The advent of technology has brought along with it a tidal wave of changes in our general lives and lifestyle, and hasn’t been shy of sprinkling a shower of these changes in our corporate world of business – not the least of which has been enabling the idea of remote workers. According to a report of a survey conducted, more than 50% of India’s working population work remotely for half of the week or more while at least 11% work outside their company’s main office location five times a week. Not only does the remote staff model lead to an accruement of staggering monetary benefits annually with the cut down of overhead costs, rental space, real estate costs and staff turnover, it also serves to retain talented employees whom firms could otherwise be forced to let go of for menial reasons such as relocation or owing to disadvantageous health-related issues.
Additionally, it brings in a wider talent pool of varying ethnicity and cultures opening up a whole new horizon of ideas, knowledge, perspectives and thought processes as well as opening up possibly previously uncharted markets and opportunities to the firm’s disposal; this can be particularly lucrative for firms looking for advanced level niche-market skills by negating and going beyond the restrictions of their physical and geographic limitations.
With remote staff model, the overall productivity and turnover in the firm rises as well, especially with those boasting of remote employees also called working nomads in different time zones maintaining ideas and projects that are being worked upon round the clock. The environmental benefits of reduced carbon footprint brought in by the remote hiring model is another shiny feather in the proverbial hat of a firm’s good deeds for the year. According to a study. it was found that 53% of remote workers are likely to work overtime compared to 28% of office-based workers. In another study, 80% of remote workers reported improved morale.
You might also be interested to read: Remote Working to Enhance Productivity and Job Satisfaction
A revolution in the corporate world, a successful remote staff model has a couple of pre requisites to its existence and a few survival necessities to keep it flourishing – technological advances being its most important ones. Video Conferences offer an excellent and feasible manner of update and communication, and work in the way of making remote workers feel at least marginally connected to the home office. Advanced analytical programs cover the most important aspects of work organization going a long way in filling possible gaps in communication, file-sharing, and project management.
Along with video conferences, chat programs and regularly scheduled calls and meetings provide an excellent communication platform with the remote employees and function as critical methods of maintaining alignment with their work. The project management tools keeping communication and project prioritization effective; the employee/performance management tools, time-stamps and time tracking features enabling accurate estimation of time required on a given project and in turn the determination of an equitable payment; secure date access – locked pdf features, electronic signing and virtual private networks- all that the advanced analytical programs have to offer serv to make the management feel more at ease, offering them greater assurance in working with the remote staff model.
Remote staff model has arrived and it is here to stay. How best smooth sailing this stay will be though is upon us. Is this one of those rare, celebrated occasions that has us rolling out the proverbial plush oriental carpets and digging out the crystal glassware? Literally, no. Figuratively? Yes, please. In this day and age every workplace, big or small, offers an opportunity for remote working, from the local coffee shop to the booming MNCs. A recent study of 8000 global employees and employers indicates that many companies agree – 3 out of every 4 companies are already adopting a remote work model, either by being a ‘mixed model’ wherein employees are given the occasional leeway to work from home, or with the module allowing them a general freedom of choice of whether to work in the office or from the other side of the world, or when they go ‘all in’ – having no centralized office base, functioning solely on the remote employee model.
While remote employees, comfortable and energized in their own space with the flexibility and work-life balance that comes with the position are likely to be more productive and motivated, a communication gap can leave them feeling disconnected and adrift – thus necessitating the requirement of keeping open a feedback loop for them as well as a 24 hour IT network support with processes and procedures in place to help them at the rise of a complication along with granting them access to secure and up to date applications and software that they may need for the best execution of their project.
Micro learning and self-based learning training programs should also be put in effect for the sake of engaging the remote employees and nurturing their knowledge. In the case of multicultural organizations, specifically ones engaging in remote hire models, it is important to maintain a certain transparency with their cultural template and values, highlighting the do’s and don’ts – so as to ensure a seamless cultural fit as well as to act as an insurance against potential litigations in the off chance of an employee trespassing these boundaries. Furthermore they should document these values – clearly enunciating in it their expectations, their methods of measuring employee work performance and assessing their cultural fit in an effort to keep the employee well-informed and on the know, preferably from the joining date itself – preventing any unfortunate cases of misinterpretation or misrepresentation.
You might also be interested to read:
- How IT can help remote workers be more productive: 6 tips by Laurel Deppen
- Technology to Support Remote Workers Evolves By Dinah Wisenberg Brin
- Top 15 Tips To Effectively Manage Remote Employees, Forbes Coaches Council
- Remote staff model is no more an idea, but has come of age, People Matters