The business case for remote working is often made in terms of benefits to workers. But what about benefits for the employers, companies and organisations that use remote teams? What’s in it for them, in basic, bottom-line, profit-and loss terms?
There are savings that a business will make immediately by using remote workers and teams. Other savings will take a little more time, but are just as tangible.
- Remote teams require less spending on office space and overheads, such as rental fees and utility bills, and payroll costs where on-site support services are used
- Remote teams accrue less transportation expenses, since there is a reduced need to travel
- Remote teams waste less money on absence and sick pay, according to studies
- Remote teams enjoy higher retention rates, so less money is spent on interviews and advertising for staff
Saving money is negative; making money is positive. What’s the business case that working with remote teams can increase your profit?
- Remote working both attracts and keeps the best people, since it widens your talent pool to a global scope.
- Many studies have proved that remote teams show greater productivity than office-based teams. Some reasons include: less exhausting commuting; less micromanaging; more communication and collaboration; and more focus and freshness.
- Despite initial indications, there is evidence that remote teams have improved accessibilily to each other and their leaders compared with their office-bound rivals.
- Remote teamwork improves management processes due to enhanced flexibility in resource allocation and work scheduling.
- Remote working improves the product development time, which is accelerated by the use of Agile methods.
- Perhaps most obviously, remote teams have the highest staff morale. Why? Because remote working demonstrates trust, allows for flexible working, turns staff socialising into a pleasure rather than a chore, permits commute savings (fuel, insurance, extra car, wear and tear), unleashes massive time savings, and boosts retirement acceleration.
Making the Case
I’ve made some substantial claims about the financial case for remote teams in this blog. I’ve also referred to studies. What are they?
- Global Workplace Analytics specialises in producing reliable, fact-based analyses on the business case for telecommuting, remote and flexible work. Read their research on the Advantages of Agile Work Strategies For Companies derived from a wide range of studies from US and international firms.
- The largest largest-scale remote work study was conducted by a Chinese company and published by Stanford Business School. The findings were overwhelmingly positive, showing that working from home improves performance and reduces costs by double digit percentages.
- The physical, psychological, financial and temporal toll that commuting to work takes on us was recorded in a 2013 American Community Survey. Non-remote teams suffered from greater stress, lower cardio-respiratory fitness, higher rates of obesity, and elevated blood pressure. Astonishingly, the average American wastes 32.5 days per year commuting to work!
Making the Break
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