Remote working isn’t a brand-new phenomenon. It wasn’t recently born out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather, it has been around for quite some time. While most areas in the US have access to great internet infrastructures and affordable deals like Spectrum Specials, remote working wasn’t always the norm. Workers did have certain remote working privileges at specific workplaces. However, very few full-time employees had the luxury of an extended work-from-home period. Until now.
In this article
The Shift to Remote Working and Distributed Teams
Following the emergence of the pandemic in 2020, most businesses had limited options available. Most could only choose to move to a remote working format. The only other option was to suspend operations indefinitely. Faced with diminishing revenues and mounting costs, this was one situation where businesses choose wisely. Successful businesses adapt and evolve instead of sticking to rigid conventional work models. As a result of this necessary but agile shift, many businesses were able to not just survive but thrive. This is impressive since the change happened under unprecedented conditions. The usual concerns about employees slacking off without oversight were blown right out of the water.
By all accounts, many businesses saw significant improvement in work productivity, employee attendance, and even worker motivation. Even with a promising vaccination drive in progress, many business managers and leaders are now considering a permanent distributed team model. Here are a few possible reasons why this is the case:
Open Up Access to Broader Talent Pools
Physical premises, no matter how huge, can only be in one location at a time. This can sometimes be inevitable. Especially if you need to be close to certain resources or types of workers. However, a physical workplace is obsolete in a remote working model.
Virtual workplaces use information systems and communication apps as a digital substitute for a physical workspace. Meaning workers don’t need to be present in the same city, or even the same country, to work. You can use this opportunity to expand your hiring focus beyond local talent. You can shift from hiring the best available local talent to international candidates with the best skills.
Save on Fixed Costs and Overheads
The economic and commercial fallout from the pandemic has harmed nearly every business to some degree. So even if you are running reasonably well right now, you may not be as strong as before. Your business cashflows certainly still feel the sting of revenues drying up as consumers curtailed spending.
However, remote working models can offer a significant advantage in cutting down certain types of costs. Fixed costs like rent and overheads like heating and electricity bills are inevitable. Moreover, ancillary support services, like cleaning and waste management, also cost significant money. These costs are normally unavoidable. But with distributed teams, all of these costs become obsolete. For businesses already struggling to maintain continuity, these cost savings can be very valuable.
Offer a Better Work-Life Balance
Motivated workers are the most productive ones in most settings. Happier workers bring a positive attitude to the workplace and a drive to excel. However, demotivated workers are the opposite. They can often cause you to see drops in productivity, team working ability, and other metrics. This can also spill over into other employees who work with them. Unless checked, demotivation can quickly spread throughout the workforce. Too many demotivated workers and teams will cripple the business.
Remotely distributed teams, on the other hand, see a positive uptick in motivation levels. This is usually thanks to a better work-life balance. By extension, this increased motivation will translate into better output. Overall, this is a win-win for both employers and employees.
Reduce Worker Attrition
Worker attrition or turnover can be extremely expensive in conventional workforces. The costs of sourcing, screening, interviewing, and onboarding candidates can be significant. But when an employee who has passed through all of these stages ends up leaving, the problem intensifies. The business has to go through the entire ordeal again to find a replacement. Therefore, employee turnover is usually an undesirable situation under most circumstances. But the situation is remedied easily with remote working. Specifically with the improved work-life balance, access to diverse talent pools, and remote working flexibility. You will most likely see employee attrition rates shrink considerably.
Develop Stronger Responsibility and Dependability
Managers conventionally opposed remote working. Mainly because of the inability to ensure oversight. They feel they would be unable to follow up with remote teams. Or it would not be as convenient as in the workplace. This would render them unable to ensure efficient workflows.
However, remotely distributed teams actually exhibit different behavior than conventional thinking. They accept more responsibility than usual. Moreover, they also exhibit a greater inclination to buy into your business vision.