Remote Workforce Pros & Cons for Employers & Employees
The concept of a remote workforce is not a new idea, but the COVID-19 pandemic acted as a significant driver which accelerated the number of remote workers throughout the United States. However, as with anything else in life, there are pros and cons to remote work for both employees and the employer.
Here are some key advantages:
- Employee Engagement. The reality is, as the older population tapers out of the workforce and the younger populations enter the workforce the demand for remote work is going to be highly sought after. At the very least, employees want the option to work remotely. In fact, in a 2020 survey conducted by FlexJobs, 81% of employee reported that they would be more loyal to their employers if they had remote work options. This increased employee engagement will also help employers better retain their employees if they can offer fully or partially remote work options.
- Remote Location. Simply put, working remotely means you can work from just about anywhere if you have internet access. This is a major benefit to employees, particularly the younger generations, who hold work-life balance as a top priority and benefit from their employer. The ability to basically work from anywhere also benefits the employer because it can help reduce overhead costs and help them move closer to their sustainability goals.
Here are some key disadvantages:
- Productivity. With a remote workforce the traditional methods of managing your employees’ performance goes out the window. Now, employers must rely on creative and unconventional methods to manage employee performance which will likely see some challenges along the way to establishing an effective performance management process for remote employees. On the flipside, employees will also see challenges in their production as they don’t have the traditional onsite support that they were once used to which can lead to delays in receiving the necessary support they need.
- Talent Acquisition. An organization’s ability to recruit and acquire talented employees will be impacted one way or another. While remote work options can double as both an advantage and disadvantage, it will have a severe impact on the employers that are unable to offer remote or hybrid work options due to the nature of their work. This will especially hurt the retail industry as the majority of the frontline employees and frontline managers have to be physically present on a daily basis.
With the growing demand of the remote workforce in full effect it is important that your organization consider a remote work option for every employee possible. If your organization cannot offer a fully remote work option, for whatever reasons, the next best option is to consider a hybrid work option where employees have the ability to work remotely for part of their regular scheduled work week. All business owners and managers must keep in mind that the main goal of remote work options is to allot employees as much time as possible to work from wherever they choose. Ultimately, employees’ desire to work remotely is here to stay even after the pandemic subsides.
Ricky Torres, SHRM-CP, MSHRSM, MSM