Working remotely – or ‘from home’ as is often the case – is an option that is becoming increasingly more available to employees across many technical disciplines. If you’re a job seeker who lives a little far off the beaten track, or an employer wondering whether employing people remotely is the right move for your business – you may find some value in today’s blog post.
Say goodbye to the commute
Have you ever stopped to think how much of your life you spend travelling to and from work? Take a second right now and see if you can roughly add it all up. It’s probably a lot of time in total.
Personally, I’m only a 20 minute walk to and from work…so it doesn’t sound like much at face value. However, those 40 minutes a day equate to just over 3 hours a week. Over the course of a month, that’s half of a day lost just on commuting. In my case you can argue that it’s not time lost because walking is decent exercise. However, a lot of technical professionals spend far longer each day travelling out to their sites, factories or offices. Usually, this requires a vehicle. The time you spend travelling is time you are able to get back for yourself if you work remotely in any capacity – whether it’s full-time or even just some of the time.
Don’t forget that it’s not just time you save if you work remotely. After all – time is money, as they say. For those of you who currently have to take a vehicle to work, you can conduct the exercise we did above to calculate how much money you spend on fuel or on public transport in an average month. Again, this expenditure can add up. With that money firmly tucked away in your back pocket, switching to working remotely will often feel like you’re getting a payrise.
Say hello to increased productivity
Some employers are really concerned (and rightfully so) that productivity can take a hit when employees work remotely or from home. In reality however, this isn’t often the case. For one, all the distractions of the usual work environment are removed. You’d be surprised how much time you lose over the course of a single day in conversation with coworkers or by getting distracted by various aspects of the work environment.
A common argument against working remotely that you’ll see online is that employers are worried that they can’t monitor progress as efficiently. However, in this day and age, there are a number of software solutions available that essentially support the ‘virtual office’ including team communication tools like Skype & Slack, and goals oriented tools such as Asana. If an employer is able to implement these tools and set up a robust system so that employees submit progress updates periodically, this can be a very effective way to manage a remote worker. As technology gets more and more advanced, the ways in which working remotely can be supported also increases. In other words, we should see remote working become a more popular option in the future.
Why more employers need to consider hiring remote workers
Remote workers can be an innovative solution to hiring woes. Imagine you’re an employer with a vacant position to fill, and there’s roughly 100 people in the country with the right skillset and experience. But lets say you’re based out of a smaller town or out in the country and only 2 of those 100 candidates live close enough to you to be considered. Both are happy in their current jobs and not looking for new opportunities. By being open to hiring remote workers, and by having the appropriate systems and processes in place to support them, the job can realistically be offered to those remaining 98 candidates who were initially written off because they lived too far away or weren’t willing to relocate. All of a sudden you have much better odds of being able to fill the role and it’ll likely happen much faster as well.
If you’re apprehensive about working remotely
Remember that you don’t necessarily have to operate from your home if you feel it’s going to be too distracting or hamper your productivity for whatever reason. Many people who work remotely will often make use of ‘shared spaces’ where you can work in an office setting while still being closer to home than you otherwise would have been. Your employer may even offer to arrange this for you if they have several remote workers that they’d like to support.
Have your say: Working remotely – good idea or not? Start a discussion in the comments below or on our LinkedIn post.
Article by Dario Luca, Marketing Coordinator