The numbers don’t lie. According to one of the most recent comprehensive studies on telecommuting courtesy of WorldAtWork and GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, approximately 26.2 million people telecommuted in 2010. While those numbers are 5 years old (I’d say it’s about time for another survey!) they still provide vital insight into a work trend that is proving to be much more than just a passing fad. Working remotely is here to stay, and employers that already take advantage of telecommuting have tapped into an incredibly deep talent pool that is not restricted to geographic areas.
But what about employers that want to start recruiting remote workers or that want to offer existing employees the option to telecommute? Often the biggest hurdle is wrapping their minds around how to manage a remote workforce…if this is true of you, then you are in luck. This 3-part article series will help you learn:
- What the benefits to hiring a remote workforce are
- How to recruit telecommuters that are a perfect fit for your company
- How to create remote work policies and procedures for existing employees
- How to effectively manage your telework team no matter where they are located
Before we dive in, let’s explore a few of the perks that come with using a remote workforce (and believe me, the perks are MANY).
- A contingent workforce can save you money when tax time rolls around. If you have work that can be delegated to an independent contractor versus a direct employee, you will save on taxes big time. This is not restricted to just website or marketing tasks, as many people think. Other jobs that can be filled remotely via a freelancer or independent contractor include bookkeeping, legal aid, and project management, just to name a few. Don’t pay payroll taxes if you don’t need to!
- Fewer in-house employees can mean a smaller footprint. This can save you lots of overhead costs in the long run. Imagine if you ran a company with 20 employees. That means 20 desks, a bathroom, a break room, multiple meeting or conference rooms…you get the picture. Eliminating even half of the people that your office needs to house each day means that you can downsize your space without sacrificing comfort and workspace. Less money put toward rent or a loan puts more money into your pocket or back into your business each month. You will also save on heating and cooling your office space, and – if you are a startup – you will save on desks and other furniture purchases right out of the gate.
- If you want to attract the best talent, you may need to look outside your immediate area. Many highly qualified job candidates may live in other communities or even across the world; by considering people outside your immediate geographic area means you can build a stellar team even if they are not able to move to where you are located.
- Offering even part-time telecommute options to your in-house employees is considered a huge bonus. Even if you only offer 1 day a week or 1 week a year options, your employees will be grateful for the trust you give them and will appreciate the flexibility it provides them.
Are you convinced yet?
Going back to the data I mentioned at the beginning of this article, “It is estimated that 16 million employees worked at home at least one day a month, a number that increased almost 62% between 2005 and 2010. Extrapolating from 2010 to 2014 would put the current number of those who telecommute at least one day a month at about 25 million.”
Add that to the 26+ million telecommuting full-time and that is a recipe for success that even the most doubtful employers out there can’t ignore. Millions upon millions of people are working remotely and DOING IT WELL thanks to technologies and tools that allow them to communicate easily and to track workflow effortlessly.
Huge companies like Oracle have harnessed the power of remote workers; currently they have more than 800 jobs available to people located anywhere and everywhere! Likewise, small companies with only 2-10 full-time employees like Mitchell’s Garage are finding success by partnering with professionals nationwide to get work done for clients.