The Challenges and Benefits of a Remote Workforce

Remote work is a growing trend, not only in the US but globally as well. The digital and technological advancements of the last decade have made it possible to do your job from pretty much anywhere, as long as there’s a good internet connection.

As a result, more and more people are looking to switch from an office job to working remotely. With the pendulum swinging in favor of the talent pool’s needs, companies are complying, offering plenty of opportunities for workers to find their fix of remote working – from a few days a week to full-time from anywhere.

The Benefits of a Remote Workforce

The benefits of working remotely are adding up for both workers and for their companies. Remote work can cut costs on certain overhead expenses like office space or parking – which in many large cities can be a substantial line item. Remote workers typically don’t lose time commuting or being distracted by office noises, drive-by’s, or endless meetings. It also gives various industries and departments access to a larger pool of talent. Moreover, numerous reports show that working from home is not only convenient but also less stressful for employees, leading to an improved work-life balance and a more sustainable level of productivity.

Challenges of Managing Remote Workers

Even with all of the benefits mentioned above – there are challenges to managing remote workers. And, if you’re already following this trend as a manager or you currently oversee remote employees then you have likely experienced some pros and cons that are unique compared to employees who work in the office.

The most obvious disadvantage is that your employees are physically disconnected from the office atmosphere, from organized events, personal meetings, and other work-related activities. That can manifest as a lack of motivation and a reduction in productivity or efficiency. It can even cause employees to drift off from the organization’s goals, plans, and vision – regardless of their passion.

For a manager, it can be difficult to coordinate time zones or schedules – especially if employees work off of a loose schedule. So, it’s up to managers to apply special tactics to introduce regular opportunities to engage with the company, the values, goals, initiatives, and projects to keep motivation, job satisfaction, performance, and productivity high.

Here are a few ways you can boost morale among your remote workers.

  • Emphasize Efficient Communication
  • Acknowledge, Praise, and Reward Good Work
  • Set Clear Goals and Expectations
  • Give them a Flexible Schedule
  • Organize Get-Togethers & Community Service Activities

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