Some of your employees want to be part of the remote workforce. Here are some things to consider.

Half of all workers will be working remotely by 2020. Working from home has become more common and in fact, the 2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce Report reported that the remote workforce has grown by 115 percent since 2005. That’s nearly 10 times faster than the rest of the workforce.

We are living in a growing digital world and it’s time to adjust to the trends. If your company is looking to switch to a remote workforce, check out these pros and cons to determine if it’s the right time for you.

Pros for the Boss

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The first thing you will want to consider is whether or not working from home will be effective for you and your company. Here are some reasons why many companies are making the switch now.

  •        Increases worker productivity – Two-thirds of managers say that employees who work remotely have seen an increase in their overall productivity. Working from home reduces productivity prohibitors such as distracting colleagues, watercooler talk, and meetings just for the sake of having meetings.
  •        Saves you money – Productivity no doubt saves you money in the long run but a remote workforce also decreases the amount of money you have to spend on overhead costs. In one study, it was found that working from home saved a company $1,900 per employee for nine months.
  •        Increases workplace diversity – Working from home increases flexibility and allows for a diverse range of employees and skills that you never had access to before. More than one-third of millennials have a side job and alternative businesses like Swagbucks, which provides cash back offers for shopping and conducting surveys, have taken advantage of their availability. Not only does working remote attract millennials, but it also keeps the older workers in the workforce longer by providing flexibility during retirement or through medical issues that may restrict movement.

Pros for the Employees

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Not only will you be happy with the results, but your employees will also love working from home.

  •        Provides flexibility – People working from home will ultimately take less sick and holiday leave because they have the flexibility to work when they want and where they want. They can still take care of their sick child while also working from home.
  •        Creates the perfect work environment – With the ability to choose when and where you work, employees can create their own environment that works best for them. It will limit distractions and allow them to work in a positive and productive surrounding.
  •        Decreases stress levels – Working from home eliminates certain stressors from employee’s lives such as the traffic that is generally associated with commuting to work and dreadful conflicts with other employees in your office space.

Cons for the Boss

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Not everything about working from home is positive though. Here are some of the negative impacts of remote work for the boss.

  •        Loss of oversight – You can no longer be the hovering boss, getting things done the way you want them. This will, however, give employees more opportunity to learn new skills or challenge them to solve problems their own way. It all depends though, on whether or not you hired the right workers.
  •        Harder to train, possibly – We all have the annual training sessions that get our employees up to speed on the company as well as mandatory services such as human resources and ethics training. However, with remote working, employees are spread far apart and it can be hard to get them all in the same place. You will have to work harder to ensure that employees can readily meet for these trainings, or offer digital training sessions.

Cons for the Employee

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The employees also have their own downside to working from home. Here are some of their cons.

  •        Longer work days – 43 percent of Americans, according to the Gallup’s State of the American workplace, say that they spend more time working when they work remotely. This is because it can be hard to turn off when your home is also your place of work.
  •        Loss of networking opportunities – Without physical contact, it’s hard to develop personal relationships with colleagues. People that work from home no longer have the constant networking opportunities that are provided when they see their co-workers every day.

We are quickly approaching the age of the digital nomad and it is important that you stay with the times. Work through the pros and cons of a remote workforce and determine if it is the right fit for you, your company, and your employees.