Is Working Remotely Best for Your Business Needs?

February 15th, 2017 - Get new posts sent straight to your inbox, click here. Aaron O'Keeffe

In an ever-shrinking world of ubiquitous internet, the promise of efficient, high performing remote teams is gradually coming to reality. The technological shift to the cloud, where staff can work on shared resources from anywhere, is accompanied by a shift in culture, where teams are provided with more freedom to accomplish their goals in return for greater benefits to the organisation.

We’ve already addressed how working remotely is the future of business, so now let’s take a look at some of the reasons why remote working can help your business succeed.

Less interruptions

The modern office is a place of near constant interruptions and distractions, claims Jason Fried and David Heinemeier, founders of Basecamp, a tech company that employs more than 50 people across 32 cities. In their book, Remote, Fried and Heinemeier point out that the average office worker loses between 300 and 400 hours a year travelling to and from work, which is approximately the time it took for the pair to create their leading platform, Basecamp.

They also think that remote workers who set their own agendas are able to do better and more meaningful work:

“Meaningful work, creative work, thoughtful work, important work—this type of effort takes stretches of uninterrupted time to get into the zone. But in the modern office such long stretches just can’t be found. Instead, it’s just one interruption after another”

Furnish the savings on your business

An article by Business Insider’s Josh Nichols looked at a study by Stanford Professor Nicholas Bloom on the travel website Ctrip. The found that not only did the business save over $2000 in furniture and office space per employee, but those that worked from home also answered 13.5% more calls than their office bound colleagues:

““They started earlier, took shorter breaks, and worked until the end of the day. They had no commute. They didn’t run errands at lunch. Sick days for employees working from home plummeted,” writes the Professor in his report.

The best of the best

The bigger your talent pool, the more opportunity you have to find the best staff for your team. Bound by location, you’re really looking only in your own backyard. With billions of people in the world, chances are the person that’s just right for that programming / DevOps job in your team could be in another timezone. Broaden your scope and you’ll discover whole new talent pools, many already riding the telecommuter wave.

Say goodbye to overtime rates

When it comes to customer service, every business wants to offer the best possible experience for their customers. 24/7 support is expensive, however, and scaling it to meet the demands of your client base can be tricky.

Hiring remote teams and individuals means you can take advantage of global business hours, particularly here in Australia. When so much of the world is up while we are sleeping, it makes sense to hire around the world. You’re not only making connections in other time zones, but building a global customer service team full of hand picked professionals working their preferred hours. Great!

Speedy development cycles

Increased productivity and faster turnarounds can give your business an edge over the competition. When other teams stop working at 6pm, your team hands over to the night shift, 12 hours behind and just starting their work day fresh and energised.

While the competition is sleeping, you’re making gains they simply can’t compete with. That important report that absolutely needs to be ready for the next morning’s sales meeting is the perfect project to hand over to your researcher in Canada. They’ll see it through to the finish line and have it waiting in your inbox by sunrise.  Now that’s an efficient global team.

Better collaboration

Remote teams are less siloed, and that’s a fact. Using technology to communicate flattens the structures across the divisions and makes it easier for HR to communicate with IT and sales.

The cross-pollination of ideas and processes creates fresh perspectives. You’re also working with other professionals who understand how to leverage technology to do the best possible job, creating the conditions for innovation and ideas.

Happy workers without presenteeism

Remote workers are happier in general. Having the freedom to work in an environment of your choosing, and greater control over workflow, breaks and hours motivates staff to be task orientated and efficient in exercising their skills and abilities. It also eliminates presenteeism, that uniquely office-like inefficient behaviour where people show up to log hours rather than accomplish tasks, and are rewarded for knocking off late and coming in early rather than achieving objectives and managing time, personal health and wellbeing.

Better for the environment

A study conducted by Carbon Trust ( PDF) found that a single full time employee who worked just two days a week from home saved 390kg of carbon emissions annually. The same report found that British Telecom estimates a saving of 14,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions from a full scale rollout of remote work across their employees. Working towards less pollution is great for the environment, and you can boast about it on your website and PR materials!

Remote work to improve your business

Working remotely isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer an office environment, and some industries will always need teams that work face to face. However, with the benefits of telecommuting being seen in many industries, now could be the time for your business to make the switch.

To discuss the needs of your business
with one of our expert staff, contact us today.

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About the author

Aaron O'Keeffe

Aaron works from an office in the tropical Northern Territory, inciting intense jealousy from his Victorian workmates during winter. He’s an expert in IT solutions from the ground up. Aaron is National Sales Manager of Aussie Broadband, which specialises in bespoke telco solutions for corporate and government customers.