9 reasons why now is the best time to hire remote employees

Ieva Sipola 7.12.2020
hire remote employees

Over the past years, more and more businesses have chosen to hire remote employees – a trend that has been dramatically accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis. At the time of writing, more than half of businesses globally already offer some remote work capacity. 

If your line of business allows remote work and if you have ever considered hiring remote employees, now’s a good time to take the plunge.

Why now?

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First of all, learning how to hire remotely means arming your workforce with the right tools and tactics to continue working in any future crises. Second, remote hiring is a way to stay ahead of your competition who may be lagging in this regard.  

Here’s what hiring a remote team can do for your business:

  1. Access international talent
  2. Gain a competitive edge in the job market
  3. Reduce costs smartly
  4. Offer better work-life balance
  5. Inspire individual productivity 
  6. Eliminate the need to commute
  7. Improve employee engagement
  8. Reduce employee turnover 
  9. Benefit from a more diverse team

#1 Access international talent

We live in a candidate-driven job market, and 42% of companies admit they are struggling to find quality tech talent. By learning how to hire remote employees and offering remote and flexible arrangements, you will be appealing to a global pool of job seekers. These can be people from other cities or even countries who are considering a job change but who don’t want to leave their home. 

In many cases, the local candidate pool simply isn’t big enough, especially when a company is growing. Employers around the world increasingly choose to hire remote employees because of the enormous potential that foreign talent can bring to their businesses. 

#2 Gain a competitive edge in the job market

Being open to hiring remote employees not only lets you access a wider talent pool but also gives you a competitive advantage over the competition. In times when many businesses have a hard time recruiting skillful employees, especially for very technical or specific positions, your offer has to stand out – and offering flexible work conditions is a smart way to achieve it. 

By choosing to hire remote employees and by offering remote and flexible work options, you would appeal to 54% of office workers who say they’d leave their job for one that offers flexible work time. That’s a tremendous competitive edge over other companies with rigid requirements for their recruits.

#3 Reduce costs smartly

Choosing to hire remote employees can bring significant business savings. For starters, you can scale back the office costs of furniture, electricity bills, cleaners, and office supplies. You’ll also be able to avoid the expense of in-office perks, such as free food or coffee, office parties, etc. In addition, remote employees tend to take fewer sick leave days that office-based workers.

However, don’t go as far as reducing salaries for remote workers, even if you think your employees save money by not commuting. That’s a dangerous tactic as a UK study showed that 1 in 2 office workers (46%) would be likely to resign from their current role if their company were to cut their pay as part of cost savings across the business.

On the contrary – if you manage to save on office-associated costs, consider covering some of your team’s remote work expenses to show goodwill and increase employee satisfaction.

In fact, a significant part of employees may already be expecting this move from you (74% of UK’s workers believe their company should pay for office technology equipment when they work from home and 50% believe their company should even provide office furniture, and contribute to WiFi and phone bills).

#4 Offer better work-life balance

employee well being

Studies show that happy employees are also more productive, which means that making your team happy literally pays off.

Hiring remote employees indicates that you are ready to offer flexible working conditions – employees can choose where they work from or even when. Reduced commuting time, combined with choosing their own hours, allows people to organize their lives better to spend more time with their family or include more of the non-work activities they enjoy. This helps to avoid burnout and its disastrous effects, like cardiovascular and mental diseases.

Furthermore, when you hire remote employees they can choose to live in greener and calmer areas with lower living costs. Moving away from the cities can have positive effects not only on people’s health but also on reducing geographical inequality and fighting climate change.

#5 Inspire individual productivity

Depending on the industry and the type of work you do, your remote employees may be way more productive than their in-office counterparts. Home office workers aren’t exposed to daily distractions in an office like impromptu meeting requests or idle chats from colleagues. 

Granted that your employee has an ergonomic and distraction-free workspace, the home office can be an ideal place for performing in-depth tasks that require concentration. 

Also, when you hire remote employees, you can propose that they find their own productivity schedule, as 9 to 5 doesn’t work great for everyone. Some members of your team might be night owls, while others may feel most productive in the early morning hours. Some may prefer to start work earlier and benefit from a short afternoon nap.

Productivity monitoring software helps managers find the peak performance hours for each employee. For example, if the DeskTime productivity reports show that a respective employee is very distracted in the early morning, you can approach them and propose shifting the workday an hour or two later. You can also encourage employees to follow their own performance and let you know if they’d like to adjust their schedule. 

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#6 Eliminate the need to commute

Swedish researchers have discovered links between commuting and weight gain, loneliness, increased stress, and even higher divorce rates. 

When you hire remote employees, you are giving a bunch of people the precious gift of time – for some this might add even two or more hours to their day.

Furthermore, eliminating the need to commute is a huge favor to the environment since transport accounts for around a quarter of global CO2 emissions. And managers who want to attract millennials should include environmental impact in their employee value proposition, as this cohort of the workforce genuinely cares about their company’s carbon footprint.

#7 Improve employee engagement

employee engagement

Studies have found that remote workers are more engaged than in-office personnel. So, when you hire remote employees, you may be giving a big boost to your company, as people who are engaged with their work are more likely to be intrinsically motivated. That means they will push themselves to work harder because they believe their work is meaningful and contributing to their personal growth.

Gallup workplace research shows that engaged employees perform much better – highly engaged workplaces can claim 41% lower absenteeism, 40% fewer quality defects, and 21% higher profitability.

Hiring remote employees is a way of giving flexibility to your team, which in turn fosters self-determination and a sense of accountability.

Furthermore, technology gives remote teams more opportunities to connect, collaborate, and contribute – even among colleagues who might have little contact when at the office.

#8 Reduce employee turnover

Employee turnover is expensive – especially for very specific jobs and positions that require in-depth training. Depending on the wage and role, replacing an employee costs from 16 percent of annual salary up to 213 percent of annual salary for highly educated executive positions. 

When you hire remote employees, you are offering them flexible work conditions that can significantly impact employee retention. In fact, 51% of workers say they would switch to a job that allows them flextime. This is particularly obvious when it comes to millennial and Gen Z demographic cohorts.

#9 Benefit from a more diverse team

Having a more diverse staff is not only a benevolent and open-minded decision – it’s also good for business. When you gather people of different cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles, you add new perspectives to many aspects of your work and get more rounded and creative solutions to problems. 

On the other hand, companies who only hire people who are a tight fit for their company culture risk turning into workplaces where people think too similarly. 

No wonder many organizations are starting to include diversity in their corporate strategies.

Besides, hiring remote employees and being open to diversity gives you access to more people who might not be willing to do face-to-face interviews. For example, people with disabilities or rare health issues, working moms, or people from very different cultures. When you hire remote workers from different backgrounds or cultures, don’t forget to implement some kind of a  support program for them.

Why now’s the best time to hire remote employees

Changes brought by the pandemic have also started to transform how people think. Ironically, as many of us are locked away in our houses, technology gives us more and more opportunities to be global citizens. Working, studying, and even traveling virtually is no longer an exception – it’s becoming the norm. 

For smart managers, this is the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon and choose to hire a remote team. Your competitors may still be hesitating, giving you the opportunity to act now and attract the best foreign talent while it’s still available.

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