In the software development industry, companies tend to be hesitant about hiring employees that work remotely. However, it’s important that these companies take into account the advances in technology that facilitate constant and immediate communication for remote workers. Working remotely has been proven to be mutually beneficial for employers and employees, increasing efficiency and productivity. Despite some hesitation, remote work is actually on the rise. With this increase come some indisputable benefits:
Usual commute time now used to be productive
Lower operating expenses, therefore lower costs for the employer
Fewer social distractions allow for more focused productivity
There are more than a few misconceptions about remote work so let’s address those, too.
Does working remotely mean a reduction in productivity?
We’re used to the traditional idea of having our employees within earshot so we can maintain control and efficiency. However, working remotely offers fewer distractions than working in the office because there’s no temptation to socialize or pay attention to what’s going on in the office. Even though remote workers may have their own distractions at home, it’s easier for them to quickly re-focus and concentrate in a remote environment.
Are remote workers out of reach?
Addressing this point is key in changing the perception of remote work. Many of those who are hesitant about having their employees work remotely tend to think that because their employee is not physically at the office, they’re probably on a walk or at a picnic instead of working.
With all the tools available today that handle reports and remote employee collaboration, such as agile software, it’s very difficult for an employee to fail in fulfilling their professional duties without ringing some bells.
Active communication and having an effective resource manager are the keys to making remote work even more efficient than the traditional in-office way.
Does remote work mean that your information is at risk?
To a large extent, this is the biggest concern of Generation X, since transferring company information and data into unsafe server computers can lead to breaches in confidentiality. However, regarding remote work, this simply isn’t true. Technology has advanced in such a way that a qualified IT team will keep these types of concerns to a minimum.
There are a lot of secure solutions that can be tapped by IT teams around the world. An employee configuration with cloud-based applications means that security is outsourced to the software programs examined and IT teams can monitor version control without accessing an employee's physical machine.
In addition, good security practices such as the creation of two-factor authentication and virtual private networks (VPN) ensure that information is locked and cannot be tampered with by unauthorized people.
But communication would be affected, won't it?
Because of today’s advances in telecommunication, when someone works remotely, the quality of communication doesn’t suffer. However, for this process to work, managers need to outline clear expectations and choose the right tools for each task so it can be completed successfully remotely.
What about meetings, will they be ineffective?
There’s no reason for meetings to become ineffective just because employees are working remotely. Communication platforms like Skype and Zoom allow you to send messages and also provide the added value of recording the communication so it can be reviewed at a later time for clarification.
Remote workers feel lonely, don't they?
Working remotely does not mean being locked up in the house all day. Today, there so many great places someone working remotely can take their laptop and work away. Libraries, coffee shops, coworking spaces and even an open park with great Wi-fi are all great options for being productive while getting out.
Although it’s true that these places may not fulfill the work-social environment that some developers are looking for, remote development companies still meet all the features and benefits of the typical company.
Ok, but hiring someone remotely will increase costs, won't it?
Some skeptics think that it’s more costly to hire a remote worker in comparison to hiring an onsite worker. However, this isn’t true. Initially there may be additional expenses such as sending equipment to wherever the employee is working remotely, but in general, remote workers end up being more cost-effective because the company's general expenses will decrease. for reasons such as:
Some of these decreases are:
Large office space no longer necessary
Less office furniture needed
Lower maintenance expenses
Services such as coffee, snacks and in-office entertainment.
Fewer transportation expenses to and from the organization.
Isn’t the company culture affected?
It is possible that the company culture will be affected since there is no face-to-face interaction. This can lower the motivation and effectiveness of the employees, but it’s up to the managers to ensure this doesn’t happen. They are the ones who need to make a conscious effort to show each team member that they are a valuable member of the team and their hard work is recognized..
Managers should comply with these three essential pillars in order to boost their remote team's moral, engagement and overall satisfaction:
Create opportunities for people to connect using online technologies
Create opportunities to learn and grow
- Create opportunities for in-person meetups
If I choose to work remote, will I be working 24/7?
Not being physically in an office every day does not mean that you won't have a schedule. Remote workers keep schedules similar to their in-office counterparts and maintain commitments and responsibilities which they are expected to meet outside of their working hours.
Working remotely does not mean working 24/7 just as it does not mean fewer responsibilities or less of a professional commitment. You should meet the same goals as your colleagues who are onsite.
It seems like it would be more difficult to concentrate, would it?
Remote workers probably have the same background noise as office workers, whether it be listening to the radio or the phone ringing. However, remote collaborators tend to overcompensate for their lack of physical presence with a more organized method of completing tasks and daily activities.
In conclusion, I think it’s safe to say that remote work is the newest trend in the technology industry. There are plenty of advanced tools available that promote successful remote collaborations and they’re going to keep getting better.