An impressive 79 percent of knowledge workers globally now work outside the office, according to the 2015 PGi Global Telework Survey.

Remote working is undoubtedly on the rise. Companies are increasingly choosing to hire staff who telecommute. Remote working brings a range of benefits to businesses but it also presents some serious challenges. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of taking on remote employees to your team.

Pros

1. Lower Costs

Remote workers can save businesses a lot of money. With no desk space required in your office, employers can save money on real estate hire, heating and lighting bills, cleaning and all the other expenses associated with running a physical office. On top of that, with less travel expenses and a lower cost of living in other countries, businesses can potentially pay top talent less.

2. Wider talent pool

Employing remote staff removes any geographical barriers. With no visa constraints, the world really is your oyster. Instead of competing for talent with other firms in your local market you can hire talent from Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia. No matter where your business is based, you can get people with the right skill sets that you need if you’re prepared to take on remote workers.

3. Increased productivity

Remote working is shown to have positive effects on workers’ productivity. Without water-cooler-banter, office gossip and flirtations, remote staff have far fewer potential distractions than their office bound colleagues. In addition, remote workers are nearly twice as likely to work more than 40 hours a week, according to Inc. Magazine.

Cons

1. Security issues

Employees working from home presents a serious security challenge. Without the security measures of your business network and precautions to protect against attacks, sensitive data is more at risk when in the hands of staff at home. Hacking and data breaches are more likely to happen where there is less security, which is often the case out of the office.

2. Miscommunication

Working with remote staff presents numerous opportunities for poor communication and misunderstandings. When all communication is conducted virtually, even if all remote workers speak excellent English, there’s a higher chance that details will be lost in translation. Without the ability to talk directly to colleagues and managers, remote staff lack the option to double check and may make more mistakes.

3. Integration

Fitting in your remote team with the rest of your staff can be difficult. Remote workers may feel left out and can find it more difficult to connect with and understand your company culture. Additionally, remote workers may be siloed, with less opportunities to vary their role, make use of their talents or be promoted. In the long run this can cause big problems.

How to implement it

If you do decide to take on remote workers, it’s important to have clear overview.

Employee monitoring software is an excellent way to keep an eye on and protect your remote team.

Solutions such as KnowIT can be installed remotely onto all company devices and record exactly what apps and websites you staff are using as well as monitor their communications.

It’s an excellent way to see what your remote team is working on and when. In addition, managers can monitor sensitive files and data and be informed if any hacks or data breaches occur.

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