Prior to March of this year, many businesses never imagined they would be forced to go remote virtually overnight. But it happened. Businesses that do not rely on in-person contact quickly learned about Zoom – and the importance of a strong internet connection.
What many of them may not have known are the undeniable advantages and benefits remote teams offer. Let’s take a look at some of those.
Hire the Best
Some small businesses do not have the need or budget to hire full-time employees, but they do need specialized tasks in certain departments. The benefit here is that many virtual professionals today work for more than one client, and therefore have strong niche abilities. Instead of hiring a full-time admin to take care of customer service, social media posts and light bookkeeping, businesses can segment these jobs and hire the right professional for each.
For instance, a small business could hire:
- a video editor to create how-to or promotional videos for their client base.
- a bookkeeper to invoice clients, record payments and input expenses correctly for an accountant.
- a Facebook Ads specialist to create and manage an ads campaign to grow the business.
- a social media manager to create content, increase brand visibility, drive traffic, grow the business.
- an administrative assistant to handle routine administrative tasks such as phone calls, replying to customer and website emails and customer research.
- a click funnels expert to create a system to increase sales.
When hiring for positions well suited to independent contract work, businesses have more freedom to cancel contracts at any time without fear of unemployment claims. The IRS outlines the definition of each so businesses can be sure that contractors hired are not considered an employee by the IRS. A business owner can increase or decrease the hours needed by the contractor at any time, which isn’t possible for a salaried employee.
More for the Money
Many virtual professionals are passionate about freedom and flexibility, and are willing to take a small cut in pay for the opportunity to work from home. This is the case especially for moms seeking a way to prioritize their family without sacrificing their career.
This was true for Tamlin, who, after working in the mental health field for many years, found herself yearning to be at home with her four-month-old. “My husband and I knew we wanted more for our family than working 50-plus hours a week to just cover childcare,” she says. “Our dream was for me to find a remote job working from home to be able to continue to stay home. And I am so thankful I was able to do that.”
CoSo Cloud did a survey and found that 52% said of the remote workers surveyed are less likely to take time off and 30% reported accomplishing more in less time. Overall, 77% confirmed improved productivity while working from home due in part to fewer distractions like meetings, conversations and noisy coworkers.
Another money-saving benefit to remote teams is, by hiring independent contractors, a business can save around $20,000 a year in benefits, according to a study in the Wall Street Journal.
Higher Retention Rates
With the higher satisfaction of working remotely, businesses retain quality candidates for long-term jobs. This equals savings in time and money by not having to train new team members constantly.
For moms, this is especially attractive as working remotely provides a better work/life balance. For instance, a mom can take her family on a long beach weekend and work from the comfort of her condo just as easily as her home office. It’s hard to put a price tag on that.
Having a remote team also provides additional benefits to businesses and the environment. Working remotely means less traffic, less commuting and less pollution. Car emissions increase the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. And commuters don’t save just on fuel costs, either. According to the State of Telecommuting, a person can gain up to 11 days a year by not commuting.
The lessons from COVID-19 are now beginning to unfold for businesses. These shifts have been unexpected, yet the major advantages in remote work can help companies stay successful as they strive toward the future.
Lesley Pyle is the founder of HireMyMom.com, a boutique service connecting small businesses with virtual professionals across the country. Pyle was named one of “50 Women Entrepreneurs Who Inspire Us” by Self-Made magazine and has been featured in numerous publications, among them Forbes, Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal and USA Today.