Why Should Your Company Have a Remote Workforce

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THE GLOBAL ENTREPRENEUR | REMOTE WORKING

For so long, the cubicle is seen as the epitome of capitalist drudgery and enslavement. Millions of employees spent their days and life confined within three dull, soulless walls, wishing that one day something magical will happen and take them out of that place. They want to do something they love, engage with people, and live a life full of meaning. They want something “else”, but they’re not sure what it is.

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Fortunately, the reign of the cubicle is about to crumble. Actually, the decline has already begun. We can now work anytime, anywhere we want, while contributing the same, if not more, to the organization we belong to.

By taking “work” out of the cubicle, we’re revolutionizing the workplace. Little did we know that confining people to a limited physical workplace is confining their creativity, productivity and enthusiasm in a box, forcing them to work without a purpose.

Remote working destroys the confinement and encourages liberation.

Companies are surprised at how much more productive their workers are when they’re allowed to work from home. Managers are also amazed at the fact that what they thought about remote working has now been proven wrong.

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A study by Standford of 16,000 workers over a period of 9 months discovered that WFH can increase productivity by 13%. Another survey by ConnectSolutions found that up to 77% of workers report that there is increased productivity if they’re allowed to work from home at least a few times per month. 30% of them finished work much faster while 24% of them actually accomplished more in the same period of time. 

If that doesn’t persuade you to build a remote workforce, I don’t know what does.

Actually, if you’re not yet persuaded, below is a list of the benefits of remote working that researchers have found. 

1. Having a remote workforce in your company increases productivity significantly

As proven with the statistics above, remote working is extra-productive.

However, most findings on WFH productivity were quite counterintuitive.

If you approach a mid-level manager in the pre-COVID era and ask them if they’re willing to let their employees work from home, they’ll probably say “NO”.

This isn’t hard to understand. After all, it’s easy to get distracted in such a comfy and cosy environment that is your home, your bedroom, living room, or the coffee shop.

But sometimes that’s just a part of the equation.

According to a 2-year survey on 800,000 employees from Fortune 500 companies conducted by Great Place to Work, productivity was stable or increased when working remotely from home.

A survey by Airtasker also shows that WFH employees tend to spend less time avoiding work while taking more breaks than they normally would if they worked at their employer’s physical location.

When working from home, people can also avoid the distractions brought about by co-workers and managers. Although conversing with colleagues can be a great way to build and establish relationships and nurture the company’s culture, many a time it can turn into unnecessary gossiping about non-work topics, which kills productivity.

Technology also lends a hand in increasing the productivity of workers. There is no logistical hassle, as people can simply log into their account and join a virtual meeting room where everything can be discussed easily. Hundreds of people can join a discussion within seconds. 

Of course, telework and remote working is not also sunshine and daisies. 

It’s the gossiping and conversing and genuine interacting with people that keeps things interesting. 

People don’t want to slave their life away in a cubicle, but they don’t want to slave their life away in a bedroom, either. 

Many companies saw a spike in productivity in the first months of remote working, but after that, there was a marked increase in loneliness and disconnection among the workers, which called for a hybrid work model.

Nevertheless, remote working, if assigned properly, can be a great way to increase productivity. By having a remote workforce, you’re set to boost the efficiency of your company to a new level. Always ensure that your remote workers receive enough interaction and communication with other people so that their happiness is maintained at a healthy level. 

2. Having a remote workforce in your team is mutually beneficial

Working from home is great, according to Joblist. Employees reported a significant increase in time spent with family and loved ones. 

They can also exercise more, read more, pick up a new hobby, and a wide range of other cool stuff that they couldn’t have done if they had to commute hours to work daily. 

Overall, life is better for remote workers.

And what does a better life translate into? Higher productivity. 

As long as you make your employees’ life good, they will want to make yours wonderful. 

From the manager’s perspective, having a remote workforce in a company screams “savings”. 

With the growing weight of corporate social responsibility and increased pressure to mitigate cross, adopting a remote workforce model is the quickest path to financial and environmental savings.

IBM expects 80% of its employees to work in hybrid remote roles post-pandemic. This is a part of IBM’s plan to scale back its brick-and-mortar footprint, cutting up to 70 million square feet of office space and 1000 locations. 

In the long run, this can save tens of millions of dollars for the company. 

Of course, this radical change is only applicable to tech and creative companies, where most work can be done remotely. Other companies can go remote, of course, although the scale is likely to be smaller. Whatever they do, a huge saving is there for them to grasp. 

From the employee’s perspective, this means less time spent on commuting and more time spent with family and loved ones. Saving in gas and time can be spent on other things that improve their life. This is when true work-life balance can be achieved.

From an even wider perspective, a reduction in commuting means less carbon emission and less traffic jam, which leads to a better city environment in the long run. The WFH is not going away any time soon. It has taken a deep root in society, even, and the job of the future HR is to ensure the happiness of remote workers.

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3. Remote workers bring fresh ideas to the table

Remote workers can sometimes be in the same state. Sometimes they can be in a country on the other side of the globe.

There’s not much of a difference, except global employees can bring much more interesting ideas to the table than local employees, especially if your company is operating in their region.

These people can bring their cultural intelligence and knowledge into the discussion and provide you with a clearer perspective on your strategy.

Since the war for talent has gone global, having a remote workforce means you can tap into this enormous global talent pool and grow your company in a “globalized” way.

Your company can now hire a UX designer from India to build your website or a virtual assistant from Valencia to handle your administrative needs. It doesn’t matter where they are. It’s more about what they can do. Time zone difference is just a minor issue. Simply establish clear expectations upfront with them and you’re good to go.

The benefits far outweigh the downsides. Remote workers are already more productive. If they’re equipped with adequate support and opportunities for growth, they’re very likely to stay and contribute to your team for a long period of time. Push them to thrive, and they will push your company to thrive.

4) Remote workers are more engaged in their work

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Being engaged is what all employees should strive to achieve in work. Happiness is not enough to keep someone at an organization. Engagement is a state where the employee derives both happiness and meaning from what they’re doing.

When “engaged” in work, they are emotionally and intellectually connected to their work. Stronger concentration and increased productivity is easily shown. An engaged employee is energetic, creative, enthusiastic, and is willing to put extra effort into their work. Imagine someone who is in a good mood and amplify that by 10 times, you have an engaged worker.

Everyone wants an engaged worker. Fortunately, remote working can be the perfect environment for someone to enter the “engaged” state.

A research from Gallup shows that employees who spent approximately 60-80% of their time working remotely experience a higher level of engagement. If they receive regular, direct and constructive feedbacks from their managers and understand that they are on the right path, engagement levels will be even higher.

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Conclusion

A remote workforce will be the key to a transformation of the workplace. This transformation is already taking place in various places across the world, and its impact can’t be ignored. If you want to leverage the power of technology and globalization to the fullest, consider building a global team where people from thousands of miles away can happily engage and contribute to the organization’s success.

Do you have any experience with building a team of global workers and remote workers? Feel free to share your valuable lessons in the comment section below. We always accept new ideas and perspectives from other people!

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