Working remotely has become the new normal since the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world. Millions of workers who were accustomed to working in the common office or worksite of their company were required to begin working remotely with very short notice.
This adjustment, at first, seemed very damaging to businesses, both in morale and organization. However, over time, many companies began to realize that remote working has serious benefits to the company. The new normal has become widely celebrated, with numerous companies stating that they will not be returning to business as usual when the time comes.
How Remote Workers Are More Productive
It might seem like working remotely would be counterproductive. Plenty of companies have previously shied away from the remote working model because they feared their employees would become lazy and unmotivated outside of the office. Contrary to popular belief, remote workers are very productive. There are many reasons why! These include:
- Personal space. Office employees often complain of concentration difficulties and find that working at home in a quiet study, or remotely on whichever site is required, is much easier.
- Hands-on approach. Remote workers such as field engineers, who work wherever they are required to fix issues hands-on, find that their productivity is much greater. Instead of working in, for example, a car body shop, working onsite gets them to the root of the problem and curbs any temptation to laze around.
- Increased sleep. Commuting to an office, for a job you could be completed at home or nearer to your area, forces employees to become tired and sick of busy, expensive, exhausting journeys.
How A Company Can Reduce Costs With Remote Workers
Not only is remote working better for the workforce, but it also helps the company too. The business can cut its costs exponentially by not having an office space. Within cities, especially, communal workspaces, are extremely expensive to rent, cutting hugely into the company budget. Particularly for small businesses or startups, these are very draining assets that are not necessary for the workforce.
Additionally, costs such as building maintenance, council tax, refreshments, and security/reception staff salaries all add to this inordinate site budget. Without these costs, the business can focus on growing, expanding, and creating an amazing brand.
Common Challenges of a Remote Workforce
- Keeping track. Having remote workers requires a higher level of trust in your employees, to be honest, structured, and reliable in the hours they work. You cannot keep your eye on these employees and instead must trust their expertise and work ethic when it comes to working hours, expenses, and more.
- Lack of camaraderie. Many office workers thrive off being together and having great social interactions with one another. Remote working can curb these.
- Communications. When it comes to management, your company managers and team leaders must be exceptionally well qualified in communication skills. Without proper communication, a remote team can quickly become out of synchronization with one another.
- Home setups. If your workforce isn’t hands-on and works mainly online, as a business, you must ensure that all employees have an adequate space from which to work. That means a private room with a setup that is both mentally and physically viable to work from each day.
Tips For Managing A Remote Workforce
- Team meetings! Even if they are conducted online, meetings are essential to verbally catch up and discuss new ideas and concepts. These should be held regularly to ensure all employees feel that they have a chance to speak, be heard, and be a part of a group.
- Experienced employees and remote work training. When hiring new staff, it’s important to factor in remote working as criteria for the new position. This means that hiring those with experience of remote jobs, fieldwork, or similar experience would be beneficial. If you find the perfect candidate who is unused to remote work, it’s important to provide training for them to slip seamlessly into this new routine.
- Social interaction. It’s important to encourage social interaction among the team. Organizing retreats, team building days, and other fun activities for the team is a great idea for companies whose employees work remotely. Everyone wants to feel as if they’re a part of something, and these activities will help.
All in all, transitioning your workforce to a remote workforce can prove challenging but can be fantastically productive and cost-effective for any business. Make the change today, and embrace the new normal!