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Are Remote Employees Really Better for Your Business?

Are Remote Employees Really Better for Your Business?

Modern workers have come to expect more flexibility in how they do their jobs. In order for businesses to be family-friendly, they need to allow employees to work a looser schedule than in the past. This creates some worries for employers. Will the necessary work still get done? What is the best way to provide oversight for remote workers? In the right situation, using remote employees can be a positive strategy for your business.

It Depends

The wisdom of employing remote workers depends on a number of factors. Some businesses require face-to-face interactions between employees and customers. If you run a business where clients come to a physical location to shop or access services, your employees may not have much work that they can do from a remote location. On the other hand, if the employee is primarily doing computer-based work, much of that work can be done at a distance. With an internet connection, there is no reason that coding, word processing, or data entry must be done onsite. You can even do some basic customer service using call-forwarding technology.

It Can Be Safer

Using remote employees can be safer for everyone involved. Sleep deprivation is a major issue that affects both safety and productivity. Demanding a 6 a.m. commute from your employees is seriously dangerous. The stress of getting children off to school and then jumping in the car to get to work can lead to accidents. It can also mean that the most productive morning hours are lost to calming down from a stressful ride. For a remote worker, once the kids are at school, he or she can prepare calmly for a productive day.

One of the common safety concerns of using remote workers is data security. Your remote workers will need to be able to access your network and servers, which creates a potential security issue. Using a third-party service that specializes in remote connections can give you the flexibility you want with the security you need.

It Can Improve Morale

A lack of control tends to make people unhappy and stressed out. As levels of stress increase, morale decreases. You will see more late arrivals and deal with more health-related absences. When an employee can work a flexible schedule, you are giving that person control. Many remote employees are more productive and more creative when they are not working at a cubicle in an office building. It also shows a higher level of trust from management.

It Takes the Right Personality

It is important to note that remote work is not a perfect fit for every employee. Some people do just fine without a supervisor looking over their shoulders. Other people need that kind of structure to stay on task. If you are not certain whether an employee can handle a remote setting, you might try offering a flexible schedule that involves some remote tasks along with a certain number of hours at the office.

For many businesses, getting the job done is more important than where it gets done. However, it’s important to remember that your workforce is made up of human beings who need to take care of their mental health. Working remotely can be a great solution for your business because it can reduce stress and improve morale. Using remote employees can give you a happier, more productive workforce and could be just the solution you’re looking for.

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by Eileen O'Shanassy // Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter: @eileenoshanassy.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.