Advancements in digital technology, WiFi speeds, and near universal access to the Internet have forced many businesses to rethink the traditional office paradigm.
Today, it’s often much more affordable, more efficient, and more profitable to allow some – if not most – employees to work remotely from their homes rather than reporting to a centralized office every workday for a formalized scheduled time.
Obviously, some businesses still need physical employees, such as factories, brick and mortar retail operations, food and beverage services, hotels, hospitals, and a long list of other types of organizations.
But the list of businesses that don’t require the physical presence of employees is growing longer every day. These include customer service centers, businesses in the financial sector, marketing, sales, and even print and broadcast communications.
An increasing number of companies are reconsidering their physical offices and weighing whether it might make more sense to allow at least some employees to work remotely at least some of the time.
To help your organization understand whether allowing remote employees would work for you, here are six key benefits to virtual offices.
While the fact that remote workers don’t have to spend hours every week traveling to and from a physical office might seem an exclusive benefit to the employee, it’s also a benefit to the organization.
There are a number of reasons for this. First, when remote employees report to work online, they aren’t already starting out frustrated and angry due to having to navigate traffic jams, public transportation, or other elements of commuting.
Second, remote employees are nearly always accessible to managers and supervisors via their smartphones, tablets, or video conferencing. There’s no need to have to wait until their shift begins or for workers to show up to their desks. Managers can simply reach out to them anytime if they have a question, assignment, or need to interact with them with work-related business.
A lot of businesses are reluctant to allow employees to work remotely because they think they will be less productive. After all, when they aren’t physically in the office, there are a lot of other distractions that can prevent them from paying attention to their work.
In reality, the opposite is true. Remote workers tend to get more work done in less time. That’s because there actually are fewer distractions: Namely, the wasteful interactions and activities of the typical office. There are fewer time-consuming meetings, there’s less chit chat with other employees, there’s no hiding out in the break room.
Another counter-instinctual benefit of allowing employees to work remotely has to do with supervision. Organizations with traditional offices often wonder how effectively managers can supervise employees when they are physically somewhere else, such as at their home office.
The truth is workplace management software used to coordinate remote workers actually provides more supervision, not less. While it’s true that remote employees aren’t physically in managers line of sight, they are always available via the Internet connection.
Managers and supervisors can see directly what employees are working on through screenshots, video conferencing, and other tools provided by workplace management software. This allows better supervision, more focused work, and improved productivity.
High Quality Workers
Another benefit to allowing employees to work remotely is that it allows organizations access to a wider pool of talented workers. Rather than limiting your search for potential employees to those within an easy commute to your physical office, you can attract qualified, conscientious workers from anywhere in the world.
Casting your recruiting net globally allows you a deeper and broader talent pool.
Allowing employees to work remotely has both direct and indirect economic benefits.
First, direct benefits include the fact that businesses require less physical office space. That means less rent or mortgage payments, less overhead, and lower maintenance and upkeep costs. You also may not have to supply hardware like computers, monitors, laptops, smartphones and printers for your workers.
Indirect benefits can include lower payroll costs. Depending on your business, you may be able to outsource some of your operations offshore. Or you might hire workers from other countries where the average salary is substantially lower than it is where your company is headquartered. So you might be able to get the same – or more – productivity from global remote workers for a fraction of the cost.
All of these savings can then be passed along to your customers in the form of lower prices.
Commercial businesses need to make money or they won’t survive. Outsourcing part of your workforce or allowing some or most of your employees to work remotely reduces your organization’s operating costs. All of those savings affect the bottom line.
So if you are considering allowing remote workers, consider this: It can significantly improve your business’s profitability.
Author Bio – This article is written by Jerry Drinkwater in support of Servcorp, world’s leading provider of serviced offices, virtual offices etc. If you’re on the lookout for an office for rent in Bangkok, please get in touch with Servcorp today.