By Michelle Knight
Your pickiness for specific technical skills vs. types of collaboration and team-building will determine how frequently your technical hires work remotely or onsite.
A COVID-19 era has moved 71% of onsite employees to a remote set-up, as the Pew Research Center found in October 2020. In July 2021, increasing vaccinations promised more safety in numbers and a regular return to the office. In the meantime, some employers continue to evaluate whether or when their new hires should work onsite, while others plan a permanent transition to offering remote work.
Choosing to have your employees work either remotely or onsite brings different advantages, depending on the types of work performed and the need for close collaboration. To figure out which work from home and office arrangements you want, we look at ten benefits.
Remote Work Pros
Telecommuting opens a wide range of advantages, especially if you need specialized skills and technical knowledge. If you would like to find out how offering remote work to job candidates would give you a leg up in the hiring process, contact Catapult Recruiting. In the meantime, we have listed five general advantages here:
Remote Work Has Become a Norm
Contrary to popular belief, remote work has had a long history, starting in the 1970s. At that time, employees wanted to avoid higher gas prices from the OPEC oil embargo.
But information technologies, in the 2000s, have opened opportunities to work from anywhere and an increasing acceptance of remote workers. Before 2020, several companies, like GitLab, Zapier, and FlexJobs, used a complete remote workplace model.
As remote working has become necessary to comply with government mandates, managers and employees increasingly see telecommuting successes. According to a PwC survey, positive attitudes towards remote work have increased from 73% in June 2020 to 83% in January 2021, showing a greater validation of work from anywhere with a network connection.
Remote Work Saves Money
Physical offices cost money from rent, utilities to maintenance staff. Remote work saves companies these expenses. For example, with a primarily remote workplace model, the US. Patent Office estimates it saves $38.2 million in real-estate costs.
Also, telecommuting increases employee retention because workers can choose any location despite limited job opportunities. This employee benefit translates to an organization’s reduced costs in hiring new people and training them.
Remote Work Opens Up the Candidate Pool
Should you be very picky about the type of workers you want and their skills, you must consider allowing remote work. For example, the person who programs in Python, Typescript, and .Net with manufacturing and logistics experiences and speaks fluent Spanish may not live near your headquarters in Portland, Oregon.
However, allowing the option for telework casts a broader net across the candidate pool. That way, if your ideal employee lives in Anchorage, Alaska, or even Johnson City, Texas, you can hire them, rather than a person who will need to spend more time getting up to speed.
Remote Work’s Flexibility Attracts High Performers
Many workers who now work remotely expect employers to continue providing that option (62%). Also, 87% who worked from home due to pandemic restrictions want to continue that model. However, if you mandate your high-performing technical workers to come into the office most of the time, they will likely leave for another position.
Also, if you want to recruit minority high-performing technical talents, such as non-white, women, or disabled workers, you must offer the preference to work from home. Many workers that fall in these categories strongly favor working remotely.
Remote Work Increases Productivity
Over half of executives and a third of employees report that remote work improves productivity. Also, the benefits apply to tasks serving customers and collaborating in teams.
Stanford researchers confirmed this result, a 13% rise in productivity when call center staff did their jobs remotely. So, if technology experts can do the work at home and achieve more, you need to think about why you want them onsite and how that will benefit the organization’s productivity.
Onsite Work Pros
Onsite workplaces foster collaboration among team members, especially those with serious professional disagreements, and create a more cohesive organizational culture. If you have questions about requiring a job candidate in the office, contact Catapult Recruiting. In the meantime, we have listed five general advantages here:
Onsite Work Provides More Opportunities to Communicate
Onsite work reinforces instructions and company communications in a way that remote work tools cannot foster. For example, people have a better chance of using body language, demonstrating good work performance, and communicating about work processes observed.
Workers have an easier time gathering for impromptu meetings and chat. In addition, with more options to connect and communicate onsite, employees have more choices on how they wish to give, reinforce, and receive work communications.
Onsite Work Provides More Information about Context.
Meeting onsite provides more information about context, which is especially helpful during working meetings and diffuses conflict. In addition, watching a coworker or a manager throughout the day provides a sense of that person’s mood.
Knowing this information helps you determine whether to bring up a work topic, respond or communicate this best and how your message will come across. You will likely interpret negative feedback from workers less personally if they seem stressed or angry about something not work-related.
Onsite Work Is Easier to Secure Through Older Technologies
Requiring work at an office makes physically controlling security easier. For example, if employees work with sensitive health and financial data, you can check that the paperwork gets locked away. Also, you can secure your office devices and network connections the way you think best.
Having more physical control makes it harder for an employee to accidentally download malware or misconfigure a machine, leaving it vulnerable. Furthermore, you have less risk that an employee’s other household members or visitors will access sensitive data or materials.
Onsite Work Motivates Some Employees to Perform Better
Some workers perform better in the office than at home. First, about 53% of younger workers between 18 and 29 lack motivation in telecommuting to work, and many needed at least one day a week in the office.
Also, about 50% of parents with younger children at home during the workday find it challenging to work uninterrupted, affecting remote work performance. Extending childcare benefits provides workers fewer distractions during work time, whether in or out of the office, which would mitigate this effect.
Onsite Work Is More Viable When Network Connectivity Fails
Most days, telecommuting works. However, more extreme weather due to climate change and buggy updates can spur internet outages, disrupting remote work. But workers can still produce, meet requirements, or review a coworker’s documentation in the office, onsite. Also, in some situations, an onsite location will have a more solid infrastructure, like electrical wires that run underground, ensuring stable network connectivity during a snowstorm.
In considering remote or onsite work, you need to think about your business needs. Remote work draws high performers with very specialized technical skills and leads to more productivity.
But, at some point, you will need to have workers meet onsite to foster a team culture, improve collaboration, or solve a deep-standing professional conflict. Flexibility about allowing remote or onsite work keeps options open in attracting job candidates while allowing teams to collaborate closely.