In the past couple of years, we’ve been in the midst of a massive change in how we work. Technology has evolved, attitudes have changed, and the ‘old 9 to 5’ has become less rigid and a bit more understanding that lives don’t have to revolve around work.
Remote work has become way more common than it ever has been in the post-industrialised world, and currently, 56% of the businesses in the world allow for remote work.
It seems as though the remote working model isn’t going away anytime soon, but some employers might be a bit sceptical about switching over to this model.
So what’s in it for you as an employer? Is remote work just a fad that will fade away as soon as we’re done with lockdowns?
There are some incredible benefits to remote work, and of the massive list, I’ve put together a list of the 21 biggest benefits, so check it out and see if you’re still not sold on the idea of using remote workers.
1. Increased Productivity
One of the most common criticisms some people have about remote work is the potential for workers to not be as productive as those who are performing their tasks in-house.
It’s understandable that some employers might have concerns that remote workers might be ‘slacking off’ when they’re on the clock, but it’s important to know that the current trend of remote work has actually proven the opposite.
Remote workers tend to outperform their in-office peers. There are a few main reasons behind this. They are usually working in locations that are free from distractions and therefore more conducive to a productive working environment.
The other thing is that remote workers are also painfully aware of some of the stereotypes that other workers or employers might have about them not being productive, so they will often go above and beyond to make sure that they are seen to be doing outstanding work.
The bottom line is that just because someone is present in the office doesn’t mean they are being the most productive they can be. Companies actually tend to get more work out of their remote employees too.
2. Company Savings on Equipment
Employees are expensive. This sounds like a counterproductive statement, but they are. We need them to carry out the daily tasks of operating a business, but there are actually a whole lot of other costs that come along with employees outside of just paying them to do their job.
When you have an employee working within an office, you are expected to supply the tools necessary to do the job. You need to give them a computer, desk, chair and anything else they need to complete their daily tasks.
When using remote workers, you can negotiate that they use their own equipment to complete their activities. When using freelancers, in particular, this is normally the case because they often prefer using their own gear.
3. Hire Experts Reduces the Need For Training
Training new staff can be a very lengthy and, at times, costly process.
In fact, it normally takes anywhere from twelve months to two years before an employee is completely operational in the role they were hired for, even if they were an internal hire.
One incredible benefit of using remote workers is that you can select staff who are already skilled enough to perform the tasks you need completed. You can focus on engaging the skills of those who are already experts in what you need.
There’s currently no shortage of experts taking advantage of the booming gig economy.
4. A Much Wider Talent Pool
When you choose to use remote workers, you are able to hire on a more global scale.
This means that you can select from a much wider pool of potential talent. You won’t be limited by your geography, country or even time zone to find the best possible person who specialises in the role you have available.
As a bare minimum, using remote employees will double the potential hires you have access to.
5. Less Commuting
There aren’t many people who love the daily commute to and from work. For most, it either means spending hours in traffic jams or time on a crowded train or bus.
We all like to think that if we’re using public transport, it might be a great chance to get on top of some emails before we get to the office, but have you ever actually been able to do it successfully?
Commuting is terrible for a lot of people; in fact, a recent study found that for many employees, adding an extra 20 minutes to their commute would be as bad as a 19% pay cut.
Remote employees are also far more likely to start work earlier because they don’t need to commute, and they’re also usually happy to work a little longer to finish tasks because their end of day commute is from the computer to the couch.
6. Reduced Absenteeism
All employers need to understand that sickness, sick children, family emergencies and other causes of absenteeism are genuine concerns that accommodations need to be made for.
However, there are a number of cases where absenteeism isn’t actually related to any of these things. The reasons for calling in sick when you’re perfectly healthy can be incredibly varied, but most employees have done it at least once.
A recent study has shown that when employees are able to work remotely, they take sick days at a rate of three times less than those who aren’t allowed to work from home.
Remote work literally reduces the amount of sick days employees take.
7. Greater Employee Retention
Employees have more power over their work choices than ever before, and thanks to new technologies, new attitudes and new ideas of how businesses should operate, they are more likely to switch companies for better pay and conditions.
It’s important for companies to look closely at their staff turnover because potential hires will be doing exactly the same thing. It’s never been more imperative to aim for a good employee retention rate to attract and keep the top talent.
Using remote employees means that they won’t resign if they move to another city, they are likely to return to work sooner after maternity or paternity leave and most importantly, they will be happier with their work-life balance. In 2021, these are the things that will keep an employee.
8. Lower Labour Costs
Every business wants to find ways to keep some coin in that good old piggy bank, and it would seem that employing remote workers is another way to cut business costs.
As stated earlier, employers will often save money on equipment, but there are other ways remote working can lower costs for businesses.
In many cases, when an employee no longer has to deal with expenses like commuting, coffee, clothing and lunches, they don’t mind a slight reduction in wages. In some cases, people have saved hundreds and even thousands of dollars from eating lunch and drinking coffee at home.
Also, if you engage remote workers on a freelance basis, you are often not responsible for things like pension contributions and their taxes; this is the responsibility of the freelancer.
9. Save on Office Space
The more employees you have, the more space you’re going to need to house them. This has been the fundamental rule of office space for at least the last century.
It’s fine, and for many businesses, it works, but office space is expensive, and sometimes just housing a new employee can break the bank.
Using remote workers can keep costs lower at a time when a company has the potential to expand its workforce but doesn’t have the cash flow to rent more office space. Yes, of course, there are businesses that need to have a brick and mortar site, but it doesn’t mean every employee needs to work there.
Especially in the last year or two, we have also come to realise that having a nice office can be a great little humble brag for prospective clients; it’s actually not an absolute necessity to succeed in business. Meetings can be done online or in a cafe, or there are even communal working spaces that cater to this.
10. Reduced Need For Employee Perks
When your workforce, or at least part of it, is remote, you aren’t expected to supply as many perks as you would if your workforce was completely in-office.
The cold drip coffee, ping pong table and chill zone are all great and help promote a good work-life balance, but they’re just not necessary for people who aren’t in an office full-time.
The money saved from this can go back into the business or can even be redistributed to remote employees in the form of bonuses, which will keep up morale and, in turn, increase employee retention.
11. Better Mental Health For Employees
Stress and poorly managed mental health are leading causes of a downturn in productivity in the workplace. When a company is aware of this and does whatever it can to alleviate it, it’s a complete win-win situation.
A recent study showed that remote workers experience much lower levels of stress on a daily basis. This usually means that they are less likely to experience poor mental health or depression as a result of their jobs.
12. More Grateful Employees
Employees who have a great work-life balance tend to be happy employees. Happy employees are generally more grateful for the time they have to spend at home with their loved ones and the flexibility they have from remote work.
The follow on effect of this gratitude is that grateful employees are more likely to do a favour for you when you’re in a tight spot.
Perhaps you need a report streamlined that will involve a few extra hours of work. A grateful employee understands that there’s a give and take in the working relationship and doesn’t mind taking one for the team.
13. Work Done Around the Clock
When you hire remotely, you aren’t limited to the hours of operation from the city your company is based in.
This can mean that you are able to carefully select employees to cover all hours of the day.
The work around the clock model is particularly useful for businesses that offer customer care and assistance.
It can make sure you’re able to provide the service without having to rely on shift work.
14. Expand Globally and Hire Natives in Other Countries
One thing that will certainly put you ahead of your competition if you are looking to expand globally is the ability to have natives on the ground.
Having employees who not only know the language of the country you’re expanding to but also the cultural norms and what makes their marketplaces different will set you apart from other businesses and quickly develop a loyal customer base.
15. Meet People From All Over the World
Just because you have remote employees doesn’t mean that you won’t have a connection with them.
We’ve all seen how online connections can be just as impactful in the past two years, and with remote employees, your horizons can be expanded as you meet people from all over the world.
Working with an international team can also encourage open cultural dialogues and improve workplace diversity.
16. Avoid terrible Office Parties
This might be a small win for some, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Nobody likes a terrible office party. Sometimes they can feel forced, stuffy and just awkward, but they’re kind of expected when you have in-office staff. They’re great to watch on TV, but in reality, they are enough to drain the life out of you.
When you have remote workers, there’s more of an understanding that you don’t need to be friends with all the people you work with because it is, after all, work.
17. Higher Morale
Most businesses that have allowed for remote working or adopted a hybrid model have reported unanimously that employee morale greatly improves as a result.
A recent study found that remote workers are on average 20% happier with their jobs than those that work in an office.
Job satisfaction helps with employee retention, but it also does incredible things to productivity and your bottom line.
18. Better For the Environment
Corporate and Social Responsibility or CSR is fast becoming an essential element to a successful business.
It’s all about businesses understanding their environmental and social impacts at every step of their process.
It’s never a bad thing for a business to be viewed as one that is trying to improve their environmental impact, and using remote workers is a great way to do that.
By having your employees work from home, they aren’t causing pollution through commuting, you are likely to pollute less (through disposable cups and packaging often used with work lunches), and you will conserve space and lower your carbon footprint.
19. Health Benefits For Employees
You might have an image of a remote worker as a sun-deprived vampire who never leaves the house and is chained to their desk all day long. Or maybe you think of them as someone who doesn’t even get out of bed to do their job.
The reality might shock you because remote workers tend to eat healthier and exercise more than their in-office peers. The biggest reason for this is that they have the time to devote to their physical health.
If you work from home, the time you save from commuting can be used to go for a run.
You tend to make healthier lunch choices because you can prepare your meals yourself, and the flexibility you have makes it easier to get regular checkups.
20. Technology to Monitor and Control Tasks
Most hesitations that employers have about remote workers come from the overwhelming sense that it will be too hard to monitor everything. They imagine it will be impossible to keep track of tasks and know how many hours an employee has been on the clock.
The truth is that there are countless programs available that solve all of these problems.
Whatever your needs are as you venture into remote working, there’s already a program out there that has been developed to do just that.
21. Outsource Employee of Record to Experts
Another benefit that has come out of the sudden surge of remote teams in the business world is that third party companies have stepped up to assist businesses in doing it both legally and successfully.
Everything from recruiting, to onboarding, to payroll and even the management of remote workers can actually be outsourced.
A company that takes care of this on a third party basis is called an Employer of Record (EOR), and they can take care of as much or as little as you like.
Swapp Agency can provide complete EOR services if you are wanting to initiate a project in Iceland and wider Nordic countries, hire some local experts or even bring in some foreign expertise. We know how to get it all done so that you can focus on your profit margins.
If you want to know more about how to engage our services, simply drop us a line.
Even when COVID is long gone, remote work will still be here. The future is going to be even more inclusive and allow for more work-life balance than it did before.
Whether you switch over completely to a remote working model or simply opt for some hybrid working, it would be a real shame to not find a way to reap some of the benefits that remote working has to offer to businesses.