Remote working is an interesting subject for me because that is majorly what I do. Remote working is an approach where one works offsite as opposed to working onsite. Picture this scenario, most people, especially locally, have to actually be physically at their place of work. Remote working entails working from home or anywhere – essentially working online. This is a growing trend in this digital age as we see more and more things getting digital. There are so many talking points when it comes to remote working. Some of the noteworthy areas worth discussing are approaches, the justification for or against and important things to consider, amongst many other things. Remember my focus herein is perspectives for the business owner.
Remote working can be partially or wholly and those clusters branch into several distinct approaches. Let me use a personal example, I once worked somewhere where I would physically have to report for work. I would be there for at least 5 hours per day. However, I could take my work home or rather I could do a lot of work from home. This is because I would only physically report for work only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. This is a practical example of a mix of onsite working and remote working. Another approach can entail working wholly online – something I am currently doing with a certain firm. I do not report to any physical workplace but rather I do all I am required to wholly online. I would say these are the two broad approaches to remote working though specific contexts are quite varied.
The business owner stands to benefit a lot from adopting remote working for his staff. Bear in mind that one of the most significant overhead costs domain is human resources. Salaries, medical covers, taxation, upkeep at work, and so on – that translates into a lot of money. If as a business owner you create a framework where workers work remotely you eliminate most human resource costs. Thus, a business owner can seriously consider remote working for his or her staff given this rationale I have just been enunciating.
This is somewhat relative and some might argue but it is possible and true in many cases. People are generally wired to operate or work according to their own terms – they do not like to be run around and dictated upon. People also generally love to work in environments that they feel comfortable in or are under their absolute control. Actually, studies have shown that even at physical workplaces people work best if they are allowed to customize their workstations according to their own tastes. Anyways, my point is that people can actually be more productive if they work from home or environments of their choice. There is that leeway to shift to somewhere else in the event one is not feeling comfortable in a particular place e.g. home. All these dynamics have a high likelihood to result in increased productivity because one will be working in an optimum environment with considerable flexibility.
Limited Oversight On Employees
There can be concerns over issues to do with employee supervision. The mere fact that they are working remotely can make it difficult to easily supervise them. There is a way to circumvent that challenge though. If you structure their work in such a way that work output is directly proportional to their remuneration it conditions them to be self-disciplined. I know this for a fact and I am confident it can work for any context. The moment someone knows that my work output equals income then they know they will have to supervise themselves accordingly. In light of all this, limited oversight on employees is still something that a business owner might not be too comfortable with.
Uninterrupted Power Supply And Internet Connectivity Are Imperative
To be able to effectively adopt remote working it means you need to have uninterrupted power supply and internet connectivity. If you consider locally that can be a huge hurdle. You are looking at your staff being located in different places with varying circumstances. Some might not have power issues, whilst others might have. Some might be in places that have erratic networks whilst others will not be having such issues. At the end of the day, it can be difficult to institute remote working in a way that is so seamless that it feels like the traditional way of working. For these dynamics, a business owner might be very hesitant to take up remote working.
Ultimately it becomes an interesting scenario for business owners; to take up remote working or not. I do not take it that this is a yes or no question. There are contextual and circumstantial considerations to be made. Overall, given the fourth industrial revolution we are in and the benefits that remote working brings, I definitely am a huge proponent.