How many of you assume that the most productive workers are those sat at their desks from 9am until 5pm? Or that the best way to get a task done is to remain office-bound until it’s completed? While there may be many of you that find such an environment useful, others prefer to march to the beat of their own drum – and are all the more productive for it. As the trend for remote workers and telecommuting increases, how successful is such a concept? Can remote working actually increase productivity and save your business money?
When you think about it remote working could save your business a fortune. After all, fewer bodies in the office means fewer cups of tea being made and less power outlets in use. You’ll no doubt notice a difference in the amount of stationery and office supplies going missing, too. As well as reducing overheads remote workers will make a difference to sick pay and travel expenses. Though travel is still required, and illness expected, you’ll find costs falling.
According to an articled published by Forbes remote workers are happier workers. They tend to feel more valued and are, typically, more productive than their office-based counterparts. The idea makes tremendous sense. Remote workers enjoy flexibility and freedom, and can usually choose where and how they operate. If an employee wants to work in his pyjamas he can; when else are we afforded such a choice? While it’s true that remote workers often miss out on office relationships and contact, many feel that this is a small sacrifice. Indeed, colleagues can be distracting more often than not.
Research suggests that remote workers and those telecommuting are twice as likely to work more than their required 40 hours a week. While working in an office can inspire clock-watching and heel dragging, remote workers are often too distracted by their projects to take note of the time. It’s easy to see how 40 hours, and then some, could pass without note. So, how will this help your business? Remote workers who regularly surpass 40 hours a week will often complete more projects than their office-based counterparts. They may also find it easier to comprehend and navigate tasks. Remote working could inspire a new working pattern.
Finally, consider the turnover of your staff. How often do you have to advertise for replacement sales representatives, developers, or designers? Since remote working inspires happiness among employees it stands to reason that far fewer will be seeking employment elsewhere. You could now spend less time advertising for new staff members, and more time honing the skills of existing staff members. It’s a concept that’s worth considering, anyway.
The concept of working out of the office, and of hiring remote workers, is more popular than ever, although it’s not without its issues. To maximise the potential of remote arrangements managers and employees must aspire to improved communication, and ensure that goals and objectives are clear right from the start. While workers should dedicate themselves to managing their time effectively, managers must be content to trust their team members’ judgment and work ethic. In short, remote arrangements need transparency and cooperation. If you can create and maintain such a relationship there’s no reason why remote working shouldn’t benefit you.
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