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8 Reasons Why You Should Consider Remote Workers as a Startup

By Preethi Jathanna

Senior Writer for HR and Remote Work

51 - Reasons Why You Should Consider Remote Workers as a Startup

So, you run a startup. And it’s going pretty well: your customer base is growing, your revenue is building, and there’s an increasing demand for your product or service. Plowing on solo might be an option, but it’s likely at this stage that you’ll need to consider bringing in some new recruits to ensure you can keep growing without becoming overwhelmed.

Do you invest in a shiny new office, then, and fill it with eager new hires from the local area? You could, of course, but as a startup with limited capital, recruiting remotely is surely a more attractive (and more feasible) option. Why? Here are 8 reasons to consider remote workers as startup -

1. They Can Better Suit Your Needs

As a startup taking its first tentative steps into recruitment, finding the right talent is key: you’ll want to ensure that your new hires possess the requisite skills and experience, of course, but also that they’re the right fit for your growing organization. When you restrict yourself to hiring locally (within reasonable commuting distance of a central office, for example), you’re inevitably going to find the available talent pool is fairly limited.

Recruit remotely, on the other hand, and location is effectively no longer an issue. The upshot? The talent pool is significantly larger — you can theoretically recruit in faraway towns, cities, or even other countries — meaning you’re less likely to have to make geography-related concessions when it comes to sourcing the ideal candidates.

2. They Can Keep Costs Down

Naturally, most startups will need to keep a close eye on their expenditure, ensuring that they’re channeling funds to the appropriate areas without spending excessively on non-essentials. And when you’re ready to take on your first new employees as a fledgling business, remote hiring is often the most cost-effective solution.

For one thing, there’s no need for ample office space — maybe you have no physical HQ at all, or perhaps you rent a small office space to facilitate occasional face-to-face collaboration — while being able to hire remotely in areas with comparatively low living costs may mean you can take on talented workers at a fraction of the cost of doing so locally.

3. They Can be Onboarded Smoothly

For a startup with a rapidly-expanding to-do list, taking on new hires can help to significantly lighten the load. That said, between managing your own schedule and getting your new recruits up and running (factoring in training, HR processes, etc.) you can often find yourself with more on your plate than before.

In a remote environment, however, the onboarding process is often more straightforward, since it can mostly be managed through a centralized, virtual environment: you can provide on-demand access to all necessary training and policy documents, while you can use resource scheduling software to assign their first tasks and projects.

Of course, onboarding promises to be slightly more complex if you’re hiring a team member remotely from overseas, but there are ways reduce the stress associated with this: services like Remote, for example, can help you scale your startup globally while taking care of necessities such as international payroll, tax, and local labor regulations.

4. They Can Offer Elevated Productivity

Sure, there are still business leaders out there who denounce the merits of working remotely: AttendanceBot lists a range of reasons, but the most commonly advanced is that productivity and visibility are inherently tied. Is this true, though? Well, several work-related studies paint a contrary picture, with one finding that 77% of workers who spend time working remotely show increased productivity (and 30% actually do more work in less time).

Why is this? Well, one argument is that remote work reduces distractions — offices are often noise-filled places where interruptions are frequent — allowing a greater level of concentration and focus. But it’s principally because most remote workers enjoy a greater work-life balance, and overworked employees are rarely more productive than those who have a manageable work schedule.

5. They Can Increase Your Time-zone Coverage

With remote work enabling startups to take location out of the equation when recruiting staff, they can theoretically employ across borders and time-zones — with one upside of this being that they have more coverage around the clock. This could be a particular advantage for customer-facing businesses, for example, who need to field customer queries 24/7.

Making this work, however, is dependent on asynchronous working, a practice that negates the need for employees to work to the same schedules. A solid async model enables wider time-zone coverage by allowing your employees to perform time-sensitive tasks, contribute to projects, and support their colleagues even when their calendars don’t align. 

6. They Can Bring Further Diversity

Remote teams are often more diverse, since it’s theoretically more feasible for people from a range of cultural, social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds to come together and collaborate when location is not a factor. Removing physical barriers in the recruitment process often removes cultural barriers in the workplace, too.

Why is a diverse workforce a more effective workforce? Well, diversity encourages a range of perspectives, opinions, and ideas from a team of people drawing from their own unique experiences, often resulting in a greater ability to innovate, explore previously-untapped opportunities, and find novel solutions to problems.

7. They Tend To Be Happier

We briefly touched on the importance of work-life balance, but it’s one of the primary reasons why many people prefer to work remotely: one study revealed that employees who have the opportunity to work from home are 24% more likely to feel happy in their roles, with less risk of burnout and a reduction in long, stress-inducing commutes. 

Happy, healthy employees tend to be more productive — it stands to reason that stress, disillusionment, or ailing health are not particularly conducive to productivity — but they’ll also take fewer sick days. That’s highly beneficial for a startup with only a handful employees, since one person’s absence can have a significant impact on workload.

8. They’re More Likely to Stick Around

Remote workers tend to stay in the roles for longer, with one survey of US employees finding that companies allowing remote work experienced 25% less turnover than those who insist on office-based working. A healthy work-life balance is surely one reason for this, while a remote-first approach also lowers the possibility of employees leaving for relocation reasons. 

Of course, remote work alone won’t ensure that you retain your top performers — there’s also an onus on you as a business to keep them engaged through development opportunities, recognition programs, and so on — but it can certainly help. Hiring new staff is costly and time-consuming, and that’s why retention of talent is so key for startups. 

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