While in the past, employees arrived at their offices in person, working from home has become increasingly popular since 2020. But is building a remote workforce a worthy investment for businesses? Like other endeavors, it has its challenges and rewards.
Since digital infrastructure allows people to connect globally, businesses could hire top talent and improve flexibility with a remote team. Find out more about pros and cons of remote workforces.
The Rise of Remote Work in the Modern Business Landscape
Remote work has existed for well over a decade. The sharp increase in internet availability and collaboration tools has increased its prevalence even more. Yet, many employers still avoided fully utilizing it, viewing remote work with skepticism.
Only after the Covid-19 pandemic forced a large portion of the commuting workforce to work from home did remote work become a widely accepted option. Many business owners couldn’t afford to lose weeks or months of productivity to prevent the spread of illness or comply with shelter-in-place orders. Thus, work-from-home policies became more commonplace.
Businesses Benefit from Remote Work Forces
By building a remote workforce, businesses can reap benefits that often translate to higher rates of productivity from employees.
- Time Savings: Working from home eliminates the commute. Workers who don’t commute can spend more focus and energy on their daily tasks.
- Flexible Hiring: When hiring candidates for a remote workforce, companies don’t need to limit the pool of candidates to people nearby. Businesses can choose the best applicants from a much broader pool.
- Cost Savings: Depending on a business’s needs, renting a big office space may not be necessary. With partially or fully remote workforces, companies save money on real estate.
In short, remote work saves companies money and increases employee satisfaction.
Challenges of Building a Remote Workforce
All good changes still come with their challenges, and remote work is no different. Once a company hires remote staff, teams may need to develop a different type of infrastructure and evolve with the business’s needs. Some business owners are woefully unprepared for the infrastructure differences and constant adaptation. Some challenges of remote workforces include:
- Strong daily communication is a must. Finding the best communication methods for a company’s operational needs can be a struggle.
- Since employees operate remotely, management might struggle to build a culture or support their needs.
- To ensure that staff continue developing and improving, managers will need to identify and track metrics that measure their progress.
- As business-oriented technology advances, so does technology that victimizes businesses. Implementing strong security measures and data protection strategies requires research and attention to detail.
Tips to Build and Manage a Remote Workforce
Here are a few ways you can circumvent some common challenges of building a remote workforce:
- Integrate software solutions that facilitate daily communication, project management, and productivity tracking.
- Use applications like Slack to encourage company culture through conversation and file sharing on a more casual level.
- Develop strong internal security measures or outsource security work to another company.
Building a remote workforce offers numerous advantages to businesses across various industries. It can boost productivity, provide access to a wider talent pool, and generate cost savings. While challenges exist, such as effective communication and maintaining company culture, these obstacles can be overcome with the right strategies and tools. By embracing remote work, businesses can unlock new opportunities for growth, innovation, and employee satisfaction. As the business landscape continues to evolve, investing in a remote workforce is increasingly becoming a strategic imperative for long-term success.