Remote vs Onsite: Has The Race Been Won?
Remote vs Onsite: Has The Race Been Won?
Remote working, distributed teams, The Gig Economy, Digital Nomads – the list goes on. Working remotely is here to stay. What felt like a dream a decade ago is now very much a reality. The debate between remote vs onsite working has been steadily bubbling away for the last few years, but with more and more tech companies choosing to adopt this new way of being, the narrative is changing.
Whilst there are arguable cons to having completely remote teams, the broader benefits to incorporating varying degrees of distributed employees are endless. This article illustrates the key reasons to consider remote working, and the considered advantages for all.
Not our first rodeo
When you think about it, humans have worked in distributed teams for centuries. Whilst the tools and communication methods have evolved over time, the organizational needs remain the same.
Like most tech teams in America, offices tend to be split. So if you’re not in the same physical location as all of the people you work with, you’re remote from somebody. Even the organizations that don’t have a formal remote working policy are likely to be working in a distributed organization.
It’s rocket fuel for productivity
In a 2014 study by PGi, a leading provider of software services, it found that 80% of remote workers reported higher morale, 82% said it helped lower their stress levels, and 69% reported lower absenteeism – ironic as it may be.
It is estimated that US employers lose an astounding $1.8 trillion a year in productivity. An eight hour working day can be cut down drastically through workplace distractions. From commuting, water cooler gossip to circulating health problems, workers are finding it harder than ever to realize their peak productivity in a traditional office environment. Flexibility drives both loyalty and productivity for both parties.
Tech leads the way
The tech industry is arguably leading for remote working, possibly due to the nature of the jobs. Developers, engineers and programmers need to pay careful attention to detail in their work, requiring long hours of uninterrupted focus. By their very nature, office environments are quite distracting places – working from home removes this problem, allowing workers to concentrate and get more work done.
Ann Gaffigan, CTO of Land Pros Systems, Inc, says: “As a programmer, I need large chunks of time to really make progress on a project. In an office, there are so many potential distractions, with people knocking on the door or customers stopping in. This way I can control when I answer calls and emails and when I ‘go silent’ to get some work done.”
The world is your oyster
Keep costs down
For any business, keeping costs low is always a priority – remote working is another way to do that. Earlier this year American Express reported savings of around $10-15 million annually, thanks to its adoption of remote workers.
There’s great news for smaller companies, too. Global Workplace Analytics reported that if a typical business allowed their employees to telecommute for just half of the time, they could save on average $11,000 per year; by proxy, reducing other costs such as office supplies, equipment, cleaning services and so on.
Reclaiming the commute
Pew Trusts reported in 2017 that depressingly long commutes have become more common almost everywhere in the U.S. Created in a melting pot of “skyrocketing housing costs and a reluctance to move, born of memories of the 2008 financial crisis,” it looks like the situation is only worsening.
Rental site ApartmentList examined census data from 2005 through 2016 to find the U.S. cities with the highest percentage of “super commuters” – those unfortunate ones amongst us who spend 90 minutes or more commuting to and from work each day. Unsurprisingly, San Francisco ranked as one of the highest.
One of the biggest benefits of working remotely is the ability to reclaim lost hours spent commuting. An average 40 hour week is more realistically a 50 – 60 one, with those travel times included. Removing this painful burden can drastically increase productivity and wellbeing for the right employees.
The environmental impact
There is a huge undeniable benefit to distributed teams: by working from home and ditching the commute, there’s much less strain on the environment. The advantages include reduced greenhouse gases and less reliance on fossil fuels, as well as a reduction in unnecessary use of office supplies such as paper, post it notes and beyond. (We’ve all been guilty of it…) The global effort to reduce our carbon footprint has never been more critical – remote working is one of the greenest ways of doing this.
Let’s face it – we’ve never been more busy than we are today. The modern world is chaotic and stressful. One of the biggest benefits to working remotely is that it allows employees to better address their work/life balance. By giving them the ability to spend time with loved ones more easily, head to the gym, run to the grocery store or finally book that dentist appointment, you’re ultimately driving loyalty and overall wellbeing.
A recent survey by The Fiscal Times found that 74% of older Americans want to work flexibility – remote working presents this generation with an ideal way to do so. With people living and working much longer, suddenly, changing jobs or retiring aren’t the only options – helping to keep skilled people in the industry for longer.
Let tech do the talking (literally)
In this digital revolution we’re existing in, tech dictates how we work, live and interact – bringing with it more amazing ways for us to communicate than ever before.
With a variety of tools at your fingertips, it’s merely a case of finding the tech that works for you and your business.
Is remote working right for me or my business?
The world is changing, and so too is the world of work, with it. In 2018, the voices in favor of remote working outcry the naysayers. This change is bringing about a brand new economy of remote jobs, with sites like WeWorkRemotely gaining over 2,500,000 visitors each month – connecting workers at home to companies across the globe.
As with everything in life, it’s not “one size fits all”, but “one size fits us”. No two businesses are the same, nor are the people who make them great. Spend some time to think about the goals and needs of your company, and whether or not they could be furthered by remote developers.
“Choice empowers people, and makes for a more content workforce”
Sir Richard Branson
This article was brought to you by the team at Source Coders.