13.9% of UK workers work remotely.
With this number on the rise, why are employers choosing to hire a remote workforce?
Hire from a wider talent pool
Fact: lots of small and medium businesses find it hard to attract the right talent to work with. This is particularly the case with tech companies that recruit for specialised skills – the alternative is to end up spending a lot of time and money training staff that may leave a year down the line. Doesn’t it make sense to hire for skill rather than geography? If you’re not sure where to start looking for remote talent, websites like remote.co and flexjobs.com allow remote-friendly employers and candidates to find each other.
Communication is easy
That is, if you have the right tools in place!
A Harvard Business Review research study found that 87% of remote workers feel they are still connected to their employers through video conferencing. Combine video with a messaging app, such as Slack, and you’re onto a winner.
Better yet – choose a system that has video, voice, messaging and more in one place. Unified Communications puts all of your communications into the cloud, accessible anywhere and completely seamless for colleagues and customers alike. Check out Yoozoom Cloud Voice for the best UK solution. For project-based work you could also employ a tool such as Asana or Basecamp, which allows you to assign and monitor tasks effectively under project headings.
Remote workers are more productive
The premise: 91% of remote workers believe they “get more work done when working remotely,”
The proof: This Harvard Business Review article shows the results of an experiment at Chinese travel agency start-up Ctrip, in which employees had the option to work at home for nine months. Using performance data and employee surveys, Ctrip found the home workers were more productive; For example, remote employees finished 13.5% more phone calls per week than in-office staff. They also found that they saved an average of $1,900 per employee on furniture and space costs, and employees were less likely to quit and happier.
Telecommuting workers are 48% more likely to rank their job a 10 — the highest level — on the happiness scale.
Why? Lack of a commute is not to be underestimated. According to RSPH, 55% feel more stressed because of their commute and 41% do less physical activity. The average UK employee spends £146 a month commuting, totalling £135,871 over a lifetime. In fact, a surprising 30% of workers would choose flexible working over a pay rise if they could only choose one.
Why is having happier staff good for employers? Ok, apart from being a decent human being, business-wise it leads to lower employee turnover (and therefore recruiting costs); less sick days and generally a more pleasant and supportive company culture. After all, your staff are one of your most important business promoters.
Cheaper for companies
How much money do you spend on your in-office employees? Remember to include technology, desk space, furniture, electricity, tea & coffee, those Friday treats… Now think about what you could spend that money on instead. One US study says letting a single employee work from home can save a business $10,000.
Add this to all the extra productivity and lower staff turnover and it’s worth even more.
Of course, there are still challenges to overcome with remote employees. Take for example – 27% of business people say that a slow or unreliable internet connection is an obstacle to home working . But with the right technology in place, and the right attitude, this a real viable option for modern companies.
Do you have employees working remotely or are you considering it for your business? Are you a home worker? We’d love to hear your point of view! Tweet at us or get in touch.