For workers, there are lots of benefits to working from home. A commute that’s ten feet instead of ten (or fifty) miles? You’d be hard-pressed to find someone to complain about that! But the perks of hiring remote workers aren’t just for the staff. There are many advantages for the company as well, including some that can be pretty surprising.
Increased Productivity from Hiring Remote Workers
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you imagine someone working from home? For many people, there’s an assumption that a remote worker couldn’t possibly be as productive as they would be at an office.
While this is true for some, anyone who has the right personality for remote work can end up being far more productive than even the most organized office. Working from home – or anywhere other than an office – does require responsibility and commitment, of course. (Learn more in our guide to Tips and Tools for Working Remotely.) But for those that are cut out for it, there are many reasons why working away from the office can actually be less distracting and more productive:
1. Kitchen Talk
How often have you headed to the office kitchen to get coffee, and ended up in a 30-minute chat with a group of co-workers? When you work from home, getting a cup of coffee or glass of water takes thirty seconds.
Socializing in the kitchen is fun, but it also decreases productivity big-time — especially because diving back into a task involves ramp-up time when you’re away for too long.
2. Extended Lunch Outings
In an office, impromptu lunch invites are a daily occurrence. “Want to go try that new pizza place for lunch?” This can turn a quick lunch break into a long, unplanned outing away from your desk.
Of course, lunch breaks are important — and remote workers enjoy going out to lunch, too. But when working from home, a lunch outing tends to be planned and part of your schedule, instead of a distracting, unexpected extra hour away that might throw off a Sprint deadline.
3. Less Stress, More Productivity
Yep, it’s true. According to research by Towers Watson, workers with less stress have higher levels of productivity and lower absenteeism. Starting each work day with an hour of traffic or being crammed into a packed subway greatly increases stress, which sets the tone for the rest of the work day.
When a worker can start their day by walking a few steps into their home office instead, they have more energy to get productive from the start — instead of feeling dragged down.
4. Fewer Days Off
Speaking of absenteeism, remote workers take fewer days off than those who work in offices. There are a number of reasons for this. First, remote workers are less likely to spread sicknesses. This means that one person’s cold won’t result in other workers being affected too, enabling you to avoid a domino effect on the entire office.
Remote workers are also more likely to recover quicker, due to less exertion and stress. And illnesses aside, with less stress, the need to take extra days off of work isn’t as high.
5. One Word: Noise!
Modern offices are a parade of headphones, and not just because everyone has to hear the new Foo Fighters album right that second. Offices are loud. It can be incredibly distracting to attempt to get work done when surrounded by chatter — especially under a deadline.
Hiring remote workers enables people to work in an environment that’s best suited to their own productivity.
6. The Proof is in the Pudding
When working from an office, merely being seen at your desk is often what counts as working. When you work from home, you’re judged solely based on the work output itself. If you aren’t delivering on the tasks you’re assigned, or are taking seven hours to reply to a Slack message, it becomes noticeable much quicker.
7. Modern Communication is Portable
Even in the most open of offices, people constantly send emails or Slack messages to communicate. Aside from being able to see the recipient air-drumming from the corner of your eye, this is virtually no different than communication with a remote worker.
8. Agile is Flexible
It takes less than 10 seconds to start a meeting with GoToMeeting, Zoom, and other common (and secure!) tools. Remote workers in tech are used to having virtual Sprint Planning calls and daily stand-ups, or doing screen shares to review bug reports.
In an office, a casual kitchen conversation can end up serving as the method of conveying an important update — but it can be difficult to remember all the details. With remote work, there’s often an added layer of documentation that can be referred back to, increasing reliability. This can be extra helpful for businesses like digital agencies, who need to share progress with clients.
10. Lower Costs
According to Global Workplace Analytics, companies can save an average of $20,000 annually per worker by taking advantage of telecommuting. Hiring remote workers can save you big bucks on pricey expenses like office space, furniture, supplies, amenities, and more. These savings also increase productivity by freeing up funds for hiring more workers.
Advantages of Hiring Remote Workers
Having remote workers is a blessing, not a curse. Between increasing focus/productivity and lowering costs, more and more companies are starting to reap the benefits of hiring remote workers. According to a recent survey, many managers believe that close to 40% of their workforce will be remote in the near future.
Finding the Right Fit for Remote Work
Not everyone is cut out for working from home. At Mindful QA, we encourage everyone to do the process that works best for them. But when hiring remote workers, it’s helpful to take steps to ensure that your team members are right for the remote work lifestyle. The following tips can help you make the most of hiring remote workers:
- Hire people that have a proven track record of working from home successfully. Lots of folks want to work from home, but not everyone knows whether it’s something they’re cut out for until they experience it firsthand.
- Have an interview process asks all the right questions. This may sound obvious, but there are particular skills it can be helpful to focus on when hiring a remote worker. For example, we don’t only focus on whether someone is good at QA – their professionalism, reliability, and interpersonal skills are equally important.
- Appreciate growth mindsets. Someone that wants to continually learn and grow is less likely to be complacent or procrastinate all day. Keep an eye out for candidates that express a desire for ongoing learning opportunities.
- Be mindful of time zones. For example, since our workers are in America, they’re more likely to be available during American business hours than offshore teams would be, which is important to our clients.
- Stellar communication. When it comes to remote work, it’s more important than ever. Working from home can be a way to accomplish even more, not less, with strong communication. (This can be even more important when your business participates in job sharing.)
For more, see our article on Seven Traits You Need to Work From Home.
Making the Leap
For a company that hasn’t used remote workers before, the thought of doing so can feel like a stretch. But by following the above suggestions, you can do it!
If you’re a company in need of website or app QA testing services, we’re ready to show you the efficiencies hiring remote workers can bring. We also offer backup QA services for when your on-site testers are out on vacation or parental leave. Want to know more? Contact us to get the conversation started.