Working Remotely: Good or Bad?

Why are more companies offering remote positions to their employees?

Higher prices on limited office space with low flexibility are becoming more common and a lot of fast growing businesses and start ups are considering investing more money on getting great talent over spending money on expanding existing office space.  But how can a business expand with limited space? There are alternatives – more businesses are offering remote working.

More and more companies are requiring remote workers but what are the pro’s and con’s of this for the individual and for businesses.

What are the positives?

  • Talent everywhere

Skills shortages mean finding highly sort after talent is more difficult than ever. The long list of requirements for finding the right people can be made significantly shorter by eradicating location as a specification.  Finding remote workers means your company can look for talent across a larger geographic area or even worldwide, avoiding inner city salary premiums, travel expenses and time for long commutes.

  • Higher productivity

There may be higher productivity from employees – depending on the type of lifestyle they lead.  If they don’t have children or have a home office, then yes – their productivity should be higher due to lower distraction levels.  This does however depend on the person and whether they are self-motivated.

  • Teamwork and communication

Being away from an office environment means there are conscious efforts to stay in contact with colleagues, managers and clients. This can improve communication and teamwork through networks such as video calling, phone calling and emailing.

  • Less Micro management

Working remotely will mean there is no manager over your shoulder asking what you’re doing every 20 minutes. With full control over your working day it contributes to your potential of being more productive.

 

What are the negatives?

  • Low motivation working from home

It takes a certain type of person to be self-motivated.  Unless you find the right person to work remotely, there can be little to no desire to work at all.

  • Higher distractions at home (depending on the lifestyle you have e.g. Children).

People with children or other distractions at home might not be the best remote workers. These distractions will be higher than those in an office environment so will most likely cause less work to be done.

  • Trust is needed

Hiring someone you don’t really know and letting them work remotely requires significant amount of trust.  You need to trust they are working hard at home and getting as much done as possible – not just watching TV or having a lay in.  Without knowing the individual extensively, making this judgement can be difficult.

Its safe to say there are both pro’s and cons into hiring someone to work remotely.  It all depends what is right for your business.

It’s fine for people to have flexibility to work from home or a close to home location but it also critical that colleagues and teams get together, in a work environment on a regular basis to meet each other, gel as a team and create a culture that allows individuals to share knowledge and experiences with one another.

We all want highly skilled, intelligent people working for our businesses – but they can only really share their knowledge and ideas when people are brought together. People don’t bounce off one another in an email or chat trail.

In jobs such as sales, competition is important. Having a group around you which are motivated and driven helps everyone in the team – something which is impossible to recreate in a remote environment.

If working remotely is a necessity for your business, we advise group meetings (in person) as much as you can to enable a culture to be built.

What are you thoughts on remote working?