Before the pandemic, remote work was a growing trend but far from universal. Few individuals had the luxury of working for a company full-time from the comfort of their own home. Now, however, working from home is a common practice. More and more individuals are opting to join companies that allow for remote work.
While the practice is increasingly widespread, you may have some hesitations about becoming a remote-first company. You may be skeptical of allowing your employees to work across various time zones. You may even be worried that remote work will lead to employee burnout. While these are all valid concerns, there are significant advantages to remote work. Below we outline four reasons why a remote-first policy can benefit your company.
1. You’ll Gain a Larger Pool of Quality Applicants
First of all, a remote-first company means that employees do not need to live within a certain geographic area. Even a hybrid company, where employees are required to be in the office a few days a week, is limited geographically. As your business continues to grow, you can tap into high-quality candidates from across the globe. This is a huge benefit, especially at a time when the demand for great candidates remains high.
Companies that hire abroad often work with an employer of record or professional employer organization to lighten the human resources load. When making the EOR vs. PEO decision, you need to consider whether you have a business presence in the country of hire. By partnering with an EOR, you can hire international employees without having a business entity in that country. With a PEO, however, you must have a local office or subsidiary and enter into a co-employment arrangement. Either approach can help you onboard skilled global talent, but you’ll need to determine which one best suits your company structure.
2. You’ll See Better Morale and Performance
Working remotely is a huge perk and a significant component of many employee benefits packages. Individuals have more freedom and flexibility when they are remote. In turn, this means they often begin their workday in a good mood and contribute to better team morale. In fact, studies show that remote work can lead to better productivity, engagement, and performance.
What’s the reasoning behind this? Well, when employees feel cared for and trusted, they want to show up to work each day and contribute positively. And because there’s no water cooler talk, remote employees are likely to engage more often and frequently on video calls. Each interaction for them is a personal connection. Employees may even be more willing to participate in casual calls, such as Zoom happy hours, to get to know their co-workers better.
3. You’ll Lower Your Costs
Office space is expensive. And if your headquarters is in a major metropolitan area like New York City or Los Angeles, it can be prohibitively so. By reducing or even eliminating your central office space, you can save thousands of dollars annually, if not more. Not having a set office space means you will also save on cleaning services, food, and utilities, including heat, water, and internet services.
Additionally, a remote-first policy means that employees will be paid based on their home location. If your company was originally based in one of the more expensive cities, then this could end up saving the company a lot of money. Executives who decide to move to a lower-cost location will be paid based on their new city’s adjustment rates. You can use these savings to further the company’s mission and vision.
4. You’ll Promote Healthy Habits
Lastly, working remotely encourages healthy mental and physical habits. During the pandemic, individuals grew accustomed to working from home and tackling job duties in the hours when they were most productive. And those hours weren’t necessarily 9 to 5, especially if they had kids engaged in at-home school. By enabling employees to tend to home and family responsibilities as needed, remote work reduced employee stress. Continuing to provide this flexibility shows that you care about your employees’ overall well-being.
Flexible remote work allows individuals to schedule their day how it works best for them. For some, this may mean logging a few hours before the kids wake up and ending the day by school pickup time. Others may use the morning to head to a yoga class before sitting down for the day. Without a commute, employees can spend more time with their families and friends or getting in some exercise. All of these benefits add up, leading to healthier and happier workers.
Making the jump to being a remote-first company isn’t a decision to take lightly, but it offers several valuable benefits. Some of these changes, like saving on office space, will be instantaneous. Others may take a bit more time to play out. However, putting your employees first and focusing on their priorities can make a significant long-term difference for your company.
When deciding whether to go remote-first, think about your main goals and values. If growing your business is a top priority, consider how eliminating geographic limitations can open up your candidate pool. If you’re focused on product development, you’ll want to implement tools that can help your employees collaborate faster and easier. Finally, get your employees’ input on a remote work culture, surveying how this change will impact their lives for better or worse. While you can’t please everyone, knowing you’re looking out for the company’s interests will help you make the best decision.