Remote Working is a Win-Win But Solve These Challenges First
A 2017 Gallop survey found that almost half the employees in the US worked from home at some point. That's significant given that just a few years ago, working remotely wasn't even an option because of slow Internet speeds and the absence of collaborative tools that we have today. And as most industry experts believe, remote working is here to stay. In fact, a Forbes report went as far as calling it the standard operating procedure for 50% of the US population that is only set to grow. Such enthusiasm isn't without reason.
Compared to traditional office spaces, remote working has a lot to offer for both employees and employers. A few highlights include:
Flexible Work Schedule
Remote workers tend to be more autonomous and can choose their working hours as per their convenience. This improves their work-life balance and consequently have better work satisfaction. In fact, studies have indicated that home-based workers are less likely to leave a company.
Working from home saves significant time and money otherwise spent on daily commuting to the office. According to reports, an average American spends around 200 hours annually commuting to and from office. That's almost an entire working month!
According to PGI news, a company saves approximately $11,000 annually for remote workers on account of real estate and other operational overheads. Your employees will also benefit from cost savings. Working remotely means using less travel funds for gas, car repairs, bus passes, etc. cost savings in itself is a compelling reason for working from home.
Allowing remote working enables companies to be more flexible in numerous ways. For starters, they can have a diverse resource pool, attract better talent, and upscale quickly without having to worry about office space. The biggest value add is that management is not limited to a geographical talent pool. With a remote workforce a company can find the best candidates and rapidly expand operations without geographical constraints.
Numerous studies have indicated that remote workers tend to be more productive than their in-house counterparts as increased autonomy also tends to bring greater responsibility. Also, given that remote workers have to spend less time traveling and take fewer sick leaves, they overall spend more time working and thus have better productivity.
Overall, remote working is a win-win proposition with equal benefits for both parties but as always, there is a catch.
Of course, these benefits aren't without challenges. One of the major reasons businesses are skeptical of remote working is they risk losing control of their employees and by extension, their workflow, and productivity. And to be honest, that's a valid concern. If you can't even see them sitting at their desk, how can you tell who is working, who is doing well, which ones are struggling, who needs to be redirected or let go, who needs additional coaching, etc? After all, employee reviews can be misleading and don't always present the most accurate assessment. To simplify, there are three core challenges associated with remote employees:
Businesses often spend significant parts of their budget on business tools that they often complain their employees don't use. With remote employees working under fewer oversights, that's even a bigger challenge. Not only does lower adoption result in wasted IT investments but it also creates communication gaps and inconsistencies for the entire team.
As mentioned earlier, remote workers tend to have better productivity but employers have little control over their assessment. All they can do is measure their output that doesn't always present an accurate picture. For example, someone might be setting 20 demos a week, but if they’re not qualified then is “output” truly the correct measurement?
Ultimately, the performance of each employee has to be measured on specific benchmarks but the current metrics are best suited for office environments. As companies move towards a remote workforce, they need more refined HR metrics to enable a more transparent, effective, and accurate employee assessment.
While remote working brings with it a whole set of benefits and opportunities, they can't truly be leveraged unless the above-discussed challenges are also addressed. Companies need some kind of solution to consistently monitor the work of their employees, check the ROI on their IT expenses, and above all, have a comprehensive uniform process to track their productivity to tell apart good performers from bad and strugglers from disengaged. That's what Prodoscore is about.
It syncs with your working tools like G Suite, O365, CRMs, and phone system to map the workflow of each employee. Coupled with a bit of Machine Learning and our secret sauce, it comes up with a Productivity Score™ for each employee that presents an accurate assessment of their overall performance. So basically it enables your business you leverage all the benefits of remote working without facing any of its challenges. Contact us now to learn more about our product or schedule a free demo.