On the fence about whether or not you want to embrace telecommuting in your business?
After nearly three decades in the IT industry, our conclusion is this: remote work isn’t right for everyone, but for some, it can unleash some truly powerful, tangible business results.
Here are the top 5 benefits that our clients have achieved from allowing remote work at their organizations:
1. “Snow days” are a thing of the past.
If you have no means of remote access, your company’s ability to operate is tied to your ability to reach your physical office. We’ve seen law firms lose multiple days of billing because of inclement weather. That’s a lot of lost revenue, and a lot of unhappy clients.
If your staff is empowered to work remotely, however, they can be just as effective from home even if your office is completely inaccessible. For some, this ability to mitigate the risk of extended downtime has made a significant positive impact on their operations.
2. You can serve your customers better.
In a similar vein, “office hours” become very rigid without remote access capabilities. If you’re unable to address an urgent need after-hours, you might find yourself with a very upset client on your hands.
But, when you’re free to pop online anytime, anywhere, some have found that they’re able to impress their clients with their quick service, and to bolster customer loyalty to a point where less responsive competitors don’t even stand a chance.
3. You’re well-positioned to attract and retain millennials as employees and customers.
Did you know that 1/3 of millennials value mobility over salary when they’re accepting jobs? Perhaps more telling: 95% say occasionally working from home is important to them.
Millennials make up the majority of the workforce today, and the harsh reality is that young job candidates and customers may question your relevance as a business if you have no means of remote access; this is viewed as archaic.
Some of our clients have found that having the flexible, mobile technology this generation expects has made a significant impact on their attractiveness as a business, and on their younger staff’s level of engagement once they come on board.
4. Your staff is happier.
Some employees will find themselves drained by commuting 5 days a week, and by having very limited opportunity to schedule personal appointments or plans. On top of that, not allowing remote work might send a message to your staff that you don’t trust them to get their work done unless your managers are able to look over their shoulders.
Offering your staff the freedom to work from home just one or two days a week, however, can do wonders to alleviate pressure, to demonstrate trust, to promote a healthier work-life balance, and to generally boost morale across your workforce.
5. You can recruit the best talent, no matter where they’re located.
Requiring your staff to work out of your office means that you can only recruit a) those in your immediate area, or b) those willing to uproot and relocate to your immediate area. Some of our clients have found this to be a costly constraint when it comes to attracting top talent.
Without the limitations of geography, your recruiting efforts can instead focus fully on finding the best person to fill that seat in your business.
If these benefits seem like they might make a positive impact on your organization, the next step is to sit with your IT team and work together to define what a successful remote work strategy would look like 6 or 12 months down the road.
Then, once you’ve established what results you’re working toward, you can determine what sort of technology solutions would be the best fit to achieve those goals, and measure your progress along the way.