They’re a people of many names. Remote workers. Digital nomads. Telecommuters. Whatever you call them, these employees (or contractors) live outside the immediate vicinity of their place of employment. Your headquarters may be in Austin, Texas, but you can have remote workers from across the globe.
Many businesses have already jumped aboard the remote contractor bandwagon (70% of people globally work remotely at least one day a week), especially those in the tech industry. But others are more hesitant. When your employees aren’t in the office, you can’t monitor their productivity. You have to trust that they’ll devote the time and energy your work requires.
Is it really worth it?
Technology has made the business world much smaller. The internet, cell phones, email, networking sites, video conferencing – there are no boundaries to communication. Many companies do business today entirely online. And, when 94 percent of all job holders are internet users, this opens up amazing opportunities.
Although it might not seem like it, remote workers are a potential goldmine of hardworking, loyal brand advocates. If you’re considering expanding your organization’s reach and visibility, check out these five reasons to hire remote workers.
1. Remote Workers Are More Productive
You might be thinking that’s some faulty logic, but hear us out. A recent study by the Harvard Business Review has shown that working from home actually boosts productivity among workers.
Yep. You heard that right.
When someone works from home, they’re free from the flurry of office distractions, including last-minute meeting requests and idle chatter with coworkers. Working from home also allows the employee to focus on tasks at hand with a minimal amount of interruption in their workday.
2. Remote Workers' Happiness Increases
There are so many benefits to working remotely. Like no rush hour commutes, weather delays, juggling gas and toll money, or taking time off when the kids are home from school — just to name a few. These may not seem like a big deal but, when they don’t have to worry about these little things on a daily basis, employees’ happiness skyrockets!
Remote workers already know this. In fact, remote workers are 24 percent more likely to be happier than their office-bound peers. A study also found that 80% of workers reported higher morale when working from home and 69% reported lower absenteeism.
But how does that benefit the company?
Easy! A happier workforce results in an increase in productivity for your company. According to one study, 86% of employees “hit maximum” productivity when working from home, and two-thirds of managers said that employees who work remotely have an increase in overall productivity. Don’t believe us? Check out the next item on this list...
3. Your Business Saves Money
Hiring and training new employees can be expensive. And, for some businesses, turnover can be high.
But happy workers are more likely stick with their current employer. This means less hiring, less onboarding, and less interviewing to find qualified replacements.
But that’s just one example of money saving from hiring remote workers. Other ways remote workers save your business money include:
- Smaller office space leasing (fewer cubicles needed)
- Less money spent on office products (desks, chairs, computers, and basic office supplies)
- New companies can ramp up faster without the added overhead expense
- Fewer occurrences of absenteeism
- Match payroll with seasonal shifts in employment
- Healthier employees (82% report lower stress levels)
4. Longer Organizational Reach
Companies who hire remote workers are literally expanding the physical reach of their company. Remote workers don’t always stay at home, chained to their own home office. Some remote workers use their home office as a base of operations, while duties pertinent to their employment may require meeting with clients in person.
This opens up a larger geographical reach to a small company who may be located in an otherwise small town. Because your employees become your biggest brand advocates, they will also sell your business where they are — expanding your target market significantly.
5. Greater Access To Talent
By hiring remote workers, your pool of qualified applicants becomes that much bigger.
Let’s be honest. If you live in a major hub, you won’t have a difficult time finding qualified applicants. But, if you want to find someone with the perfect mix of passion, experience, and skill, you might need to look outside your city limits.
When you hire remotely, you’ll have access to worker resources of every major city in the country (or world), allowing you to find the perfect candidate for the position you’re trying to fill. A whopping 68% of millennial job seekers said an option to work remotely greatly increases their interest in specific employers.
How Can A Company Know They’re Hiring Reliable Remote Workers?
So, clearly, hiring remote works has its perks. But how do you know you’re hiring the right ones?
When meeting face-to-face, you can get a feel for the applicant’s personality and professionalism. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use the same technology that makes remote workers possible and customize a few safeguards to be sure you’re hiring responsible and reliable team members.
At ROI Online, we have a high ratio of remote to in-office workers. We’ve had our fair share of hits and misses in terms of hiring. Recently, however, we have created a process to help our team find employees that fit our fun, vivid culture.
Observe – Pay attention to how quickly applicants respond to emails and voicemails (and what those responses are). Are they timely, professional, courteous, knowledgeable? The hiring process is typically the time where applicants are on their best behavior. If it takes them several days to respond to an email, that probably isn’t a good sign.
Question – Make sure you ask the applicant questions that will create a picture of their discipline and work ethic. Ask questions like:
- What is your remote work experience?
- What tools do you use to complete and manage projects?
- How do you avoid distractions working remotely?
- Why do you enjoy working remotely
Obviously, outcomes and successful past performances are key, but you also want to make sure your applicant is open to aligning schedules and structure to suit your needs. If you’re hiring a contractor with multiple clients, you’ll need to know they can complete tasks by your time frame.
Test – it’s hard to judge a candidate before you’ve worked with them. Instead of jumping all-in, ask your potential employee if they’re willing to go through a 90-day evaluation period. Train them, place them in a team setting, and then evaluate how well they adjust. Some employees are great workers but struggle with collaboration. Some struggle to keep up with a high-paced work environment. Know what you need in an employee, and find out how well they stack up to your expectations.
Request – If applicable, ask if the potential candidate has an online portfolio of work. This can be something as simple as a Wordpress site with links to blogs, infographics, images, articles, etc. Online portfolios can be an invaluable look into the abilities of any potential remote worker hire.
Ask & Listen – ask current employees if they know of people who could fill open slots. If an employee comes to you with a great potential employee, listen and keep the information at hand for future job openings. Word-of-mouth is invaluable and, happy employees will be happy to help properly maintain the organization.
Remote Workers = Better Workers
We understand that not every business can hire remote workers, especially when a company requires a hands-on touch or manual labor. However, if there are aspects of your company that can be reviewed, completed, and delivered using technology, then hiring remote workers could give your business a competitive edge.
At ROI Online, we believe that great marketing takes a team. If you think your organization is ready to look outside the box and go further, faster, schedule a strategy session today. Our team of HubSpot and StoryBrand certified experts from across the country have experience in all aspects of marketing, from content creation and graphic design to development and social media management.