Against the backdrop of the pandemic, the topic of remote work has become especially relevant. Many companies, continuing to work in difficult times, have been forced to switch to a remote format of interaction with employees. What are the pros and cons of this approach for the employer?
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The advantages of working remotely
Many companies were quite skeptical about remote interaction with their employees. They did not even consider switching to this format outside of the crisis, and for good reason. For the employer, remote interaction with employees has a lot of advantages. Let us consider them.
Saving on office rent
Remote employees work from their own home, a co-working room or other place convenient to them. This gives the employer the opportunity to either significantly reduce the cost of office rent by changing it to a smaller space, or abandon the lease altogether.
Savings on maintenance
In addition to rent, savings are also made in terms of utility bills. Fewer people in the office means less electricity, water, and other services, and therefore lower bills. Maintenance of facilities and office equipment is also required less often, or not at all.
Savings on wages
When an employee works remotely, they only get paid for the hours they actually work on a particular project. It becomes unprofitable for employees to spend hours imitating the work process, because if they don’t complete the project, they lose a considerable part of their income.
Wide geography of hiring
A telecommuting business is not limited to hiring employees from the city where the company’s office is located. There are no restrictions on geography – you can find valuable staff with the right level of qualification both in the neighboring region and far abroad.
This is why “distant location” is a great opportunity to assemble an experienced and qualified team.
This advantage is explained by the possibility of attracting not only existing employees of the business, but also freelancers to work remotely in the company. As a rule, they do not require high remuneration, while still being able to cope well with their responsibilities.
Switching to remote collaboration allows you to increase the company’s work schedule. Since employees work from home in the comfort of their own homes, they can generally devote more time to work activities than they would in the office. It all comes down to their self-organization and discipline.
Example: A rush order comes in during the evening. The employer can contact free employees who can devote their free evening time to the project. In this case, the customer does not have to wait until the next day for the company to start work. This increases his loyalty and is good for the reputation of the business.
Retention of staff in a crisis
This benefit adds up to all of the above. A company that spends less on office rent and maintenance, hires valuable remote staff, and works longer than its competitors has a better chance of surviving the economic crisis, including the current one.
Disadvantages of remote work
If remote interaction with employees had only advantages, this method of work has long been chosen by many Russian companies. However, the phenomenon in question has disadvantages that every employer should be aware of. Let’s consider them, too.
Problems with productivity
Not everyone can work effectively outside the office or company. The comfort of the home environment is distracting, concentration problems arise, and procrastination manifests itself. If most employees have these problems, the employer will have a big problem.
Poor work quality
Poor performance is related to the previous problem. With low concentration and productivity, an employee may become irresponsible in carrying out his or her work duties. This usually happens when there is little time left before a result is turned in and you need to catch up quickly.
Problems with fast communication
It is not always possible to immediately get in touch with remote personnel, much less set an urgent task. This is especially true if there is a large time difference between the main office and the remote worker. Under such conditions, the implementation of urgent projects is very difficult.
Lack of leverage
The employer cannot reliably track what the remote worker is doing now – work or his own business instead of performing work tasks. Moreover, there is no way to directly influence the work process and track the result of that influence.
Example: Under normal circumstances, management can monitor an employee’s absenteeism and impose penalties. When working remotely, the bosses have no way to influence discipline, nor can they fire the employee (if he or she is under a regular contract). The only solution to the problem is to draw up an addendum to the main employment contract, where all the reasons for firing the employee can be spelled out in detail.
The problem of technical equipment
To work remotely, an employee needs a computer and a fast Internet connection. In 2023, almost no one has a problem with this. But there are still times when a valued employee does not have a PC or laptop at home, or has difficulty connecting to a fast Internet connection.
Difficulty assessing qualifications
Relates to the hiring of new professionals. It is impossible to remotely assess a person’s qualifications and knowledge until he or she has proven himself or herself in work on a specific project. A portfolio is not so difficult to forge or copy someone else’s work, passing it off as your own. This is the risk for the employer.
Bad reputational impact
Some companies have a negative attitude toward businesses that work remotely. This is largely due to the understanding of the previously mentioned disadvantages – the risk of low-quality work, delayed deadlines, refusals. Such an attitude is also found among private customers.
The problem of establishing trust
Rarely enough, but still there are cases where a remote employee passes on sensitive corporate information to competitors in order to earn extra income. This is especially true for recently hired remote workers, including freelancers. Text by waytogooo.com.