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Remote work has become the norm for many employees at startups. According to a report from Remote Working Partners, more than half of all workers are now remote-first, not remote-last. Even though working remotely is beneficial for many startups, it also comes with drawbacks. There are pros and cons to having your team operate remotely. Working remotely can be a great way to keep costs low while also hiring top talent that might live in another city or state. It’s especially ideal if you have team members who have young children or other obligations that make it difficult to commute to a company office every day. The benefits of working remotely include: lower operating costs, greater productivity and quality of work, better employee retention and a happier workforce.
Great way to keep operating costs low
One of the biggest benefits of having your team work remotely is that it can help keep operating costs low. If you have everyone in one office, you’ll likely incur added costs for things like rent, utilities, furniture and necessary software licenses. However, when you’re working with a remote team, you can drastically reduce these costs by not having to pay for office space or other amenities. You can also save money by hiring top talent that might live in another city or state. This way, you don’t have to worry about offering employees significant salary increases to compensate for the added cost of living in your area. If you have employees who need to travel to your office to work, you can save even more money by hosting them in a co-working space.
Greater productivity and quality of work
Another benefit of having your team work remotely is that it can lead to greater productivity and a higher quality of work. Since employees won’t be wasting time driving from one side of the city to the other, they can focus on getting important tasks done. Plus, working from home may help employees produce better quality work since there are fewer distractions. This is especially true for employees with children since parenting duties can get in the way if they commute to the office. Plus, your team members can work during times when they feel most productive, rather than having to follow the standard 9-to-5 work schedule that some offices have. Remote work can also help improve employee morale, especially if you have a distributed team consisting of people who work from different locations. Employees who work from home may feel more appreciated and fulfilled because they’re able to work on their own terms.
Helps with employee retention
A third benefit of working remotely is that it can help with employee retention. Employees who work remotely are often more committed to staying with the company since they don’t have to deal with the stress of having to find transportation to and from the office every day. If you live in an area with poor public transportation or if your company is located in a busy area, the daily journey can be frustrating and stressful. Many employees want to work remotely because they don’t want to be tied to a daily commute, especially if they have children. Working remotely can also help improve employee retention because it allows employees to work in a location where they’re more comfortable. If you have employees who prefer to work at home, but you have an office in a specific city, they may feel a sense of belonging if they are forced to travel to the office daily.
Another benefit of working remotely is that it can lead to a happier workforce. If you have employees who work remotely, they can choose a location that works best for their lifestyle. If you have employees who are more satisfied with their work environment, they’ll also be more satisfied with their job. This can lead to increased productivity and fewer employee complaints.
If your company works with remote teams, it can help to implement key company communication and productivity practices. Make sure to use a project management software, like Basecamp, so that everyone on the team can stay up-to-date on what everyone else is doing. Use a virtual team collaboration software, like Zoom, to hold meetings. Use a communication tool like Slack so that team members can message each other quickly and easily.
Drawbacks to working remotely
While working remotely has many benefits, it also comes with some drawbacks, including: reduced employee collaboration, less social contact, reduced sense of team identity and increased distractions.
Working remotely can also be challenging if your team members are in different time zones. If you have an employee in Australia, they may be asleep while you’re working during the day. If you have team members in different time zones, you may need to change the way you work. If a team member is sleeping when you’re working, it may not be a good time to get in touch and ask questions. If you have a team member in a different time zone, it can be challenging to know when is the best time to get in touch.
Reduced employee collaboration
Working remotely can also result in reduced employee collaboration. This is often the biggest drawback to operating a remote team because without face-to-face contact with your colleagues, it can be difficult to collaborate on projects and solve problems together. In order to combat this, you may want to consider hiring a company like The Human Network. The Human Network sets up virtual co-working spaces that connect remote teams and freelancers. This way, you can benefit from the reduced costs associated with working remotely, while also having access to a professional, physical space where you can meet with your team members.
Less social contact
Working remotely also means that your team members won’t have any social contact with each other, which can lead to a lower sense of team identity. If you work at a company where employees spend a lot of time together outside of work, they have a greater sense of belonging and are motivated to do well. When you work remotely, you don’t have the same level of social contact, which can make you feel less connected to the company. To reduce this drawback, you can try to find ways to increase communication with your team members. You can also organize company-wide events, like virtual team building events, where you can get to know one another better.
Reduced sense of team identity
Working remotely also means that there will likely be increased distractions. If you work from home, it’s easy to get sidetracked by everyday tasks and responsibilities, like grocery shopping or tending to your children. To reduce distractions, you can create a workspace that’s designed for productivity. You can also try to minimize distractions by turning off the TV, closing all browser tabs and setting a timer to focus on your work. If you notice that you’re getting distracted, you can also set up automated barriers to get you back on track.
Remote work has become the norm for many employees at startups. There are pros and cons to having your team operate remotely. The benefits of working remotely include lower operating costs, greater productivity and quality of work, better employee retention, and a happier workforce. However, there are drawbacks to working remotely, including reduced employee collaboration, less social contact, a reduced sense of team identity and increased distractions.