Start-ups have perpetually been attempting to achieve an equilibrium between establishing a rock hard market while also maintaining a scant budget. Hence, they are always in the search to integrate for courses of action to expand efficiency and steer towards success. With all that in mind, the latest buzz raking the floor not just in the business world but lately also in start-ups is the trending of remote work.
With information systems ranking second in industries and technological reliance growing by the day, remote work is surely here to stay(Source: The New York Times)
According to a specifically tailored analysis by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics, Remote work has had an incremental growth trend in the US with 159% increase from 2005-2017 and 4.7 million remote workers or 3.4% of the population as of 2020.If you believe that remote work is merely just an appealing perk, then you’re definitely incognisant knowing the upcoming trends in technology.
An annual survey by them claims that flexible working according to 74% of respondents is considered as the “new regular” and that is evident by Shopify, Coinbase, Upwork and large companies such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, JPMorgan extending their model towards remote work.
This shift is apparent in major companies but is it promising for start-ups? Here is why start-ups should incorporate remote work in their business model:
- Cost-effective: One of the major challenges for startups is cutting cuts, therefore, acclimatising to remote work conditions can be an asset in saving early on. For instance, one doesn’t require new investment in physical property, capital, overhead costs, or overall maintenance. With the ability to hire without any geographical constraint from different regions of the world where the cost of living is lower, you can hire employees at a lower rate, leading to more savings and a better ROI. Apart from savings for the company, allowing them to work from home can save their communal expenses as employees don't have to pay for fuel, insurance, or transit. Ditching the commute to work can save up to $100 monthly as well as save on time, where clustered downtowns add up to 6-15 onto their workweek. Saving money is a key motivator for remote employees as they economise about $4000 every year according to a study by Flexjobs, as well as save money on taxes.
- Access to higher-quality talent: as a start-up having the right employees is extra vital due to the dynamic & evolving nature of start-ups demanding skills such as multitasking and the ability to adapt to changes. Choosing loyal and valuable employees is crucial to start-ups because of money and time constraints, hence repeating the process of hiring is often worrisome. With remote work being embraced, better diverse talent at an affordable price can be accessed from around the globe, which may be out of reach otherwise. The hiring process is also much quicker, efficient, and saves time with technology in the picture.
- More creative & productive workforce: Having flexible work hours and location can help drive innovation & boost productivity in your business. With the comfort and ease of their home, a relaxed mindset often produces creative ideas. A study by Stanford also suggested that remote employees were 13% more productive than traditional office workers, proving to be beneficial for start-ups as more responsibilities exist and a higher need for excessive experimentation.
- Happier employees: Remote work leads to more autonomy amongst employees and the freedom to work according to your method (hours, day, approach), this flexibility listed as one of the biggest perks allowing to spend more quality time with their families and a better work-life balance. It also brings upon another major benefit of improving health, a study done by Owl labs noted a significant 80% respondents had reported alleviation of stress by working from home. All these factors contribute to higher employee loyalty and job satisfaction, leading to a high employee retention rate which is key for start-ups as retaining top motivated employees are their biggest asset.
- Better connected team: While many might argue remote work leads to poor communication & management, in a remote setup it is easier to communicate virtually, stay connected routinely with every member of your team as well as monitor their tasks through various softwares. Virtual meetings allow fewer absences and the perk of listening to recorded meetings later. It also increases participation as employees feel more comfortable in sharing their views and engaging virtually than in stringent office meetings. Virtual meetings also allow for smaller and leaner meeting groups creating more focused group discussions leading to additional constructive results. With poor communication being one of the major reasons for start-up failure, start-ups where new & creative ideas are of utmost value, remote work will allow for a flow of substantial ideas without fear of judgement. It is also easier to connect online with employees socially via off-topic chats on video calls, game sessions, virtual happy hours etc. all leading to better bonding, employee relations and productivity.
- Manageable risks: Managing business both traditional and remote has its drawbacks, remote work challenges such as isolation, distractions, lack of motivation are mostly attainable, key for start-ups as they are speculative of engaging in sizeable risks especially financially.
- Social benefits: with flexibility over work, more working mothers have the ability to work remotely, reducing the gender gap. With no geographic barriers, a workforce of varying cultures create more diversity. Apart from that, working remotely is also sustainable with no commute and less energy consumption. These steps towards social responsibility aid boosting the company culture especially assist start-up businesses for whom attracting clients, scaling, creating a brand value and reputation are peculiarly foremost, thus making remote work quintessential.
Winding up, with technological innovation & development on sight, the remote work trend shows no signs of slowing down yet is setting foot on gaining momentum and is on a meteoric hike.
Embodying remote working in a start-up is undoubtedly a manoeuvre if you aspire to achieve better growth.
We are a trough away from the extinction of traditional office settings as companies will realise the unnecessary expense on their balance sheet and employees will be more than happy once freed from the shackles.
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