13 Oct 2017, 13:49

Remote Working - The Pros & Cons

If you are thinking about introducing remote working as a possible option for some or all of your office staff then you need to consider a few things.

There are both positives and negatives to allowing your staff to work remotely so let’s give you some of the pros and cons so you can decide whether to let your employees work from home or not.

Remote Working - The Pros

  • Flexibility
     Offering your staff the option to work remotely gives them more flexibility over the hours they choose to work. Giving your employees more control over their work/life balance could see them rewarding you with more loyalty.
  • Wider talent pool
     You don’t need to employ staff only in your local area. If you offer remote working as an option then you can employ people from all over the country for certain roles. Casting your recruitment net nationwide gives you access to a much wider talent pool.
  • Less office space needed
     Allowing your staff to work remotely means that you’ll need less office space and fewer desks. Maybe you could downsize to smaller offices and save costs on rent. Maybe you could take on more staff without moving to bigger offices.
  • Employees save time & money by not commuting
     And the cost benefits of remote working aren’t only for you as an employer - your staff also benefit from not commuting. They’ll save both time and money by working from home which could again lead to more loyalty from your staff.

Remote Working - The Cons

  • Can you trust your staff to work as diligently at home?
     But do you trust that your employees will actually put in as many hours or work equally productively when they aren’t in your eyeline? Many studies suggest that many people who work remotely actually get more done over the course of a week than those who don’t, but this will depend heavily on the individuals that you employ.
  • Less staff interaction - team building can suffer
     Another possible negative with remote working is that your team has less face-to-face contact. This could lead to a less connected workforce. If everyone works from home all of the time then team building efforts could suffer.
  • Written-only communication can lead to misunderstandings
     Face-to-face contact is also usually more transparent than written communication. If your staff are all working remotely and only contacting each other by email - or even over the phone - then misunderstandings can happen.
  • Employees might feel on-call all of the time
     As we said at the start, offering your staff the option to work remotely can lead to much more flexibility for both themselves and for you. Sometimes, however, some individuals actually feel more trapped when working from home as they feel like they should be on call 24 hours a day.

A mature approach has to be taken by both employer and employee. There are clear benefits to be had by both parties if a relationship of mutual trust can be established.

So, there you have it. Now it’s decision time...do the remote working pros outweigh the remote working cons for your workplace and staff?