Should your business be embracing a remote-work culture?
Today, over 60 million Americans work remotely, and this number is only expected to continue rising. Since 2005, the number of employees who telework has risen by 103%, a testament to businesses quickly embracing this new strategy.
To find out why companies are increasingly adopting this business model, we sat down with two remote employees in Boston. We first spoke with Dania Lieberthal, a sales manager for Test Double who is also heavily involved in the company’s hiring process. “Test Double is an entirely remote company,” explains Lieberthal. We also spoke with Devin Bramhall, Director of Content for Help Scout. “We’re a remote-first company with over fifty employees from around the world, eight of which are in the Boston area,” says Bramhall.
We wanted to know:
- Are remote jobs becoming the new normal?
- How should companies be thinking about developing a remote culture, and what are the benefits of doing so?
Lieberthal and Bramhall provided us with some great insight.
The Perks of Hiring Remote Workers
An Expanded Talent Pool
It can be tough to fill out your workforce in today’s crowded, candidate-driven marketplace. “Because there’s a hunt for great talent today, companies really have to open their minds to hiring remote employees,” says Bramhall. “By doing so, you magnify the pool of available, qualified candidates.”
Expanding your search can yield high-quality talent you might not find if you were only looking for in-office workers. “The benefits of hiring remote are two-fold,” says Lieberthal. “Hiring people outside the city is less expensive, and we find really great talent we wouldn’t have found otherwise,” she explains. “We also don’t have to compete when we hire people from suburbs rather than big cities.”
Working with a larger talent pool can also help companies hire a more diverse workforce. “We’re really focused on diversity, but we’ve found that it’s hard to find qualified female engineers in Boston,” explains Bramhall. Going beyond the Boston hiring market enables them to access this talent, regardless of geography.
Contrary to what you might think, remote teams can actually be better at communicating. Why?
“When you’re more deliberate about how your team communicates, it will work better,” Bramhall says. “When you’re physically around people in an office setting, you don’t think as much about how to organize communication channels and share information, but when you have to because your team is remote, you put in the effort to make it work.”
“I think we’re actually better at communicating than at any other non-remote team I’ve worked on,” says Bramhall.
Both Help Scout and Test Double leverage video for team-wide meetings, as well as Slack for day-to-day conversations and information sharing. We love these tips from Help Scout on how to use video to build a remote culture, as they’ve done.
Cost Savings and Efficiencies
Employers also stand to save significantly on overhead by having a remote workforce. Help Scout, for example, doesn’t have to spend money and time moving offices as their team grows. “We do maintain a small office in Boston, but it’s not something we rely on to run our business,” explains Bramhall.
The efficiencies of remote employees also drive down costs. People can be just as productive, if not more so, in a remote environment, say both women. “We’re trusted to get our work done, which inherently makes us want to work harder,” Lieberthal emphasizes.
Companies who embrace remote employees can also avoid the inefficiency of lengthy in-person meetings. “At one of my last jobs, I found myself in meeting after meeting, having meetings about meetings and all I wanted to do was get my work done,” Lieberthal admits.
Remote work requires some self-discipline, as well as trial and error, but the results are well worth it. Lieberthal explains, “For people who like working remote, once you figure out your system and routine, you’re golden.”
Increased Job Satisfaction and Reduced Attrition
As it turns out, remote jobs have a direct impact onjob satisfaction. In fact, 82 percent of remote employees report they’re more attracted to companies with flexible or all-remote work arrangements.
Managed right, companies who embrace remote work stand to gain long-term, happy employees. “I love the freedom of working remote,” says Bramhall. “Working on my own terms, I can focus on my work while also balancing other things in my life,” Lieberthal adds.
Being location-independent is also a big perk to many candidates. “Having the ability to work from different places actually helps me do my job better,” said Bramhall. “It’s my job to create new ideas to market our company, so I need inspiration,” she continues.
Convinced that remote work could benefit your business?
Check out part two of our series, where we discuss how companies can effectively hire and manage remote employees.