Remote working is very much on the radar for many employers at the moment. More and more work opportunities are coming with the option of working away from the place of business for at least part of the contracted work time. Without doubt, remote working is on the rise, but is it worth accommodating in your employment policy?
There are many benefits to accommodating remote working in your business, but it is understandable why some people are reluctant to embrace it, or perhaps even treat it with suspicion. To start with, we are culturally keyed to ‘going to work’. The ‘commute, work, commute and repeat until Friday’ cycle is how things have been for us and generations before us. Something with that much cultural baggage is a hard barrier to get through. However, the rewards remote working offers could make it well worth the change.
Some of the benefits to employers include:
- Remote work requires a very specific outcome, so the worker knows exactly what is being required of them. This leads to a very clear workflow for everyone
- Contract and short-term employment may allow you flexibility in your team
- More ownership of tasks by the employee
- Your on-site overheads could well be reduced
- You open your opportunity up to a larger group of potential candidates who do not have the lifestyle for a 9 – 5 job
- Many employers report increased productivity as the emphasis shifts from ‘being in work’ to ‘producing a result’
- Work-life balance and job satisfaction levels often increase for the employee. This means that your retention and productivity should rise
Yes, there are potential issues such as the employee not performing, bad communication and so on, but these can all be managed with good procedures and practices, and often they exist in the workplace as well.
Not all job roles are suitable, though
Not all job roles will be suitable for distance work because they will require a physical presence to perform them. We should also remember that some people work well away from the fixed workplace and others do not. You will need to take into account the culture of your workplace as it stands or as you expect it to develop. However, regular team meetings and even company social events can help integrate the workforce and generate a sense of belonging.
To break things down to basics, every employment scenario is fairly simple. It requires that the employer receives the work required from the employee and that the employee receives suitable remuneration for their time and efforts. In theory, if all of these conditions are met, then we have a working relationship. However, we all know it isn’t quite as simple as that because the employee and the employer are not robots carrying out a task. Remote workers are just as prone to sickness, the occasional mistake and other foibles of being human as anyone. As long as your remote practices account for this though and your HR and employee management is right, then remote could really make a saving on the bottom line of your balance sheet and, perhaps more importantly, give you access to a new pool of potential employees.
If you are interested in discussing including remote working in your employment planning, we are happy to discuss it further with you. Why not call us or drop us a line and we will arrange to chat things through.