Now Reading | Why Working Remotely is Better for Business.
As a part of the Fierce collective, I have loved working remotely over the past four months. It has been some of the most productive, joyful, creative time that I can ever remember. I get my Starbucks every morning, run a deposit by the bank, stop by FedEx if needed, and then sit down at my desk and get things done. No drama. No fuss. No interruptions. I work until 2 am some nights (most nights), and wake up when I’m rested and ready to start the next day. It’s flexible and comfortable, and the world is readily available to me at any time with video Skype and other technology accessible to the remote worker.
I video Skype daily with people around the country and around the world as far away as Japan, and never feel isolated or alone. I get so consumed with what I am doing that my husband will often come home at night and wonder why I’m sitting in a dark house with no lights on (I didn’t even realize it was dark), or a freezing house, (I never even noticed the heat wasn’t on) because I am so focused. In four months, I have yet to turn the TV on once during the day, or be tempted to take a nap instead of work.
I am a believer.
And I’m not alone. Many of the biggest and greatest companies today, including Virgin and IBM, have built successful businesses providing people the freedom to work where they want, how they want, and when they want. It’s just works and here’s some reasons why according to Fast Company:
You get s*** done.
Shorter commutes, private office, flexible work hours.
This all leads to: less time wasted, more productive work hours, and increased happiness among employees.
In 2013, Stanford University conducted a study by randomly assigning employees at a call center to work from home and others to work in the office for nine months. The result was a 13% performance increase by those working from home, of which 9% was from working more hours.
People criticize working remotely because they find it difficult to measure the number of hours their employees are working. What they forget is that going into the office does not equal productive work.
“Office workers are interrupted—or self-interrupted—roughly every three minutes.” — The Wall Street Journal
In fact, once thrown off, it can take over 23 minutes for a worker to retrieve focus on their original task.
Give people the freedom to work where they want, and begin to re-think the 9-5 working style. By adopting a culture of trust and respect, you’re empowering individuals to not just show up, but to show results.
Work and retain the best people
The company’s that embrace telecommuting have a significant advantage over those that haven’t figured it out. For each candidate that is available to work in your city, there are hundreds more around the world that can do it better and cheaper.
Hiring top talent is already hard enough as it is, why limit the single most important ingredient for the success of your business?
It’s inevitable that more and more skilled workers will adapt to a remote working lifestyle, and it’s the companies that can accommodate the lifestyles of these talents that will become the market leaders in the future.
Remote has never been easier
The good news is, it’s now easier than ever to coordinate the work of individuals from around the world. As long as we have access to a lab top and the internet, there are hundreds of tools that have been created to make the process seamless.
As a business owner who has employed many staff over the years, I can see that working out of the office isn’t for everyone. Only the truly self-disciplined, self-motivated person should work remotely on a consistent basis. You need to be a good communicator, and have frequent video Skype sessions or phone calls, and know not to depend too heavily on email when you don’t get a lot of face-to-face time. Share project management software, keep yourself accountable at all times, and fiercely manage deadlines and client expectations.
As Fast Company says so well, embrace it. The future of work is already here, it’s up to you to take advantage of it.