Should You Implement Remote Work in Your Company?

Posted by Guthrie-Jensen Consultants

You may or may not be aware, but you’ve probably done remote work sometime in the past. Maybe you called in sick but still managed to get something done to make the next day’s work manageable enough. Any office-related function that you do outside of your company’s headquarters falls under remote work.

The fact that there are now more than half of companies being flexible in their employees’ work setup is a good indication that remote work may be an attractive option for businesses. Some bigwigs in the tech startup industry even call it the “future of work.”

Then again, how do you know if remote work is good for your business and that you’re not just quick to jump on the bandwagon? The answer lies in understanding how telecommuting works, which can help you decide if it complements your business model, goals, and resources.

What Is Remote Work and How Does It Benefit You?

As mentioned, remote work allows your employees to perform their job roles away from the office, which means that they can also work on their own schedule based on an established reporting structure with your company. Depending on the nature of work to be sent home, employees may still work certain days in-house.

The concept and practice of remote work started as soon as the first personal computer (PC) launched around 1975, providing a way for employees to work where they had PC access. The birth of the dial-up internet roughly a decade after meant that employees could do more remote work thanks to connectivity tools like email, making office communication possible between in-house and off-site employees.

With 5G internet and office management tools coming into the scene full swing, remote work is now officially part of the modern office culture, which can help you promote productivity in the workplace. Additionally, countries like the Philippines have already passed laws that institutionalize telecommuting, making it a must-have perk for companies who want to attract top talent.

Those who support remote work also assert that—

  • Remote work lowers the company’s overhead, translating into savings in operational costs.
  • Working remotely increases employees’ level of work satisfaction and engagement, which stems from having more time for their personal well-being.
  • Organizations that allow employees to work from home register lower turnover rates than traditional offices, as offering telecommuting options is comparable to providing employee benefits that can drive loyalty to the company.

Remote Work Improves Productivity

The positive impacts of remote work on productivity exist for real, especially for jobs that operate in a silo. In these types of work, employees are expected to have little or occasional interaction, communication, or collaboration with their office-based colleagues.

Since their skills are more important based on the needs of the modern workplace, keeping them in the office isn’t really a wise thing to do when they can get more things done or do their jobs better elsewhere.

For example, a copywriter or a web designer can bring their work-on-the-go and submit their output once it’s due. A salesperson can spend the majority of the week making client calls and then reserve certain days to attend sales meetings in the office.

Naval Ravikant, founder of startup company AngelList, also sees remote work as a right fit for crypto companies. The decentralized nature of crypto transactions makes it practical to set up a remote team instead of maintaining headquarters in a financial or commercial district, where office space can cost a lot.

However, it’s also true that remote work isn’t for everyone. In the past, companies like Yahoo and Best Buy had to cancel their employees’ option to work remotely. At the time, both companies were looking for a way to bring back a collaborative work culture within their organizations, which would be more challenging to achieve if employees were not physically present in the office. Reddit also followed suit, announcing in Q4 2014 that the company’s remote work policy didn’t allow employees to stay nimble and well-coordinated.

To be successful in implementing remote work, experts recommend a shift in focus from the number of hours that employees are working to the results that they deliver. Tim Ferriss of Fear{less} says companies should value performance over presence.

When you allow employees to work where or when they feel most productive, they are more likely to put in a higher quality of work.

Of course, employees need to keep their end of the bargain by complying with work-from-home guidelines, which may include daily check-ins, submission of reports, virtual attendance to meetings, and so on. At the end of the day, a balanced perspective toward remote work requires a give-and-take situation that can deliver win-win results for both you and your employees.

Remote Work: The Final Verdict

Now, on with the question: Should you implement remote work in your company?

If, after doing your checks and balances, you are certain that it can be one of the most effective ways to improve the productivity of your employees, then you shouldn’t hold back from making remote work part of your employees’ perks.

You can also go the extra mile for your employees by providing them with other opportunities where they can further learn how to improve productivity at work.

At Guthrie Jensen, we organize seminars that approach workplace productivity based on common challenges in many companies, including how your managers and leaders can rally the team to perform well despite pressure.

Sign up now for our seminar “Managing Chaos: Increasing Productivity and Managing Efficiently Under Pressure.”

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