
Another major drawback of remote work is that it can create division among employees, especially if some employees work in a traditional office and some work from home. Those who work at home might feel out of the loop while those who come into work might feel that they are the ones carrying the weight and doing all the heavy lifting. To keep that division from becoming an issue, it might be a good idea to take an all or nothing approach to work remote. Have each employee stay at home and work — managers included — at least once per week.
How to Tell if Remote Work Is Right for Your Employees
If your employees are asking to be allowed to work from home, that can be a sign that allowing remote work is going to be a good option for your company. You can try it on a trial basis, giving your team the option to work from home for a month, to see if there is an improvement in satisfaction and productivity or not. Offering the option to work remotely might also be a good idea if your company is growing by hiring new people but doesn’t want to rent additional office space.
New Direction Capital can help your company find ways to save money as it grows. To learn more about working with a part-time CFO and how it can help your business, contact us today.
Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net