Working from home is a great opportunity for employees and employers alike.
At RocketTheme, our team is entirely remote. We have team members in the United States, Canada, Italy, Poland, Finland, and more. This remote model has enabled us to bring together a talented team of individuals that we wouldn’t have been able to if we were limited to regional candidates.
This business practice does not come without its challenges. Not every worker is suited for remote work and not every business can be run by remote employees.
However, for the businesses and teams that can pull it off, the benefits of doing so can far outweigh the cons.
Remote employees save employers an average of $11,000 per employee each year, according to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com.
With this, in addition to the $2,000 - 7,000 remote employees stand to save on fuel and other financial stresses that come with commuting to work each day, the proliferation of telecommuting comes at no surprise.
A virtual office doesn’t require expensive office space and the utilities and maintenance fees that comes with it. This cuts the overhead down considerably and enables the business to invest those savings in additional staffing and savings to the customer.
Online development resources like GitHub and Bitbucket make it easier than ever to create public and private repositories, collaborate with team members, and distribute the latest updates of your project to the masses.
There is also an incredible number of excellent communication tools made especially for remote and in-house team members to work together. Slack is our current team messaging service of choice, but plenty of other services such as HipChat are also popular choices.
New online-accessible tools for team collaboration and information exchange are being created every day.
A study of CTrip, a 16,000-employee Chinese travel agency published by Stanford indicated that team members that work from home were more productive and less prone to absences than employees that reported to an office.
In fact, home working was found to result in a 13% increase in performance - a significant number to businesses of any size.
Remote employees have the ability to log in and work from anywhere. Their home office, the coffee shop down the street, and even poolside from a resort in the heart of paradise. This flexibility makes it possible to get more done from more places, where a traditional employee would otherwise have to call in sick or miss an entire day.
Even team meetings can be performed in a less disruptive way. While everyone is taking part in a video conference call on Google Hangouts, Skype, GoToMeeting, or some other service, they also have the freedom to actively work on their projects when they’re not actively presenting.
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of remote working is the fact that you get to spend more time with your family. What would normally be a 1-2 hour commute is now 1-2 extra hours in your day to do with as you please.
This makes that important work-life balance much easier. In many cases, remote workers get a flexibility in their schedule that enables them to step away and run a timely errand and pick up where they left off when they get back.
This is a great thing, not only for the employee, but for the employer. A happy workforce is a more productive one, according to a recent study conducted by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick.
Improved worker morale resulted in an increase of between 12 and 20% in the 700-person experiment.
Telecommuting is a growing trend among employers. Since 1995, the percentage of U.S. workers that telecommute has grown four-fold from 9% in 1995 to 37% in 2015.
At RocketTheme, we benefit from having a diverse team of talented individuals from across the globe. While we may not be in the same office, swapping stories by the water cooler, we are constantly in contact and collaborating on major projects in real-time thanks to the incredible technologies of today.