Over the past few months, we’ve seen virtually every business capable of operating without in-person contact shift to working remotely. It’s safe to say that many of these businesses did not have a plan to move to telecommuting, but they quickly learned it was do or die.
The good news is that this forced move enabled more businesses to see the feasibility of a remote team. But what many may not know is there are many other advantages to having a virtual team.
Your Money Goes Further
You get more for your money when hiring remote workers. Many times, those seeking remote work value their freedom and flexibility over having a central office, and may be willing to work for less than a traditional employee.
Many small businesses have even found they can fill many roles with independent contractors, which is more cost effective than hiring an employee with benefits. The average cost of health benefits for U.S. employees is close to $15,000 according to SHRM. When you consider those cost savings, hiring independent contractors for remote work sounds even better.
It’s worth noting that the IRS has set guidelines for determining if someone is an employee or an independent contractor. In general, if the business owner is paying for the result of the work, rather than the ability to control how the work is done, then the position is likely suitable for a contractor rather than an employee.
In addition to the cost-savings, Forbes.com reports that 77% of those who work from home get more done in fewer hours thanks to fewer distractions like meetings, conversations, and noisy coworkers. In addition, Highfive.com reports that remote workers accomplished 30% more work in less time. It could be argued that increased productivity is due in part that many realize that they will have more free time to do the things they love if they get their work done in a more productive manner.
Candidates Are More Specialized
Instead of hiring one person to do a variety of jobs, having a remote team allows you to hire the right person with the right skills for the right job. Many virtual professionals today work for more than one person and therefore get very specialized in a set of skills. No longer do you have to hire an “all-in-one” candidate to do customer service, bookkeeping and social media.
Instead, you could hire:
- A content manager to create and manage content across your website, blog and social media.
- An email marketing specialist to create weekly emails for your customer base or to improve the client onboarding processes.
- A YouTube specialist (or Instagram specialist) to increase brand visibility, drive traffic, grow your email list and ultimately increase your customer list.
- A virtual assistant to manage your email, return phone calls, and handle routine tasks so you can focus on your business.
- A Facebook Ads expert to create and manage your ad campaigns to bring in more traffic and sales to your business.
- A Customer Service manager to respond to your customers needs, questions and follow up to ensure their satisfaction.
- A Website Designer to freshen up your old website or create a brand new one.
- A Marketing person to help you rebrand your business, create lead magnets and other marketing ideas to grow your business.
- A project manager to oversee your projects and keep them running smoothly.
The ideas are endless and just think how specialized each of these individuals can be for each of the jobs or projects you need.
Keep Good People
With a remote team, you can attract and retain quality professionals. In a recent study, 95% of employers reported that working remotely has had a high impact on their employee retention rate.
For moms, working from home provides the ability to have better work / life balance. For instance, if a child is sick, a mom can continue to work while monitoring her child. In the same way, she can take a break to go have lunch with her child or spouse and make up the time that afternoon or evening if needed.
Take Doug with Printershoppe for example. He hired his first remote worker — Janice, a designer — and 12 years later she is still with him. At the time of hiring, Janice had a 4-year-old daughter and wanted to stay home to raise her. Now her daughter is graduating high school this year.
If your remote team members are independent contractors, you have the freedom to end the contract if they are no longer needed. There are no firing or unemployment penalties. In addition, if you decide the person is not a good fit, you can more easily find someone who is.
More Reasons to Consider a Remote Team
A remote team also provides additional benefits to your business and the environment.
- According to the State of Telecommuting, a person can save up to 11 days a year by not commuting.
- Remote teams help save on pollution, traffic and commute time. According to EIA, 313 gallons of gasoline are saved per remote worker in a year.
- Businesses can save up to $11,000 per employee by working remotely, saving on office space, equipment, insurance.
- Some great tools are available to support virtual teamwork such as Slack, Zoom, Trello, Basecamp and Asana.
Having the ability to hire the right person for the right job and pay a fair rate enables small businesses to grow faster than ever before. By combining that with all these additional benefits, establishing a virtual team becomes a real advantage for many small businesses.
Written by Lesley Pyle. Have you read?
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