Hiring remote employees can be an efficient and cost-effective way to solve problems for small businesses. For many business owners, knowing the benefits of remote hires can open up a variety of benefits, from cost savings to efficiency.
Here is a rundown of the pros and cons of hiring remote workers.
- Cost savings. Not having a full team in your headquarters or primary location means saving money on expenses like office space, supplies, heating, and more. Plus operations that have remote staff usually have less turnover, meaning that you save time and money on training and hiring in the long run.
- A larger recruiting pool. With remote hires, you won’t be limited to just the talent pool in your geographic area. If you’re able, it’s a good idea to offer benefits aimed at enticing remote workers to want to work for you, such as stipends or reimbursements for home-office expenses. These will give you even more hiring power, and the ability to nab the talent that you want.
- Improved tools. If you had a negative or frustrating experience with remote workers in the past, finding that wrangling everyone and organizing meetings was too hard, keep in mind that the technology for conference calls, meetings, and day-to-day communication has improved dramatically. Tools like Zoom, Slack, Hipchat, and Trello are options you might consider for increasing daily conversations and workflow management for team members in any location. Of course, you’ll want to spend some time investigating which will work best for your team.
- Cost considerations. Although there are cost savings associated with a remote workforce, there are some costs associated with having remote staff, including travel expenses to bring your remote employees on-site at least a couple of times per year. You may also need to pay for benefits catered to appeal to remote workers.
- Required investment in needed technology. If you’re bringing remote workers into your business, you’ll need to give them access to what they need in order to get the job done. This could require remote access to databases or other technology. The good news is that advances like cloud technology have made it much easier to store your data and other information in a safe, cost-effective way, with few barriers to access for remote workers.
- Personal relationships. Cameraderie and a cohesive company culture are major parts of what keep a small business thriving. Those can be tougher to maintain when your staffers are in different physical locations. You may need to budget in functions like a company retreat to help everyone bond and strengthen ties.
- Management hurdles. Keeping a good line of communication with remote employees will take some extra effort. Hiring skilled, motivated people, and giving them the tools they need to succeed, and then implementing communication and workflow tools like the ones mentioned above will help. A regularly scheduled meeting over the phone or a video conference can be a valuable tool to help you stay in touch with your remote workers.
When you’re not restricted by your geographic location, there are lots of opportunities to find great employees that might otherwise be out of reach if you’re willing to work with remote employees. Depending upon the nature of your business, it could be a good fit for you.