Search Remotely – Benefits of Hiring a Remote Workforce
Hiring a remote workforce will transform your business. Yet hiring a remote workforce can feel daunting, especially if you’re making a transition from a fixed office space. It can also be the opportunity to future-proof your business for a post Covid-19 world.
The benefits of hiring a remote workforce span three levels. Higher employee productivity and access to a wider talent pool are just two of the proven long-term business benefits. You’ll have happier, more committed employees – remote work is good for them. Hiring a remote workforce is green. It’s the most efficient and sustainable solution for tomorrow’s world.
This article explores the myriad of benefits to hiring a remote workforce. As the Covid-19 pandemic accelerates a shift towards remote teams, now is an ideal time to accelerate your own business shift towards remote workforce.
Proven Business Benefits to Hiring a Remote Workforce
These first five benefits are widely accepted as proven facts, supported by a variety of studies over the last 20 years, exemplified by the success of businesses with a remote workforce.
1. Access to a Wider Talent Pool
Hire remotely and you can often hire from any corner of the globe, or at least the third of the globe that’s on your general timezone. Hire locally and you’re absolutely restricted to workers who either live in your area or are willing to relocate. Even if you have the best business and offer best job position on the planet, geography limits your access to a tiny percentage of the global workforce.
Access to a wider talent pool means access to the entire planet. You can increase your requirements and employees always come pre-trained. It’s the wider talent pool that first accelerated the shift towards hiring a remote workforce. And let’s be realistic – do you expect the very best talent to relocate to you. Or do you expect the very best talent to be self starters who live where they want?
2. Lower Employee Salaries
Hire a remote workforce and you will pay less. Firstly there are no relocation fees. In general, salaries are lower for remote work, because the costs for employees are also lower. Employees no longer need to commute – studies show that this costs the average American employee a massive $4500 a year.
Employees also have freedom about where they live, so they don’t need an inflated salary to cover big city rent. Multiple studies show how remote employees are happier and stay in jobs longer. Most people around the world will accept a slightly lower salary for increased happiness. There can also be tax and insurance benefits if the employee you hire are in different countries.
3. Lower Business Costs
You can still operate a very successful business without an office. InVision and Automattic are billion-dollar businesses without a single square metre of fixed office space. Remove the office and you will probably take away your largest overhead. Many employers provide an office allowance for their remote workers, who use it to rent a cowork space. Coworking spaces are almost always cheaper per worker than fixed office space.
Also consider that you don’t need to purchase or rent any office equipment. It’s generally assumed that your remote workforce will have their own machines, although this can be negotiated. You don’t need a printer anymore, as there are far more environmentally efficient means of collaborating and sharing documents. And with a remote workforce there is less need for perks – your workforce is happier without the token attempt at team bonding at motivation.
4. Higher Employee and Business Productivity
It’s a myth that remote teams do less work. A persuasive and somewhat intuitive stereotype suggests that employees do less when they’re working from anywhere. This is perpetuated by employers with rather old-school methods – if I can’t see my workforce they’re probably getting paid to do nothing. This is all completely false.
Dozens of studies have proven that remote employees are more productive than office-based employees. They also work more, at an average of 16.8 more days every year. One study showed how office workers were idle for an average of 37 minutes every day, excluding their lunch and breaks. Remote workers in the same jobs only had 27 minutes being unproductive.
Remote working is a more efficient way of working. Employees are free to concentrate on their work, rather than all the day to day office distractions. There’s a shift towards paying employees for their work and achievements, over the traditional means of paying employees for a set number of hours per week. Meetings are so much more efficient when done remotely. Time is spent more wisely and when employees sit down to work, they really do work.
This productivity is boosted further by the derivative benefits of a remote workforce. Absenteeism is lower. Morale is higher. Communication skills are improved. Not to mention that you had access to a wider talent pool to start with. Switching to remote teams and systems can be frightening, mostly because of the stereotypes. There will be some glitches as you get set up, but over the long term it provides enhanced business productivity.
5. Increased Employee Retention and Happiness
Countless studies illustrate increased employee retention for remote teams. The figures vary massively from 20 – 50%, but the trend is always for an increase. Part of employee retention has zero connection to the employer. It is purely dictated by personal circumstances. Perhaps an employee’s partner took a job in another city, or there is one of many other reasons why they need to relocate. A remote workforce can always move.
That probably accounts for the 20%. The rest can be partially attributed to employee happiness. A remote worker enjoys more freedom and a whole host of other benefits listed below. Ultimately, a remote job provides an employee with choice, so it’s a job that they are more likely to keep. Increased employee retention will also save you money, considering the high price to employee turnover.
Employees can also work at the time that is best for them. Not everybody functions at their best from nine to five. With a remote workforce you may have employees tuning in and pumping out great work at midnight. Employees have more freedom and this helps them achieve and contribute more.
Future-Proof Benefits to Hiring a Remote Workforce
These next five benefits are not backed up with as many studies and statistics, but reflect the general trend and feedback from remote employers. The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown the global workforce upside down. While the impact of the pandemic is unprecedented, many businesses have shifted seamlessly into the new world of working. They did this because they already had a new world of working – a remote workforce.
6. The Revered Employee Benefits
Never commuting again is a benefit so great most of the world’s workforce is clambering to work remotely. One large study found that 23% of the US workforce quit their job because of the commute. Removing the commute means more free time, less stress, greater freedom and not wasting all that money on a transport card. Not commuting is one of the factors in remote employees reporting better mental and physical wealth. They can work anywhere, and anywhere is somewhere different for everyone.
Some love the freedom of working from home, perhaps how this freedom can operate around other commitments such as childcare. Others like to travel. Digital nomads enjoy the freedom of working from anywhere, but digital nomadism is not a job. Their lifestyle is only achievable by being part of a remote workforce and they’ll happily get paid less to preserve their freedom.
Then there are employees who can use their remote work to relocate – somewhere with more sun, somewhere better for their health, somewhere best for their hobby, or somewhere they can keep their relationship alive. The global workforce is seeking remote job opportunities. And remote employees are grateful employees.
7. Extended Employee Business and Social Benefits
Employees and teams are learning more when they are remote. And this is not due to the great online skills courses that can be done anywhere. Learning and training in traditional offices is provided by those who have a similar vision and way of working. The focus is restricted to within four walls.
Remote employees work from anywhere in the world, but mostly they work from coworking spaces. They meet and learn from people all over the world. It’s more social and more productive for a business to have these regular interactions beyond internal teams. In a traditional office environment you discuss business with people in the same company and team. In a coworking space there are specialists who can provide outside guidance support, for free.
Hire a remote workforce and your team is more likely to bring in fresh ideas and perspectives. They don’t have the tunnel vision that can evolve in static environments. Instead, they learn from the people they meet to provide a new outlook. Plus it’s way for social. Your workforce can hang out in the office without it getting awkward come tomorrow morning.
8. Going Green – A Remote Workforce Is So Much better for the Environment
Remote teams are green. They’re more efficient and productive, and they cut out all the traditional waste of normal office environments. Like printing meeting minutes. Or driving around the office for 20 minutes searching for a parking space. Just removing the commute is going green. And even if a remote workforce may travel internationally more often, their daily travel may be reduced to zero. Digital nomads may fly a lot but they don’t own and operate cars!
So the carbon footprint is minimised. Paper is less of a problem. Workplace lunch is also greener, instead of the takeaway office lunch made up of disposable containers and plastic bags. Office space is conserved and you reduce your impact on infrastructure. Global Workforce Analytics estimate that a global workforce could cut US greenhouse emissions by 54 million tons every year, if the workforce spent half the work week out of the office. Half the week! Imagine the savings made by a fully global remote workforce.
9. Extending Your Hours of Operation
With a remote workforce it’s easy to extend your hours of operation. It’s understandable that many businesses will seek remote employees who operate on a similar timezone. For good collaboration you do need to facilitate instant day to day communication. However, the time zone overlap can be very beneficial.
For example, your office opens at 8am Cape Town time. Remote workers in Europe join your remote office over the next two to three hours. As the Cape Town-based employee returns from lunch, your East Coast workers are starting their day. When Boston clocks out at 5pm it’s 11pm in Cape Town – you’ve been operating for 15 hours without paying any overtime or asking any employee to work past normal office hours.
10. Evolving Into a Better Company
Businesses are resistant to change. Where they see the benefits of a hiring remotely, they also see disruption to working methods. Many fail to think forward to how a remote workforce helps a company evolve. Centralised communication and better collaboration are the hallmarks of most successful businesses. This is easier to achieve remotely than in an office.
Communication in other languages is also essential in a globalised business environment. Thanks access to a wider talent pool, you can have employees who are native in a variety of different languages. It’s difficult to recruit a native Portuguese speaker with specific marketing skills in Sydney. It’s easy when your talent pool is global and you can hire from Portugal or Brazil.
And when recruiting a remote workforce from around the world, just imagine the diversity of ideas and perspectives that will influence your business. People living in the same place tend to have similar perspectives, dictated by their geography. With a remote workforce you can evolve into a greener, healthier business for the future.
It’s Never Been Easier to Hire Remotely
Search Remotely is a leading online platform connecting remote workers with businesses hiring remotely. It enables people to hire the best talent from around the world, the talent who want to work remotely from anywhere they want. Explore the remote jobs board to see how your business can hire the world’s best remote talent.