The pandemic is a permanent game-changer in today’s workplace. Now that employees have experienced remote work, one of the hottest questions among companies is whether to keep working from home or go back to the office. In fact, a survey from Bloomberg exposes that 39% of working adults will consider quitting their job if it isn’t flexible for remote work. This poses an even more difficult decision for startup CEOs when planning for the best work setup for their business.
Which is better? To help you decide, we’ve narrowed down the differences and the pros and cons of office and remote work setup for businesses.
One of the best perks of remotely working is saving cost. According to Flexjobs, about a third of their 2100 respondents claim that they can save up to $5000. This is because they don’t have to spend money on their daily commute and can budget more effectively.
More than that, a huge chunk of operational cost is immediately removed from expenses by not needing to lease, rent or buy an office space for your business. This means no building maintenance fees, electricity and other utilities. Due to the nature of a work from home setup, the workplace becomes borderless and is no longer geographically limited - knowing this, most businesses choose to outsource employees from other countries for less labor cost for the same work quality.
We all know that having a remote work setup screams flexibility. With more time in your hands, the day opens up some extra hours you usually spend preparing or traveling to work. This means that teams can work more flexibly and only require a few things to start working efficiently: a good internet connection, a working computer, and a comfortable workstation to work and attend meetings at any time of the day. With the simple premise of being in one place, it is easier to decide and adjust when you want your team to start and end their working hours.
However, a setback in giving your employees flexible working hours is that there may be times when your team’s schedules do not overlap. Knowing this, it is still best to set a standard schedule of at least two to four hours where everyone in the team is at work for team meetings and collaboration.
Many companies will disagree with the idea of a remote work setup as there is a notion that this setup results in ineffective communication within the company. In offices, you only need to walk a few steps to talk with your colleagues about essential things. It is also easier to set up meetings because you have an idea about everyone’s schedules.
However, having effective communication and collaboration within a remote team is possible. Today, there are many applications and websites that companies can use to send messages and files, video meetings, real-time shared editing, and even encrypted emails for better security. There are also other digital workplaces that companies can use for collaboration and interactions.
Security is crucial in every business, especially when it comes to sensitive information and confidential files. Due to cyber hacking cases, many companies are still skeptical about implementing remote work and sending all files and information online. This pushes them to resume office work instead of a remote setup.
Nevertheless, implementing strict cybersecurity in a fully remote work setup is still possible. Proper training about the importance of confidentiality, information handling, and establishing proper dissemination procedures will increase the layer of protection your team will have as they work remotely. For example, sensitive files must be encrypted and sent securely on emails.
You can also enrol your team to a cybersecurity course to get them certified and ensure that they have understood the standard security procedure - At Remotify, we offer GDPR and cybersecurity training as optional services for all our Employer or Record customers.
The topic about the working environment between the office and remote work is debatable. Most people prefer working in the office because they like the buzz and the feeling of everyone else around them working at the same time. For them, it induces productivity and alertness in the workplace.
However, this is not the same for everyone. According to Business Insider, 54% of employees prefer retaining a work-from-home setup even after the pandemic. For them, having a quiet and comfortable place at their home helps them focus better on their work. It also gives them a better work-life balance, proving remote work is a healthy and beneficial setup.
Most people would think that working in the office yields higher productivity. There is a belief that if employees are in the office, they dedicate 100% of their time to their work. However, this is not true, as physical offices open up more opportunities to chat, socialize, and procrastinate. If your employees are the type of people who like to set a laser-sharp focus before working, a loud and busy workplace will not do well for their productivity.
Meanwhile, as people experience the remote setup, a study from Bloomberg states that there is a 5% productivity increase in companies. This is because employees can focus more on their work without the long commutes and workplace issues. With adequate discipline and time management, it is easier for them to set their mood for more productive work in a remote setup.
You must remember that there are separate legal and tax implications for operating physically and remotely. In a company with a physical office, you must abide by the state’s rules and regulations.
If you plan to have a full-on remote work setup, you must know about your state’s labor and corporate laws and the locations your employees are residing in. For example, if you are planning to hire Filipino remote workers, it will help you understand the Philippine Labor Guide to help you know your rights and responsibilities.
It is easy for companies to instill company culture in an office setup. It is more convenient to set shared behavior for your employees while seeing them physically every day. Because humans are naturally social, interactions in person may seem like the best way to build and retain company culture in the workplace.
However, a study has shown that it is possible to work completely remotely and maintain an excellent company culture with proper and direct management. If you are planning to outsource employees, you can partner with an EOR company like Remotify to make sure your company culture remains intact rather than outsourcing through a BPO where it will be harder to keep the culture. While an EOR handles the complicated human resource and legal compliance, you still have the full management prerogative for your employees.
So which is better, office or remote work? While both have their own advantages and disadvantages, we should not discount the fact that businesses require and need a physical office. However, there are also a handful of industries that may benefit more from a work-from-home setup. At the end of the day, as a CEO of a company, the decision will remain up to you and the requirements of your business model.
There are some disadvantages of working in a physical office, but we can’t deny the sensible points of the 54% percent of employees who prefer remote work setup. It offers more flexibility, work and life balance, and productivity.
Moreover, with a great sense of responsibility, initiative, discipline, and help from a dedicated Employer of Record company, all administrative complexities of remote work setup can be managed for you. An EOR company like Remotify can help you:
For more information about how we can help you make your remote team’s work from home arrangements simpler, legal, and convenient, check out Our Services at Remotify.
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