by Chuck Chapman
We spend a lot of time here on RLI talking about the benefits of working remotely to both employees and employers. But what about those who do the hiring? What about those wonderful souls in Human Resources, the ones often playing “bridge-builder” to ensure both employee and employer are satisfied?
If you’re in HR, listen up and spread the word. The ever-increasing remote workforce will impact your job considerably. The good news is that might not be such a bad thing at all.
Let me offer all you HR folks four questions (which I’m sure you’ll answer affirmatively) and tell you how an increase in the remote workforce applies.
What if you had access to an unlimited supply of talent?
One of the most frustrating parts of HR work is finding the right candidate in your market. With most companies either not offering relocation packages or reserving them for executive hires, this shrinks the talent pool considerably. One HR professional told me it’s sometimes like trying to “find the 6-inch blue fish with a square fin” to find the right match of skills and experience within a given market.
By opening up your hiring to remote candidates, those restrictions disappear. So what if the perfect candidate for your position lives 500 miles away. He/she can be “in the office” every day virtually and will most likely be far more productive than the local candidate you had to settle for.
What if you could drastically reduce absenteeism?
When employees are absent, work doesn’t get completed. When work doesn’t get completed, companies suffer. No, I’m not moving into a DirecTV ad. I’m pointing out that remote workers are absent from work far less often than their traditional office counterparts. In fact, a recent survey showed that 69% of remote workers reported lower absenteeism.
It just makes sense. Traditional office workers have to miss work for a variety of reasons: personal and family illness, doctors appointments, kids’ events. All of these things can rob an entire day from traditional workers. Remote workers, on the other hand, don’t have to worry about getting their co-workers sick. Unless they’re bed-ridden, they can still work with a cold. They can also squeeze personal appointments into their day and not lose time having to get dressed or commuting. The things that used to rob employees of an entire work day now only require a portion of it.
What if you could reduce employee turnover?
Of course, chronic absenteeism results in greater employee turnover. But so does job dissatisfaction and stress. These factors are also reduced by having a remote workforce. For the HR professional, that means not having to return to square one and advertise the job again. Instead of filling and refilling a constantly changing staff, HR now has the time to actually improve the culture and make the organization more productive and rewarding.
What if you could reduce human resource expenses?
All of the above challenges facing traditional HR departments come with a price tag. It costs to relocate. It costs to replace workers. Remote workforces drastically lower those expenses.
But consider also that remote workforces are also less “traditional” in that more and more contract and part-time workers are being used. That means less expense with regard to employee benefits. And not only is the company saving money on office space and overhead, HR teams save money by not having to offer various office perks. Remote employees drink their own coffee, make lunch in their own kitchens, and don’t require a company exercise room or ping-pong table.
If you’re an HR professional reading this, you’re probably salivating right now and thinking, “How can we do this?” First, share RLI with your decision makers. Let them see the great support we offer to leaders of remote workforces. Second, pass along an invitation to our course on starting and managing remote teams. We can help your leadership avoid any pitfalls of transitioning to a remote workforce and help your organization become much more efficient and productive.