Remote work has been a major talking point in the work landscape for the past several years. Ever since a majority of jobs went remote in 2020, there’s been a constant debate over whether it’s better for companies to stay remote or have their employees work in the office – with some in the latter category even threatening their employees’ positions if they refuse to return to in-person working.
So, as you juggle whether working remotely or working in-office is the better option, how do you decide which works best for your company? In some industries, it’s a no-brainer; a restaurant or retail shop can’t operate in a remote environment. More white-collar jobs, though–office work, social media, coding, etc–can be a little more flexible in where they can work. If you’re on the fence, we’re here to help. Here are a few pros and cons to consider when moving to a fully remote working environment.
Plenty has been said about how remote work has boosted employee morale in the workplace. Remote environments have 25% less turnover rates than their in-office counterparts. Just a few reasons why include:
- Lack of commute
- Improved work-life balance
- Ability to personalize their workspace
- Flexible scheduling for parents
Happy employees are what you should strive for in your business. No one wants to work a job that makes them miserable, and remote work is a great perk in the eyes of most people because it allows them to be in the environment that they work best in.
Along with the boost of morale, many people who work remotely are much more productive in their work. They don’t have to recover from a bad commute, there’s less chance to get pulled in by idle workplace chatter, and they’re working in an environment that they have tailor-made for their working style.
For you, that means you’re getting better quality work done more quickly. A project that would normally take two days may take one, for instance, or may require less revisions because your team was more focused on what they were putting out. It’s a great benefit for you and them – most employees feel good when they put out good quality work.
The improved flexibility isn’t just a boon for your employees–it’s great for your business, too. By utilizing cloud-based SaaS means your employees can work anywhere, at any time. This accommodation ultimately works toward your benefit.
By allowing employees to work from anywhere, they’re less likely to take days off. They can travel with family and find time to get some work done, and your company doesn’t have to come to a grinding halt for every vacation.
Flexible hours also works better with people’s productivity–some of your employees will be more productive in the morning, while others will be more productive later in the day. By allowing them to work their own hours, you’ll likely find better quality work as they work with their natural schedules rather than being forced into a 9 – 5 environment.
Time Management Issues
One of the problems of remote work comes from a lack of accountability when it comes to scheduling and work. While obviously you don’t want to force your employees to sit in front of their computer at mandated hours if you’re allowing remote work, there’s no real way to check in and ensure your employees are using their time efficiently. While some of your workforce may thrive outside of traditional work hours, others may struggle in a less-structured environment.
One of the biggest discussions around remote work comes from the lack of face-to-face interaction. While many people focus on the social aspect of that lack of in-person interaction, another thing that needs to be addressed is the difficulty that can arise in a business sense as well.
In-person communication is essential for many jobs, including ones that can mostly be done from home. Owning a franchise, for instance, may seem like a job you can sit back and do from home, but to avoid being an absentee owner, having your franchisee see you and have regular communication with you will ensure they continue to meet your brand standards.
Even jobs like writing, scheduling, and coding can benefit from in-person communication. Being able to brainstorm together over an issue is much easier when you can pop into someone’s office or a conference room, and there’s less chance of misreading tone or intention compared to getting emails or messages.
Many people dream of having a nice, physical space for their business, whether that’s a restaurant or an office space. And when you finally get a space for yourself, you often put in the work to create an eye-catching facade, a beautiful green space for your employees, a comfortable interior, and overall a space where people can be their most productive.
When you go remote, though, all that work (and money) can go unused. And you’re left with the decision of whether it’s worth it to keep paying for the space, the landscaping, the snacks, and the various bills if no one’s around to use it. Even a hybrid schedule can leave you wondering if you’re better off selling the space,and that can be a major blow to your personal morale.
So which option is best for your business? Ultimately, that’s for you to decide. There are definite pros and cons to consider in both situations, and you should weigh them carefully before making a decision. Look at your environment, your workforce, and your industry and decide what option works best for your business.