Even before the coronavirus pandemic, companies worldwide were slowly implementing remote work policies, while others were relying entirely on their remote workforce. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic truly jump-started a paradigm shift in which remote work became the rule rather than the exception. This is supported by a recent Global Workplace Analytic report which states the number of remote workers has increased by 140% since 2005!
While working remotely has plenty of benefits for the employee, what about employers? What can they gain by providing an option to work remotely to its employees? Why should they run a remote team?
As with anything in business, there are pros and cons to hiring remote workers. Although there are mostly benefits to hiring remote employees, some factors need to be considered before deciding whether a remote team of workers is the right choice for your business. This article discusses the pros and cons of hiring remote employees and how to do it right.
The Pros Of Hiring Remote Workers
Here are just a few pros to remote working:
1. Cost Savings
Remote work lowers the need for large and expensive office spaces, utilities, business travel, and other expenses. According to Global Workplace Analytics, employers can save up to $11,000 yearly for every employee that works from home, even if it’s for just half the time.
Working remotely benefits the employees, too, as it gives them flexibility regarding their work hours and locations. Allowing this type of freedom to your employees can help reduce employee turnover, which can also eliminate hiring costs in the long run.
2. Lower Turnover Rates
Several studies have shown companies that opted for remote work had a much lower turnover rate compared to those businesses that didn’t deploy a remote work model. Think about how many times you’ve lost a great employee because their spouse had to relocate to a new job? A remote model allows you to retain such employees and continue with business as usual.
3. Access To A Larger Talent Pool
Companies can now access the global pool of talent previously limited by geography. Indeed, it can be challenging to find the right talent for the job, and hiring remotely allows companies to cast a wider net. So, why should your business be restricted to candidates from your city or state? Instead of hiring borderline qualified candidates in your area, you can now search nationally or internationally until you get the best talent for the position.
4. Increased Productivity
More often than not, employee performance improves when they are allowed to work from home, even for just a couple of days in a workweek. In fact, one study shows that employees take fewer breaks and work longer hours when they work remotely compared to working in the office. The main reason for their increased productivity was a less distracting environment. Employees working from home are free from usual office distractions like water cooler chats or long coffee breaks. Instead, they can focus on their job without interruption.
A Global Workplace Analytics survey also showed that 53% of remote employees were likely to work overtime, while only 28% of in-office workers said they would do the same. It’s important to note that remote work allows employees who don’t conform to the 9-5 model to stay productive and work when it suits them the best.
5. Measured Results
Managing remote employees allows companies to measure their results, not attendance. Companies that promote employees based on their initiative, performance, and excellence send a clear message to their entire workforce, resulting in better performance overall. Companies can measure success by setting metrics, and weekly goals, collecting feedback from clients and team members, and evaluating work based on quality and achieved results.
The Cons Of Hiring Remote Workers
Despite the many benefits of remote working, it’s not necessarily the best option for all businesses or workers. In fact, companies may face some challenges when dealing with a remote workforce. Fortunately, with a little effort, any company can overcome these challenges.
1. Required Initial Investment In Technology
As remote employees need to work virtually, companies need to give them access to what they need to get the job done. They must invest in technology, either for project management tools and communication or cybersecurity. This can be personal devices and/or productivity and communication tools such as Zoom, Trello, or Slack. Additionally, there is the risk of online attacks; as one survey shows, more than 25% of respondents have reported an increase in fraudulent emails, phishing attempts, and spam to their corporate emails since the start of the pandemic. That’s why companies need to invest in web filtering tech, VPNs, online security training, and more. However, this can be a considerable investment that some companies cannot afford.
2. Communication Challenges
Contact between remote employees and their managers is limited, making it challenging to build strong work relationships. Contrary to in-office work, you can’t simply walk into an employee’s office to ask a question or discuss a problem. Remote working comes with a risk of unclear, or lack of, communication, so companies need to set clear goals and expectations around communication, priorities, and deliverables. They should also be in frequent contact with remote employees to monitor their productivity and diminish any feelings of anxiousness and isolation. A solution to these problems is emails, phone calls, and video conferencing, as well as messaging apps and online chats.
3. Remote Hiring Can Be Challenging
For a remote workforce to be successful and effective, companies need independent, highly accountable talent that can take the initiative. Remote hiring can also be challenging for companies without prior experience in such hiring or without an in-house talent acquisition team to support the recruiting process. Hiring remote talent also requires additional screening and extra steps for assessing potential candidates accurately without physically meeting them.
Remote hiring has its justifiable pros and cons; however, the pros outweigh the cons, which every company can easily overcome. Remote hiring allows companies to find the best talent available, cut back prices, increase productivity, and decrease turnover rates – all of which can push them in the direction of success.
One of the crucial steps in a successful remote work organization is the ability to hire the right talent for the right role. In fact, the question is not whether to hire remote employees but how to qualify and where to find them. The goal is to find candidates who can take initiative, be independent and goal-oriented, have a strong work ethic, and be accountable.
Hundreds of new candidates are looking for job openings every day, and CIBR Warriors are here to help you find the right one for you. For more help in advancing your career or finding a qualified candidate in IT and Cybersecurity, contact us. We’d be happy to answer your questions and provide you with the best advice for getting started.