Working remotely has been a common occurrence due to several reasons. And businesses have often had to deal with issues stemming from it. These issues come from the distance and lack of supervision that you have over your employees. Despite these issues, did you know that remote working can actually be used to vastly improve your productivity?
The Advantages of Working Remotely
Before we take a look at how you can utilize remote work to improve your business's ability to create results, we're going to take a look at how much of an advantage remote working truly is for your business. Simply put, the advantages can be a major boost for your business as long as you manage your employees properly.
Lower overhead costs
One of the biggest advantages that working remotely brings to the table is the fact that you will have much lower overhead costs. Your overhead costs are often the result of your employees having to come in each day. These include electricity, cleaning costs, rent, and many others. However, working remotely often means that you can often avoid having to pay excessive amounts of overhead for your business to function.
For example, having even half of your employees working from home means that you don't have lower electricity bills. In this same situation, you can also afford to look for a smaller and cheaper office to rent.
It opens new avenues of growth for your business
Whenever a business transitions employees to work remotely, there is often a certain amount of training and preparation involved. The training will get your employees ready to handle the new demands of their work. But did you know that the training that you give them can also be used as a way to teach them new techniques to create sales?
Now that they are working remotely, they will have wider access to the internet and new tools that can only work effectively in a remote work environment. These can be used to the advantage of your business to help it grow more effectively than it ever has.
Working remotely minimizes the risk to you, your employees, and your customers
One of the main reasons why you're encouraged to utilize remote working at the moment is due to the current state of the world right now. The more employees come into your physical establishment, the higher the risk that your business is in. Customers will be wary of high-risk establishments that could put them at risk. So the biggest advantage that remote working brings is to minimize the risk associated with it.
Letting even just half of your workforce do their jobs remotely means that you're having the risk associated with an employee bringing unwanted pathogens into your business.
Easier access to new skilled employees
Employees are always going to be needed in your business. Regardless of whether you're working on-site or remotely. However, remote working can net you skilled employees from a much wider array of applicants. The main reason for this is due to how the demands of remote work employees are more lenient compared to on-site employees.
For example, hiring an extremely skilled employee from the other side of the world to work on-site would be impractical, expensive, or both. However, if that same employee were to be hired for an on-site
Remote work can be more productive
The biggest advantage that remote work brings to the table is the fact that it can make you and your employees more productive than ever before. Working remotely means that your employees don't have to devote time and energy going to and from a physical office. In addition to this, remote employees also have better access to the comforts of their homes, which means that they are more relaxed and stress-free whenever they log in to work on their computers.
The productivity increase will vary between industries, but the increase in productivity is almost always significant enough to consider.
How You Can Improve Remote Work Productivity?
We've previously gone over how remote work is a great boost to businesses looking to increase their productivity. The benefits of remote working are vast and can easily save you thousands of dollars each year. However, you need to make sure that you know how to take advantage of the advantages that remote work brings. Otherwise, you might just be wasting the potential of your remote workers without even knowing it.
Adjust your interviews to gauge a candidate's ability to work remotely
Improving your employees' remote work productivity starts from the very beginning. In the case of every business, it starts at the interview stage. Interviews are essential to finding the best available employees for your business. It is also where you can start gauging an employee's ability to work remotely.
Since employees will have varying skills and capabilities, it makes sense to start gauging their work remote capabilities during your interview. Weave in questions in questions that can reveal just how good of a remote worker the candidate is. Once you start doing this for any position that allows remote work, then you will have an easier time identifying employees that can take on the challenges of working remotely.
Set Expectations As Early as Possible
Now that you've started using interviews that can identify employees that can effectively work remotely, the next step is to make sure that you take a look at employees already employed at your business. You need to make sure that your tenured employees know what to expect when you transition your business to focus on remote work. Doing this will mean that the transition will go much smoother.
Train pre-existing staff to handle the demands of working remotely
Working remotely is an entirely different beast when compared to working in an office. No physical contact with co-workers, lack of direct access to superiors, and fluctuating schedules are all part of the remote working experience. This is why employees need to be trained to handle the new demands of their work environment
You need to make sure that you formulate new strategies to train your employees to ensure that they stay productive while working remotely. These may involve having your employees take new training courses from a professional trainer, or create a new training regimen yourself. Either option should be always be considered when making sure that your employees are ready to handle working remotely.
Use observation software like time trackers
Let's be honest. Not everyone will be able to avoid distractions when working remotely. This includes social media and other devices that the employee may have at home. This can be an issue as their productivity is affected. Luckily there are a few ways to avoid this issue.
The first is self-discipline on the employee's part, however, not all employees can discipline themselves to avoid distractions. A great alternative to relying on an employee's self-discipline is to utilize various types of observation software available. Time trackers are a great example of this.
Time trackers give you an idea of what your employee is doing during their work hours. It registers the applications that your employees are using. Some time trackers even have the option of taking screenshots of your employee's screens when it is observing them. It gives you an idea of who is really pulling their weight in your business and which ones are slacking off so you can reprimand them.
Secure your data
One of the biggest issues that a business can run into when employees are allowed to work remotely is that your data is less secure. Your data will often be carried by your employees' devices and they are much easier to compromise than an onsite database that you may have in your physical storefront. So you need to make sure that employees are equipped to keep your data out of the hands of thieves.
There are a few effective ways to keep your data secure, and most of them will be worth using even on your on-site database. For example, utilizing cloud storage is a great alternative to simply storing your data on physical hardware. Any data breach in a cloud storage database will mean that the company in question will have to compensate you and any other business whose data was compromised. This is why cloud storage is often heavily protected by the company that hosts it. They have round-the-clock protective measures active to keep your data safe.
Cloud storage is just one of the options available to you, and there are many more that you can certainly take advantage of like various protective software that can detect data breaches, or even paid versions of antivirus programs.
Final Takeaways on Remote Working
The changing global climate has pushed many businesses to adopt working remotely as their go-to option. However, many think that it is a detriment to their success. What they don't realize is that remote working has a large number of advantages that it brings to the table as long as you know how to utilize it.