No one can deny that the pandemic has affected almost every sector of our society. The private sector is no exception. Many companies and small businesses have had to take major losses due to the pandemic and, unfortunately, some of them even had to close down. In the face of this major worldwide crisis, only those that are able to adapt to the paradigm shift can truly survive.
One of the ways businesses are able to survive during the pandemic is by exploring remote work. Remote work has been steadily on the rise for quite some time, but the pandemic has truly given it incredible momentum over the last few months. Even traditional companies who were committed to an office-based working model had no choice but to implement a remote or hybrid work model due to COVID-19.
Despite many executives’ fears that remote working will negatively affect productivity and efficiency, employees seem to have easily adapted to their new working environment. In fact, there are many who would consider working from home preferable to working in the office. There can no longer be any excuse to push an office-based working model on employees.
People have been working remotely for months and they have proven that it is a viable work model.
So, if you are a business owner, what benefits can you expect from transitioning to a remote work model? In addition, what considerations should you look out for before transitioning to a permanent remote or hybrid work model? Read on to find out.
How remote work can benefit your business
More opportunities for expansion
Before, in traditional office-based work models, it was much harder to expand operations. After all, you had to worry about office space, equipment, etc. But since operations are now mostly online, it's much easier to hire new people. For example, if you're in need of a website content writer, you can just hire them virtually and get them started immediately. No need to set up computers or arrange office floor plans.
Additionally, you could consider outsourcing to increase your potential for expansion. Since your team is already working remotely, working with an outsourcing agency will be no different. In fact, it might benefit you even more. For example, if you need content writing services to build your company website, you can consider hiring a content writing agency that will not only produce articles for you but will manage writers in your stead as well.
Let's say you're a company that offers blog writing services and your client is not happy with your team's productivity. Your team would have to set up a meeting to discuss the issues, preferably with the client present. In an office-based setting, It would take a lot of trouble to choose a schedule when everyone can attend, find a location that's free, and set up any necessary equipment.
However, in a remote work setting, all your team needs is a device that can video conference and a convenient time for everyone. Remote work gives teams the ability to communicate anytime, anywhere.
From an employer's perspective, you'll be saving up by slashing costs related to office equipment and resources. You won't need to buy expensive PCs and waste money and energy on utilities. Of course, it's important to make sure your team can work comfortably from home, so don't neglect to provide them with necessary tools such as laptops and routers, or additional financial aid if necessary.
From an employee's perspective, remote work can save them time and money by getting rid of the commute to work. This will allow them to maximize their productive working hours and ensure that their energy is not wasted on long travel times to the office.
Considerations for a permanent remote/hybrid work model
Although the pandemic continues to rage on, it's never too early to look at what the future will look like. As mentioned earlier, it looks like remote work will continue to be a popular work model even after the pandemic since many of the logistical concerns involved with it have been smoothed out over the previous months.
So, that begs the question: Should you consider making your company 100% remote?
Before you make a decision, here are some considerations you might want to take:
Which jobs can be done remotely?
Obviously, not all jobs are meant for remote work. If you offer something like blog content writing services, all you need is to make sure your team has a stable network connection and a laptop and they're good to go. But if you’re managing an IT team, sometimes they need to maintain and monitor equipment onsite, making remote work impossible.
Figure out which jobs in your company can be done remotely. By assessing this data, you can determine if your company can go fully remote or if you’ll have to settle for a hybrid work situation.
Which departments will be remote?
Similar to the first point, determine which departments need to be on-site and which can be assigned remotely. When assessing your departments, their tasks should not be your only concern. You should also look at which departments will have the most impact logistically when they go back to the office.
For example, if you have a voice-support department and an article writing service department, you'll want to set up a remote or hybrid work schedule where they don't overlap in the office to avoid one department distracting the other.
Can you provide remote tools?
Does your company have the resources to provide remote tools to your employees? Assess what you can provide for your teams, who should take priority when it comes to getting tools, and what alternatives you can give employees if you can't give them the exact tools they need.
Investing in remote tools such as laptops and cloud services might seem steep in the beginning, but eventually, you'll be able to recover your costs. Remember, remote work will likely be part of the new normal so don't hesitate to invest in these tools as soon as you can.
Should you outsource other tasks?
As mentioned before, outsourcing to third-party agencies can help reduce the burden when it comes to transitioning to remote work. Most of these agencies have been operating remotely even before the pandemic, so you can rely on them to deliver what you need without any disruption to your operations.
For example, if you need simple tasks like professional writing services, you can hire a website content writing company that has its own team of remote high-quality content writers to do the job for you. With remote work, you can stay in contact much easier with your outsourcing agencies as well.
The future of work is remote. There is no going back to the old-fashioned, office-based working model of days gone by. Of course, there will be attempts to go back to the way we were before, but for many businesses, remote work will be part of the new normal post-COVID. It's never too early to start looking at remote work as a long-term solution and coming up with innovative ways to make it work to your advantage.