More companies are offering remote or flexible work arrangements than ever before, and it’s predicted that by 2020, 30 percent of employees will either be freelance, outsourced or remote workers who spend most of their time working from locations other than the office. While more traditional businesspeople may see this as a shocking statistic, evidence shows that remote work has benefits for employees and employers alike. It is important to note that remote work isn’t ideal for all departments or industries but there is a definite shift happening.
From work-life balance and increased focus to an improvement in physical health, the perks of remote work for employees cover a broad range. Working from home has been attributed to lower stress levels, improvements in personal relationships, and additional free time for hobbies, exercise, family gatherings and other interests. Coworker–manager relationships are often more positive as well when you take out the distractions and politics that come with in-office positions.
As with any benefit, remote work can have its downfalls if not properly handled as well. One of the biggest issues most employees experience while working out of the office is communication. Luckily, communicating with teammates, managers and clients from home can be made a little easier with the right technology. The market for communication technology is huge and can be confusing to navigate, but once the right tools are selected, will make a huge difference.
To mitigate confusion around which communication tools remote teams should be using and how they should be used, give all employees a crash course to ensure they are as knowledgeable as possible. For example, Voice over IP phone services are extremely useful for a workforce on the go, but most workers have no idea what they are or how to use them. Give your employees the knowledge they need to properly use VoIP before implementing it to bridge this knowledge gap.
Another important aspect of communication with remote workers includes navigating your tools well enough to not lose track of correspondences or important messages. Luckily, our tools here at One Call Now make this one step simpler by allowing you to send emergency notifications, timely reminders and polls to a targeted subgroup of your choosing without worrying that they’ll get lost in a full inbox.
Something to keep in mind as an employer is that it’s important to not overlook the benefits that come from treating your workforce like professional adults. While the benefits for employees are great, those for employers might be even greater. By giving your employees the freedom to develop a work-life balance that adapts to their specific lifestyle, you’ll position your company as a desirable place to work while giving yourself the ability to broaden your geographical boundaries. Beyond these great aspects of remote work come the efficiency, productivity, loyalty and happiness that lead to increased employee retention for your business.
Of course, with providing flexible arrangements for your employees comes the risk of some taking advantage of your trust and abusing the benefit. To best avoid this turning into a problem, consider measuring your employees’ performance in units other than time, such as progress or quality of work.