As the current situation continues to loom over us, more and more companies are shifting to accommodate remote workforce for their business. Some have even considered having a remote workforce as a permanent part of their business model and culture due to its numerous advantages. Others are still testing the waters during the current situation to see if the structure works for them.
It is understandable why those companies are still experiencing what we like to call “thrashing” at this point – going back and forth with new protocols and systems. While the concept of a remote workforce is not new, the scale of implementation is different from a small or medium-sized company. A lot of details will have to be rethought: from management models to hiring and handling the benefits for remote workers.
But whether you have a large company or a small to medium enterprise, it is still worth asking the question: How can your business take advantage of having a remote workforce? In this article, we will highlight the benefits and drawbacks of implementing and managing a remote workforce. We will also dive into certain business opportunities and challenges that you might encounter during the shift.
Remote Workforce Advantages for your Business
There are many benefits of having a remote workforce, but in the context of the current situation, the most crucial part is the lack of physical contact. Going remote means that your workforce can still work, while not endangering themselves or others through close contact.
Discover other advantages you can get from shifting to a distributed workforce:
Flexibility for Workers
Going remote also offers a certain degree of flexibility. This is particularly true for workers who are required to endure a long commute when going to work. Now they have more time to rest and spend time with their family, which can boost productivity and have other health benefits.
Sourcing Talents and Expansion
Another advantage of going remote is that if you plan to hire new talent, your pool is not as geographically-limited as before. You can now hire someone that is from a different city or state. And you can even go offshore with a Dedicated Distant Assistant, which often has lower rates than hiring locally.
For small to medium business owners or startups, hiring a remote worker can also be highly valuable. They can hire remote workers on a per-project basis or for specialized tasks, and adjust later on. It is especially helpful if you are in the service industry that expects client spikes during the holidays, like our current client Bethany Michaels with Content Social Media Queen.
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Lastly, managing a remote workforce means needing less office space for your business. While your business might still need a physical address, it does not have to be as large as it was before. This means a huge chunk of savings for your company on rent and utilities, which you can divert to improving other parts of the company.
And It is not only the company that will be reducing costs. Working from home means that workers save both time and money from not having to commute. They also do not need to get a property near their office anymore. They are free to move farther from the city for more affordable or better accommodations.
The Drawbacks of Remote Work
Remote workforce culture also has its disadvantages. Here are some of the drawbacks you may encounter when shifting to a remote workplace.
Not All Jobs Translate to Remote Work
While there are a lot of companies that are transitioning to remote work, some might not have the option to do so. And some have realized they can’t afford to have the majority of their staff operating off-site in the long run. These businesses are the ones that interact with the public to deliver their service. There are also businesses that do not rely heavily on computers.
As everyone is working remotely, communication between co-workers and management will be vital. Businesses will have nothing to base productivity on if they do not communicate with their team better. Managers and supervisors will have to walk a tightrope of being on top of their team, but not so much that they end up micromanaging everything. If you need help creating a system to streamline your communication, please fill out our inquiry form.
Another daunting task companies face is the process of transitioning their workforce from office to remote work. It may not be a concern for small and medium enterprises, but large companies could have a hard time doing so.
And with this transition also comes a shift to remote workforce management practices and tracking productivity. Companies should also look to adjust their benefits and minimize the challenges that their remote workforce will face during this transition. This will make them more competitive and efficient in this new normal.
Most companies that have shunned remote workplaces or work from home (WFH) setups often cite cybersecurity as the main reason for not shifting. As your distributed workforce are accessing company data over the internet, some vulnerabilities might be exploited to steal them.
There are ways to avoid such issues and keep company data safe, but it is a valid concern to consider. Companies will have to take into account what risks they face should they go remote and what measures they could take to prevent such risks.
Have you experienced other advantages and drawbacks while doing remote work? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below! You can also talk with us on Facebook and Twitter.
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Thank you for reading, see you on the next blog!