The American job market is in a state of transition. Fewer people want to work in the framework setup by the generations that established the rules. There is a sense of unhappiness when it comes to working 40 hours a week, locked in an office from 9:00 to 5:00 every day. And it goes much deeper than just muttering around the water cooler. It’s estimated that approximately 38% of Americans are working as freelancers – a figure that’s expected to grow
There is a sense of unhappiness when it comes to working 40 hours a week, locked in an office from 9:00 to 5:00 every day. And it goes much deeper than just muttering around the water cooler. It’s estimated that approximately 38% of Americans are working as freelancers – a figure that’s expected to grow to 50% as soon as 2020.
The freelance mind-set has seen unrivalled individual prosperity and a better quality of life for employees who manage to pull it off, but until fairly recently companies seemed hesitant to adapt their thinking. Thankfully there seems to have been a movement to not only embrace remote work, but to adjust corporate and contractual structures so that companies benefit too.
If you’re a business owner, or perhaps an inspired employee looking to convince the powers that be that your company should follow suit and go remote, you should keep reading as we explore 3 reasons why going remote is so much more than a fad – it is the future.
Happy Employees Perform Better
There has always been a fairly obvious connection between the happiness of your staff and their productivity levels, but until recently it was more of a hunch. The great news is that happier employees have been proven to be as much as 20% more productive. But how do you keep people happy when they’re working? The introduction of flexi time, greater benefits and office perks may help, but few initiatives are as impactful as allowing your teams to work remotely.
The idea of working from your favourite coffee shop or on a beach is immensely appealing as it excels the mid-set that you’re actually working. A fresh space can inspire creative solutions to problems, a new perspective and a sense of empowerment that shouldn’t be overestimated.
Keeping your team happy by allowing them to work on their own terms means you’re likely to not only get more work from them, but better work. And that’s just the beginning.
Staff that have the freedom to work remotely have a massive impact on your operational bottom line. They take fewer sick days – a sneaky white lie that costs the American economy an estimated $576 billion. You don’t need to think about the space you need to have your team working, let alone the cost of computers, equipment, electricity and miscellaneous costs like stationery and perishables. Furthermore, you can cancel the company car because your team is ready and willing to work from wherever they are.
While there may be some argument that freelancers cost more when used in the long run, this is not always the case. There is a tendency to offer these hybrid employers contracts as opposed to paying them per hour, meaning salaries become far more manageable.
However you choose to structure payments, the power of remote staff is that you can tailor their skills and times to suit your needs instead of locking yourself in to a permanent agreement with a staff member who does little to contribute to the growth of your operation.
Another reason why more and more companies are going remote is that it delivers an array of unexpected communications. Freelancers and remote operators exist in a network that is constantly sharing new ways of working and opportunities. For example, you may use a freelance graphic designer who is based in Beijing. They might have a business of their own that can be linked to your own. As any business owner will tell you, opportunities spring up in the strangest places.
Many freelancers also offer a number of diverse but related services, especially in the creative space. Web designers can write copy, graphics masters can create 3D wonderment, and business consultants often make great trainers. It is in this availability of diverse skills and talents that the greatest opportunities – hybrid creativity is immensely powerful.
Although working remotely is not possible in some industries, there is more and more merit in allowing your employees to choose their path. Maximizing their happiness and freedom is risky if you’re dealing with those who aren’t trustworthy it can have truly dire consequences, but selecting remote employees is the same as choosing a permanent on-site staff. Embrace the risk and try it out – you never know whether or not it might be the injection of excitement that your business needs to build its reputation.
About the Author
I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @ajalumnify