As an employer, you might have considered moving some of your team out of the office. Maybe you are having difficulty attracting top talent, your office is bursting at the seams or you just see it as the logical evolution of your business. Instant communication tools are already ubiquitous in the office environment, we have all been in the position where we lean over to the next cubicle and let our co-workers know that we have just ‘Slacked’ that information over to them. Hiring somebody who is already used to working at home and communicating through virtual channels will accelerate your entire office team’s use of these tools.
Here are five of the top reasons you should consider your next hire as somebody who works from home.
Employees are always on in one way or another and they are looking for their employer to recognize this. Working from home was often seen as a perk it is now seen by employees as a right. If we want to be an employer of choice, attracting top talent, we need to provide our teams with the tools and resources they want and one of these resources is the ability to work remotely. If you are recruiting from a pool of prospects who already work from home you are recruiting a team member who has determined their best place to work. A happy worker makes for a happy employer. Research has shown that people working in open office plans with the accompanying noise and distractions are less productive and more importantly less creative. You need top-performing employees who are less distracted and more creative, a home or remote office environment might just have your team performing at their best.
Even if you are a well-funded start-up, costs still matter. From our employees’ perspective, many of the most desirable companies to work for are located in expensive urban environments such as Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. Working remotely allows your employee to effectively manage their personal costs. They can realize a lower cost of housing, lower commuting costs and potentially lower child care costs. All a benefit to your employee’s personal bottom line. The cost savings for companies have been well represented with lower total office space requirements and potentially lower hardware costs as many companies and employees enjoy a bring your own device work environment.
Work from home use to be reserved for top-performing employees who had already paid their dues. They would have a special policy to carry their paperwork home and sometimes shuffle it back and forth from the office, often via courier. Today all the technology exists and is accessible to everybody. Documents can be reviewed and signed electronically, video conferencing is commonplace and most are more comfortable with text-based communicating as compared to the phone. The environment is right for people to work from where they want, not necessarily where the company sign hangs over the door.
We have long thought that the most ambitious and creative employees live within a commuting distance of our major downtown cores. If you still believe this you are significantly limiting your options to finding a great employee. People are located all over Canada, often by choice and personal preference. By limiting your recruitment by geography you are significantly constraining the opportunity to find top talent.
Lots of people do it all around the world, and I think most of us would admit that commuting is largely a wasted use of our personal energy. It is not just the time, that has been well documented, it is the emotional and mental effort it takes to commute every day. Science has shown that commuting daily to work negatively impacts both health and productivity. An activity they are not getting compensated for and they most likely pay thousands of dollars for the privilege of commuting.
Then there are all of the other uses of personal energy that do not get used when one does not commute. From items as simple as choosing your daily outfit or worrying about how your in-office co-workers think about you. Perception and gossip can be a major drain on focus and productivity.
There are far more reasons than this to recruit work from home employees then listed here. There are also a few risks worthy of another article, but overall you should recruit your next employee from the large pool of remote workers already out there.