Do you find that no matter how much you try to engage your employees, it feels like you’re hitting your head up against a brick wall? Little motivation and increased turnover have become significant concerns for employers of all sizes, causing significant crossroads and confusion of what changes to make and where to turn next. Sometimes, however, the answer to some of these challenges can lie in your workforce model.
In one of our recent Crushin’ It in Staffing episodes, we spoke with Chris Dyer, CEO of PeopleG2, a leader in background checks and employment screening. Chris spoke to us in detail about what it takes to build a team that can get the job done – no matter where they are in the world. Despite the negativity often associated with remote employees, Chris explained how embracing a remote workforce has brought his company to new heights and believes it’s been a game-changer for his success.
“Often people have some pretty big misconceptions, or they have a pretty narrow idea of what they think remote work is,” says Chris.
This statement couldn’t be further from the truth! With so many misconceptions swirling around remote work, it’s no wonder many employers are scared to take the plunge and invest in remote employees. Well, not to fear! With over 30 years of successfully employing and managing a remote team, Chris’ company is a true testament to the power of this evolving concept. Often joking that his team could “beat your team in their pajamas,” here’s a round-up of some of the significant reasons Chris cites for investing in a remote workforce:
Contradictory to popular belief, remote employees are often more productive than on-site employees. By removing employees from the traditional office environment and distractions (such as typical water cooler chatter and constant in-person interactions throughout the day),
Chris explains how much more efficiently remote employees work in the same amount of time. He says, “As a remote employee, you’re going to be really, really thoughtful about how you’re going to work, and you also get a dedicated time to sit and think and work without anyone bothering you. Can you imagine if you had four hours of dedicated work time every day where no one talked to you, no one called you, no one walked into your office and interrupted you, and how much more productive you would be?” Research on remote workforce backs this up, with the productivity benefits of remote workers including better on-the-job concentration, shorter breaks, and less sick days, according to a recent study noted by Inc Magazine. Additionally, productivity is often spurred by greater engagement, in which Chris explains, “If you have a strong company culture, remote employees tend to be really excited about work and happier to be doing the work they’re doing.”
One of the most underrated benefits of a remote workforce is reduced costs in which companies can often meet talent goals on a smaller budget. This can be extremely impactful when wanting to expand your talent reach across a broader range of geographic markets. Chris explains it like this: “We often hire people in cheaper markets, so we might need the head of let’s say, head of social media, but where I am in Southern California, that might be a $60,000 position and if I go to St. Louis, Missouri, that might be a $40,000 position because there is a lower cost of living. I get the same great, awesome person; I just don’t have to pay him as much because they are not in a market where it’s more expensive.” Additionally, reduced employee turnover is another major cost-reducing benefit. Remote jobs offer employees more flexibility and work-life balance, giving them the option to craft a daily work routine that works best for them personally. Chris says flexibility is a huge factor for many emerging employees of today, especially tech-savvy millennials, and positioning your company to accommodate their preferences can set you up for better long-term retention.
A common myth surrounding remote work is that employees have to be physically present to be engaged and effectively collaborate. However, with the proper communications model, you can interact with remote employees in an even more meaningful way than in a standard office setting. With the availability of so many virtual technologies and tools, Chris says his remote team members collaborate well on video systems like WebX and ZOOM, explaining, “For most remote work scenarios, collaboration is very positive. In fact, I have found it to be exceptionally positive for my company because we get more focused and intentional about our collaboration.”
Putting systems in place to foster regular communication is key to building a remote team that is fully immersed together on projects and assignments.
These are just some of the major reasons why it may be in your best interest to explore remote hiring. When it comes to running a highly functioning remote team, Chris reminds us that it ultimately comes down to autonomy and giving employees the freedom that will elevate their job satisfaction to another level.
“When people are happier and getting more work done, they feel better about what they’re doing every single day.”
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