Contrary to popular belief, remote work is not a recent phenomenon. Its genesis, for modern workplaces, took place in 1972 when Jack Nilles, a NASA engineer, was working remotely on a NASA communication system. He is known for coining the term “telecommuting” and is now considered the father of remote work. Propelled by the advent of personal computers in 1975 and the birth of the internet in 1983, telecommuting or remote work gathered speed over the years and as the COVID-19 pandemic sparked an enormous migration away from brick-and-mortar workplaces, remote work got more readily accepted across several sectors of the economy.
A GetApp study shows that the number of people who work remotely at least once per week has grown by a whopping 400% since 2010. With the proliferation of video conferencing and collaboration platforms like Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Slack, allowing employees to work remotely has helped businesses accelerate revenue despite the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic. Because of the crucial benefits it offers, employers and employees are gradually embracing the new normal of remote work.
Benefits of Hiring Remote Workers
- Boost Productivity
- Achieve Cost Savings
- Accelerate Digital Transformation
- Gain Access to a Wider Talent Pool
- Ensure Employee Retention
- Promote Work-Life Balance
- Create a Better Environment
According to Forbes, teleworkers are an average of 35-45% more productive than workers working from their physical offices. Besides, teleworkers have shown a measured increase in output of at least 4.4% as compared to their physical office counterparts. The increase in efficiency of remote workers is attributed to the autonomy enjoyed by them. Coupled with the elimination of workplace distraction, remote workers are more likely to work during the hours they find most productive, leading to higher output.
The ConnectSolutions Remote Collaborative Worker Study showed that remote workers were 77% more productive than those working from office premises. It also showed that remote workers are 52% less likely to take time off. When employees are able to avoid unproductive activities such as coffee breaks, long commutes to their offices, being pulled into the office grapevine, etc., productivity rules the roost.
Hiring remote workers result in significant cost-savings. Employers can save money by reducing office space costs, office furniture, equipment, and office supply costs. They can do away with transportation subsidies or reimbursements, obviate utility costs, and optimize operational and personnel costs. A study conducted by AT&T showed that promoting remote work enabled it to slash its annual real estate costs by $30 million and fetch $150 million in extra hours of productive work from remote workers.
Hiring remote workers also brings down childcare costs as parents can spend more time with their children at home. As per Forbes, organizations save an average of $11,000 per year per part-time remote worker or achieve 21% higher profitability. Based on the size of your organization, this could lead to significant savings without drastically changing the organizational structure.
Hiring remote workers enables organizations to constantly test, iterate, and improve various technologies and tools. The uptick in the usage of both emerging applications and well-established ones helps organizations collect new data and feedback for future improvements. Gradually, organizations have learned to invest in and strengthen their IT infrastructure, including the adoption of new cyber security practices to capitalize on the benefits of employing a remote workforce.
The Global Workspace Survey reports that 78% of organizations opine that offering flexible working options allows them to expand their talent pool. Hiring remote workers means that organizations will have access to a lot of employees that already have the necessary skill set required for the advertised job. As organizations will be less likely to sacrifice candidature based on the location of the candidate, they will be able to focus on hiring talented and location-agnostic candidates.
Besides, hiring remote workers allows organizations to attract qualified employees that possess the specialized skill set for a wide range of jobs. When location ceases to be a factor in considering a candidate for a particular position, organizations can focus on onboarding remote workers that are well trained. This not only cuts down the training cost but also reduces the time lag between onboarding and optimal performance.
Forbes reports that 54% of employees are of the opinion that they would switch jobs for one that provided them more flexibility. Remote work is amongst the most desired offerings that employers can give to candidates seeking jobs. An online survey done by Mom Corps found that in order to have more flexible work options, 42% of employees would be willing to take a salary cut. This shows that remote workers are willing to sacrifice a part of their salaries to achieve the professional flexibility offered by remote work.
Moreover, employee retention is higher among remote workers due to the following factors: remote work options offer more flexibility, which makes them less likely to leave their job, remote employees will not leave their organizations on account of relocation, and remote workers are more likely to continue working during pregnancy and early motherhood, albeit while opting for reduced working hours. When remote workers are kept engaged, it boosts loyalty, improves the employee experience, and enhances long-term retention.
According to LinkedIn, 82% of employees working remotely have lower stress levels than those working in-house. Stress causes mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and sleep problems as well as physical health complaints such as body pain and muscle tension. Reducing stress is essential to maintaining a healthy and productive workforce. It also helps employees work more efficiently in the long run. In addition, employees that have time for personal errands, hobbies and interests, and workouts feel more accomplished.
Remote work benefits both mental and physical health. With no compulsion to commute, no rush to finish lunch, no exposure to sick coworkers, and no long hours in an isolated cubicle away from family and friends, remote workers are able to keep stress at bay and lead a healthier lifestyle. Besides, remote workers can visit the doctor more easily, eat a healthy diet consisting of home-cooked meals, and take care of their ailments better. This means they will take less time off of work and spend more time on productive work.
Most organizations today prioritize reducing the adverse impact of their operations on the environment. They endeavor to make a difference by taking up environment-related corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, recycling, increasing renewable energy usage, and consciously reducing their carbon footprint. Some of the environmental benefits of remote work are reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, decrease in energy consumption, reduction in waste generation, and improvement of air quality.
The Global Workplace Analytics report states that the potential positive impact of remote work could be on par with planting 91 million new trees. Employing remote workers advances environmental sustainability by reducing traffic pollution by eliminating the need for a daily commute to work, decreasing the usage of disposable cups, containers, and office supplies, and conserving office space and electricity. Hence, remote work is much more beneficial to the environment than working from physical offices.
How to Hire and Onboard Employees Virtually for Remote Work
Hiring remote workers and successfully onboarding them requires precision. Virtual hiring entails scheduling assessments that prevent cheating, setting up interviews that give candidates a well-rounded list of questions, and conducting orientation sessions while onboarding. All of these elements, when done right, instill remote workers with confidence and trust in their employers. HirePro provides end-to-end solutions for organizations to hire and onboard employees for remote work.
HirePro is the sole recruitment technology company that offers complete remote recruitment solutions. Our advanced AI-powered platform, assisted by experts, enables organizations to source, screen, assess, interview, select, and onboard the best talent from anywhere around the globe. Reap the manifold benefits of hiring remote workers with HirePro today.
Potential Drawbacks of Remote Work and How to Overcome Them
Building trust is essential in a remote working environment. Despite its many benefits, hiring remote workers poses a few challenges. However, these challenges can be handled effectively with a few minor adjustments. For example, the lack of dedication can be tackled by helping remote workers structure their time and environment in a manner that prevents them from succumbing to distractions.
Further, isolation and the lack of workplace social life while working remotely can be counteracted by scheduling luncheons with bosses and colleagues. The fear of remote workers that they would be overlooked for promotions or better career opportunities can be dealt with by putting in place an unbiased performance appraisal process specifically geared to remote workers. By respecting the work hours of the remote workers and not piling on work when they’re efficient, employers can help them maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Remote work is a burgeoning trend that a lot of organizations will adopt in the near future. Many are well on their way to increasing their remote workforce, while some have gone fully remote. Hiring remote workers could be the major tipping point in how organizations adapt to the changing market conditions to remain efficient and profitable. It’s no surprise that given its wide-ranging benefits, recruiting remote workers is becoming an essential part of the hiring repertoire of organizations across the globe.