When it comes to remote working, not everyone sees the benefits. In fact, a recent poll of employees revealed that only 40% of workers believe that their company’s telework program is a good thing. That’s understandable because many remote working programs have been implemented with the best of intentions but without much forethought. The result is often disastrous for both employer and employee. As an employee you might get the opportunity to work remotely as part of your job description. As an employer you may need to hire someone who can work remotely as part of their responsibilities. Either way, you need to know what you’re getting into – both as an employee or hiring manager – before making this commitment with your company or potential new employee.
What is remote working?
Remote working is exactly what it sounds like – people working away from the office. In the case of a remote worker, that’s their choice. They can work from home, at a different office, coffee shop, wherever they want as long as they can get their work done. Remote workers are not necessarily employees who work outside of the office every day. Remote workers are also called telecommuters, home workers, work-at-home employees, and virtual employees. Remote workers might work full-time, part-time, or even as a short-term gig. They might be independent contractors or freelancers, or on-site employees working from home one day per week. They might be hired by an organization that allows employees to work remotely or through a remote work or staffing company that contracts with clients to provide them with remote workers.
Why would an employer want to allow remote working?
Some employers might be motivated by wanting to attract top talent to their organization. Others might want to retain employees who’ve become frustrated with the daily commute or are dealing with health issues. Many employers offer remote working as a benefit to their current employees – which serves to keep them happy. Depending on the type of work being done and the type of employee you have on staff, remote working has the potential to increase productivity. Employees are more likely to have a positive attitude and be more engaged with their work if they’re satisfied with their work environment. Some employers might want to reduce overall operating costs. Others might have remote workers they hire specifically to work from home in order to access a broader pool of workers.
Why would an employee want to work remotely?
Remote workers have the opportunity to be more productive and have a higher job satisfaction rate. According to a 2018 survey on remote working, 49% of remote workers report that they’re more satisfied with their jobs than when they worked in an office. On a larger scale, remote working can help employers attract top talent. While most organizations want to hire people with the right skill sets, there are a lot of people who are seeking working arrangements that are not available to them. Remote workers tend to have a higher retention rate. This is especially true for workers who are hired from outside organizations. They’ll often stay with the company longer if they’re allowed to work remotely.
The pros and cons of remote working for employees
– Improved work/life balance: This can be especially important for people with families or other time-sensitive commitments. The ability to work when and where you want can help you manage your time more effectively, giving you more control over the demands on your schedule. – Reduced stress: You don’t have to make that long commute, which can help reduce common workplace stressors like rush-hour traffic or having to sit in a car for long hours. Plus, you can work in your pajamas if you want! – More autonomy: Some companies that offer remote working programs have strict guidelines, but when you work remotely, you are given more autonomy. You don’t have to ask for time off. You can set your own hours. You decide how to get your work done, when to work and what tasks to prioritize. – Better focus: If you work from home, you don’t have to deal with distractions in the office. You don’t have to walk past the kitchen where people are eating their lunch and chatting. You can focus on your tasks without being interrupted. – More control over your income: When you’re employed by a company, there is always the possibility that you could lose your job if the company has to downsize or if the company goes out of business. However, when you work for yourself, you fully control your income. If you have a slow period, you don’t have to worry about getting fired. You can just take the time to look for other work. – Finding a balance between work and life: You can manage your time appropriately and focus on your work at hand during normal business hours, and then focus on your family or personal life outside of work. You can create a good work-life balance and find time for your loved ones and hobbies.
The pros and cons for employers hiring remote workers
– Greater chance of hiring top talent: Some employers might be motivated by wanting to attract top talent to their organization. Others might want to retain employees who’ve become frustrated with the daily commute or are dealing with health issues. – Better return on investment: Employers can outsource work that can be done remotely, which should translate into savings on office space and related expenses. – Fewer distractions: Remote workers aren’t as likely to be distracted at work by things like office politics, noisy work environments, or long coffee breaks. This translates into better focus and more productivity overall. – Better retention rate: Organizations that want to grow should be hiring and keeping the best talent possible. Remote working gives employers the opportunity to hire people who might not be interested in relocating or who can’t relocate for personal reasons, such as a spouse in a different field. – Potentially healthier employees: Remote workers are more likely to be able to manage their health issues than those who have no choice but to commute to the office.
How to make remote working work for employees and employers
– Define the role: What does the role entail? What is the employee’s main responsibility? How will success be measured? What are the key results that need to be achieved? What are some other important details about the job, such as hours or location where required? – Clearly define expectations for both managers and employees: Find a way to clearly communicate expectations for both managers and employees. A remote working agreement or contract will help define the terms of the relationship between the employer and the person working remotely. – Create a good onboarding process: Remote working can be successful, but only if both parties are on the same page. The best way to do this is by having a good onboarding process. This could involve a few different things, such as having managers review and sign off on the remote working agreement between them and the employee. – Make communication the number one priority: Communication is key to making remote working work. Set up communication guidelines, such as frequency and type of communication, and stick to them.
Remote working can be a great solution for many organizations and employees. A remote work program can result in higher employee job satisfaction, lower stress levels, and more productive employees. To make it work, employers and employees must be clear about their expectations for the program. Once these expectations are understood, remote working can be an effective way to create a work environment that is more enjoyable, less stressful, and more productive for everyone involved.