When we’re looking to cut corners, the topic of where our workers are stationed can come up. It’s used by many businesses now, not just as a way to save money, but to save the sanity of its workforce. Remote working is one of those options that seems great in theory, but is it everything it’s cracked up to be? On the other hand, having the workers in-house can give rise to the usual quibbles, office politics or an general air of dissatisfaction, not to mention low morale if there are issues on an individual basis. So let’s see if we can figure out which is best, remote workers, or in-house teams?
The Communication Conundrum
Communication is a vital component of a thriving workforce, and while we can take advantage of this with in-house teams, remote workers can feel a little left out in this respect. If we want to keep remote workers on and make them feel that they are part of the team, especially if you have workers on site in an office as well, you’re going to have to change your approach in how you communicate. There are many resources to help, and there’s an interview with Joe Kashurba that touches on how he runs a remote team effectively, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach! Your communication methods have to be succinct, but when you are liaising with remote workers, you may find that the very act of emailing back and forth can take up so much time during the course of your day, it would be quicker to pick up the telephone! This is why implementing a communication structure is essential for any remote team to thrive.
The Feeling Of Freedom
Working in a remote environment means that, to an extent, you can tailor your workload as you see fit. Some industries actively encourage remote work due to the money-saving prospects, a franchise, for example. But from the perspective of the boss running things in-house, you can oversee if this is working or not. It depends on how you dish out the workload to remote workers, but when you are thinking of implementing something of this ilk, you have to trust that your workers will get the job done. You have no way of checking that. But on the other hand, by having workers at home, this may very well equate to an increase in work satisfaction. Not just because they’re working at home, but because they have more control over their working day, so they are able to prioritize as they see fit. Naturally, it depends on the job, but if you want a workforce that is independent and able to develop these self-sufficient skills, the remote environment could very well trump the in-house option.
If you are considering sending some of your workers home it’s vital that you get and infrastructure in place to handle persistent problems. In many ways, communication is the key. It’s easy in an office environment to communicate with someone, but instead of going over to them, we actually send them an email. So in this respect, is it not just better for us to set up a remote pool of workers? You could always have regular meetups in person to balance this out and save the company culture, but when you’re looking at it from the perspective of productivity, remote working may be the winner.