The move from brick-and-mortar locations to virtual or distributed offices is being embraced by companies of all stripes. Many companies are acknowledging that they’re already “halfway there,” thanks to the technology that allows employees to work from anywhere.
While some companies are transitioning in stages, others are diving in all at once—the kind of move documented by Nicola Iarocci, a code developer based in Italy. In a slideshow called “We Are All Remote Workers,” Iarocci cited chapter-and-verse why the switch was great for his company. Iarocci makes a great case for why companies should transition to a remote office scenario—and he offers a realistic view of some of the potential drawbacks.
Here are 11 reasons to switch from brick and mortar to a remote office:
Save Time and Money For Employees
Paying for commuting, lunch-time meals (especially eating out), and office-worthy clothing are all expenses that can be drastically reduced or eliminated for virtual workers.
Cut Costs for Employers
Companies that switch to a distributed workforce model stand to reap huge gains, including savings on office maintenance, utilities and overhead, supplies, and other costs associated with traditional offices.
Help the Environment
Here’s a benefit that increases exponentially with company size: The more employees who don’t have to drive or take public transportation to a brick-and-mortar office, the greater the savings, and the greater the opportunity to use telecommuting and other flexible options to reduce the carbon footprint.
Achieve Job Flexibility
Distributed employees often work on a ROWE (results-oriented work environment) basis, which means they can do their work from anywhere, at any time—as long as the work gets done, and deadlines are met.
Improve Work-Life Balance
Virtual workers often enjoy greater latitude in setting their own schedules than workers in traditional offices. That could mean greater ability to be available for family events, and an easier time stepping away from work duties in the event of a family emergency.
Cut Down on Office Interruptions
Working solo at home or in another remote environment pretty much eliminates the kinds of interruptions that are common in a cubicle-type work environment—say, office “noise pollution,” for example. Of course there’s no guarantee that you’ll be free from other kinds of disruptions to your work day.
Asynchronous Work Schedules
That’s just a fancy way of saying everyone is working on their own schedule, which also means workers are usually free to respond to emails and other work-related communications within their own timeframe. Platforms like Join.me, Dropbox, and Campfire facilitate non-synchronized work environments.
Global Recruiting Pools
Employers who make the switch from brick and mortar to a remote office have the potential to hire the best candidates not just locally, but globally. Jobs that are truly virtual can be done from anywhere, which means companies don’t have to limit their talent searches to confined geographic areas.
Evidence is mounting that flexible workers make for happier workers—which leads to a whopping decrease in stress levels. Workers who aren’t torn between deciding what’s best for their careers versus what’s best for their personal lives tend to make for more focused employees.
This one’s a direct outgrowth of decreased stress—in other words, fewer distractions and worries outside the workplace—can lead to a big boost in employee productivity. Employers are discovering that they they can offer flexible jobs without sacrificing productivity.
Enhanced Company Reputation
Increasingly, employers who can offer work flexibility as an option stand to benefit from good “word of mouth” in the job marketplace. Said differently, job seekers who are in the market for flexible work are more likely to target their searches to companies that have great reputations for offering workplace flexibility.
By Adrianne Bibby | July 9, 2015