Remote Working: The Solution To Scaling Your Business?
Remote working in business is becoming very common these days. Recently, it has seen an upsurge in popularity, moving away from the image of those who ‘work from home’ as sitting around in their pyjamas, answering a handful of emails and little else. But is it really a viable solution to scaling a business?
One reason remote working is on the rise is due to the changes in our lifestyle. Many parents work and need to have the flexibility to drop off and pick up their children from day care or school. Additionally, some people have relocated away from urban centres but still want to work for the types of companies that are city-based. Also many businesses are willing to be flexible in order to retain valued employees who might otherwise leave for the reasons above. Therefore, remote working can bring benefits to both employees and employers.
Benefits to Business
- Overheads – A permanent but remote employee will still have tax and pension liabilities, but they won’t need physical office space and as much equipment as office-based employees.
- Productivity – Remote working isn’t for everyone. Some people need an office environment to stay motivated. Those who can effectively work alone, however, are generally more productive – they have fewer distractions, they are more motivated and they are happy to get on with tasks independently.
- Staff retention. People have fewer concerns about changing jobs these days to suit their circumstances – But if you‘ve invested in someone in terms of training, or have a really committed team member, wouldn’t it be a shame to see them go? Instead, offer a remote working solution and show them how valued they are at their workplace.
- Engaged employees – The possibility of remote working is highly attractive to many employees. It shows they are valued and trusted which in turns engenders loyalty and company engagement, both of which ultimately affect a company’s bottom line.
- Communication – People who are comfortable working remotely tend to be self-starters and so have no qualms in communicating with their colleagues. In fact, they are more happy to interact with their colleagues after they have spent some time alone on an important task.
- Efficiency – Meetings with remote workers can be carried out via videoconferencing or resolved over the phone. Virtual meetings tend to be much quicker and more productive than physical meetings as there are fewer distractions.
Remote working doesn’t suit all roles. But most industries have some staff who can easily work remotely. Modern technology allows straightforward and secure file sharing; VoIP phone system means calls can be taken from any location and there is a plethora of online communication methods to keep in touch, including email, videoconferencing and instant messaging.
So, on balance, encouraging remote working could be an effective way to help scale a business. Work will get completed to a high standard and in a timely manner, time can be freed up by fewer meetings, processes can become slicker and there’s less chance of staff attrition. These are all the factors that can free up resources to allow a business to scale and grow. At the very least it might be worth giving it a try and seeing how it fits with your particular business model.