In the information age, it’s possible to manage a company from almost anywhere in the world. But with these newfound possibilities, troubles can arise. While companies love to offer flexibility and trust to their employees, some find their collaboration and teamwork suffers.
So what are the benefits and downsides of a remote workforce? We’ll walk you through the top reasons for both sides.
Pro: Cost Savings
With a remote workforce, your company won’t need a large office space, desks, chairs, etc., which can add up to a pretty substantial cost savings. When employees work from home even part of the time, the company can benefit financially.
Employees report fewer sick days when they work from home. Most likely, your staff may feel less stress from commuting or may even work from the couch while sick. Either way, this can save thousands of dollars per employee annually.
As your company utilizes technology for communication with your remote staff, you’ll see a decreased need for travel and business trips. The staff will learn how to communicate efficiently without meeting physically.
Finally, remote working helps create a communication culture that is more contractor-friendly. As your team learns how to better manage projects, they may find it easier to hire out contractors for particular tasks rather than relegating everything to full-time employees. Utilizing contractors can save money on benefits and overhead.
Con: Difficult Collaboration
Yes, every team management software tries to fix this problem, but ultimately sometimes it’s just easier to walk by someone’s desk and ask a question or stop someone in the hallway for a quick chat. Going remote means those quick conversations won’t happen organically, and communication can become a much more challenging task.
When remote teams have flexible hours or different time zones, it can be difficult to get in touch with someone immediately when you need feedback or even just to schedule a team meeting.
Remote teams don’t have the same opportunity for team building or fun outings, usually resulting in a lack of team culture or “synergy.” The culture typically contributes to a person’s passion and sense of value. Keeping team morale high can be more of a challenge with a remote workforce.
Pro: Increased Productivity
While it seems like the hindered collaboration would impact productivity, that rarely seems to be the case with remote workers. By allowing flexible hours and locations, employees are able to work at the time of day that is most productive for them. Are you a morning person? Then start at 6:00 AM and finish up “early.” Or maybe the night owl doesn’t get into their area of genius until later in the day. Either way, the work gets done at the optimal time for each employee.
Let’s not forget to mention the many office meetings that could have been emails. Having a remote workforce encourages employees to get their thoughts recorded clearly in an email and eliminates a lot of wasted time in long meetings.
Con: Security Concerns
When employing someone working from home, you open up your company to cyber threats and leaking of proprietary information. You may incur an additional cost ensuring that your employee’s internet access and workstation are secure.
Pro: Talent Beyond Borders
One benefit of remote work is the ability to attract excellent and diverse talent from across the country and the world. Technology easily allows employers to interview and recruit remotely, so you can find the perfect person for the job. While there are certainly challenges that must be overcome when employing remote workers, the ability to utilize the best people for the job without concern of their physical location is certainly an attractive component.
Ultimately, each company must decide the best structure for its needs, but whether you’re looking to build out an in-person team, or a strong league of freelancers and remote workers, The Centrics Group can help you create a superstar roster of talent. Companies are continuously in need of great talent, and we’re here to connect you. If you want to find the next talented professional to join your team, one of our recruiters can lead you in the right direction. Connect with us today.