Over the past 10 years, remote workers have become an almost natural fit in the tech industry. This concept has compelled employers to step up their game and embraces less traditional employment models for their engineers. On the flipside, the workers continue to escalate the trend by demanding more and flexible work arrangements.
Which begs the question…is remote work the future?
Well, the answer to this question is relative given that different circles hold a different opinion.
Working with remote teams can be a powerful tool for companies looking to bridge a skills gap in their workforce. Just like any other job seekers today, tech workers are also looking for organizations that offer flexible terms. For instance, a company looking to hire full stack developer but have a static work environment is very unlikely to rally a large number of developers to apply for the position.
Citing the ever-increasing acknowledgment of remote work, AND CO recently carried out a survey in the US and the numbers tell it at. The results showed that at least 55% of the respondents were full-time remote workers while 28% indicated they work both remotely and on-site. The study also concluded that the cash is in software development where a remote developer can take home over 100K annually.
To underwrite these facts, the number of companies offering remote job opportunities on FlexJobs has continued to grow immensely, and the technology companies are leading the pack. A majority of the 51,000 companies on the FlexJobs’s database have continued to display a positive trajectory in hiring remote workers a trend expected to spill over to 2020.
With that said, remote IT jobs aren’t just limited to tech companies. Virtually every organization, government agencies, and even NGO’s continue to heavily rely on tech workers to expand their online presence and customer engagement.
Below, we have compiled a list of 7 things you didn’t know about tech remote employees and how they can help grow your business.
The biggest mainstay of hiring remote workers is improved efficiency and productivity. Typically, workers who operate from an office tend to struggle with concentration given the exceptionally noisy environment. This is especially the case with development work where concentration is super-important in getting the code right.
Luckily, remote software developer jobs give the engineers ample time to concentrate without having to deal with workplace banter like loud co-workers. The minimized interruptions result in hyper-concentration meaning they are able to do more.
With that said, left unchecked, the freedom that comes with remote working can also be detrimental to the productivity of a company.
Research has shown that an average person spends more than 5 hours. This being the domain of operation for remote workers, spending too much time on pervasive devices can reduce the bottom line of a company. Simply put, some people aren’t cut out for remote working while others are.
What is their attitude towards work? How well do they work in a team? Are they time oriented? Can they adapt to remote collaboration?
All these are some of the questions you need to ask yourself in order to create a successful remote or offshore team.
Reduce Overhead and Facilities Costs
Overhead and real estate costs take a huge chunk of the businesses’ income. Both small and large corporations can dramatically increase the bottom line by shedding off the extra office space, all thanks to the remote working concept. For instance, since 2012, Cisco has been able to virtualize 60% of the workforce and shed off 30% of her real estate portfolio. As a result, the company has been able to save more than $200m in travel allowances and slash over $196m from the overall budget.
Commute time is also another great aspect that makes remote work tick. For example, if you take two custom software development engineers both earning $100,000 annually and working 50 hours per week.
Now, assume one of them commutes daily for an hour and the other one is a remote worker. This means the commuting worker has to sacrifice a whole 2 hours per day to reach their workplace, time which could have otherwise been spent working.
At first, this may seem like a no-brainer, but the absolute value of the two workers can be pinpointed in their average hourly wage.
Promote Employee Satisfaction and Retention
Employees who have the freedom to work from anywhere are happier compared to their on-site peers. Happier employees mean that a company can significantly reduce the turnover rate and enjoy all the benefits that come with employee retention. For instance, a newly wedded couple working remotely is highly unlikely to leave their positions if their respective employers allow them to work and enjoy their honeymoon. Instead, they will work even harder in knowing that they need money to finance their vacation.
This statement is reinforced by a recent survey in the UK, which showed that married people tend to be more productive working from home. Once employees are satisfied, their productivity goes up which ultimately boils down to better results and increased revenue for the company.
Expansive Skills Set
Embracing remote employees is a rather significant win for a company facing a talent gap. To stay competitive and sustain a good talent and skill balance, executives should gravitate towards independent tech workers, especially those with vast knowledge and experience.
By employing experienced engineers in a remote working arrangement, the organization not only benefit from the exposure and professionalism that these individuals possess, but also the potential connections and networks they bring along. This is particularly important in the software development world, where the employees’ experience could make or break a project.
The good thing about a remote working arrangement is that you can assemble a dedicated team to strictly work on your project with undivided attention. Whether it’s a large complex mobile app development project or a simple corporate website running on a tight schedule, a dedicated team combines all the necessary artillery to execute the task.
But, there is more than meets the eye…
Hiring a delinquent remote dedicated development team can be a costly affair in terms of time and money. On top of this, businesses that have had to work with incompetent development teams find it hard to recover from a bad reputation caused by substandard web & mobile app developments.
A successful model in hiring a dedicated team of developers entails carefully vetting the company to ensure they have the cumulative knowledge and team of experts to deliver a large project within the stipulated time.
You also need to establish whether the company you are looking to hire have a credible and verifiable portfolio of previous projects to show. If yes, it will help you see what they are capable of doing first hand. If not, are they open to working on a Minimum Viable Project to prove their competence?
Once you are through with the vetting process, set clear goals for the team, sign the contract, and let the work begin. Of course, you will also need to learn how to manage remote teams using some of the available tools on the market to reduce redundancies.
Lastly, you will need to craft robust communication channels to help in effective communication. After all, when working with a remote team, you don’t have the luxury of walking up to their desk to make inquiries.
Bring Fresh Ideas into an Organization
With the ever-evolving nature of the technology landscape, it becomes almost impossible to continually work with a static in-house team and expect different results. Companies that risk working with a static workforce for extended periods end up stagnating or appearing stale altogether.
However, deploying the services of remote workers helps bring fresh ideas and perspectives given they are coming from a different background, culture, and work environment. Moreover, they may also bring new connections to your company, which organically expands your business network.
It’s estimated that 74% of the American workers nearing retirement age or those already retired prefer working with companies that offer flexible arrangements. This is against 34% within the same lot that prefers to work from home. Working with older but experienced employees remotely helps a company avert skills shortage as they can be deployed to train younger workers.
This means that there is perpetuity of business operations even when they are no longer there.
Positive Impact on the Environment
Another notable merit of a remote working arrangement is not having to commute to work every day. Essentially, this means massive saving not only in time and money but the reduction of carbon footprint per person.
It’s estimated that remote workers can reduce 54 million tons of greenhouse gas emission annually simply by working 3 days per week at home.
Today, businesses are operating in a world where demographics seems to be leaning towards the young millennials. Therefore, it’s pivotal for any company looking to survive these turbulent times to offer more flexible employment terms. With the increasing popularity and consequent demand for mobile e-commerce services, the available development workforce will continue to be overstretched in the next foreseeable future.
Despite pessimists warning that jobs lost to outsourcing statistics are worrying, the employment terms culture-shift will benefit both the companies and employees. For instance, the knowledge gained when engaging remote workers can be deployed to increase productivity and improve the competitive advantage of a company in situations where there are plenty of job openings but limited workers.