I suppose you are aware and not surprised by the growth of the number of companies turning to outsourcing basically every day. With them the amount of people who are loyal to their remote work also increases. Such a working format is profitable for both sides. However, it’s only actual for those companies where physical office isn’t a critical issue.
Is it that scary to switch to the remote system of work?
The advantages of an employer can be summarized in three main points:
- Lack of boundaries;
- Access to specialized personnel.
But first things first.
For a start, personnel maintenance is costly. An employer has to satisfy their staff’s everyday needs from water, tea and coffee delivery to assembling a fully featured workplace and keeping it in an operational state. In some cases there may be a problem with finding space or an additional office for a project or a department.
Secondly, when hiring staff for remote work, search limitations of job seekers simply disappear. This means that there is no attachment to a particular geographic location, and the salary budget may also vary.
Thirdly, thanks to the money saved on salaries, such companies can afford hiring more qualified professionals with better skills, wider experience and a more focused specialization.
The main nice and ‘warm’ goodies for the staff are:
Yes, again! And not only material. Job seekers don’t have to waste their money on a daily commute, now they also save their time! In large megalopolises commute may take up to 1,5 – 3 hours of life to nowhere.
- Opportunities for self-realization:
A common problem of developers is coding in a “popular” language, which is the most spread on a given territory. What are you supposed to do if PHP is the boringest thing you could imagine because it’s everywhere, and RUBY has it all since it’s so new and thought-out? Only the demand in RUBY specialists is so much lower, and the niche is already full…That’s right, you’ve gotta look for a job on the sly.
- No need to adapt to a particular social group:
Let’s not prevaricate and admit the fact that a nice colleague is rather a big luck than a rule. It’s a common human factor – we don’t like everyone, and not everyone likes us. And when you work from home, you can get annoyed only with yourself ;-)
- Lack of team spirit in general:
Teambuilding for some people is not “a perfect opportunity to become closer with colleagues” but “a punishment” that has to be endured. Just like dress-code or any other aspect of “corporate culture”.
However, it’s obvious that not everything is so rosy, and both sides take certain risks. Employer relies on the credibility of the employee, and the employee gradually loses their social skills by staying out of office most or all of the time.
- Lack of personnel’s performance control.
You don’t stand behind your every employee’s back, do you? Use CRM, reporting and time-tracking systems and your worries will lose their grounds.
- Information security:
You hardly watch your staff working in an office during their personal time. Technically it’s possible to avoid the leak by using special products – so-called end-point solutions which collect information on workplaces and pass it over for analysis to corporate servers. Confidentiality can be guaranteed by signing an NDA.
- Personnel search:
This is probably the least of a worry when searching for the staff. There’s a great variety of platforms helping to find and hire employees. Social networks and business communities are also of great help.
- Lack of live communication:
Conventionally everyone can be divided into extraverts and introverts. The first ones enjoy working in a group of people, but it works different for introverts. They prefer silence and solitude to team spirit for working productively. Generally, the longer we use Internet, the faster we give up live communication and don’t even feel any discomfort about it.
- Professional brain freeze:
I’m sure you disagree with me on this one. What about live communication? Discussion of the issues? You can’t grow professionally remotely. Yes, you can! Lack of professional communication may be compensated by participating in conferences, hackfests and user-groups. Nothing and nobody can guarantee that in an office there will be nice colleagues or decent mentors worth learning from. Finding a specialist is much easier in their “natural habitat”: on forums, at conferences etc.
What about open space with a high level of noise? Chattering managers? Do you think it’s more difficult getting agreed with your family members about silence and about not being disturbed than asking your colleague to stop negotiating?
I guess I’ll finish off with the following thought: “If you are a mature employee, you can be responsible for your work at a distance. And in case you are negligent…well, I don’t have anything to say to you then.”