Remote work is a growing trend in the workplace today. More companies are allowing employees to work from home, or hiring workers from all around the world to work on the same team via internet.
To many who are considering testing the waters, it sounds like a possibly messy affair—what if the team can’t communicate well, or employees aren’t as productive?
But in truth, there are many of benefits to having a remote customer service strategy, and most employers find that things run just as smoothly if not better than the traditional office setting.
1. Increased efficiency
Think of all the time saved when working remotely. Commuting and getting ready for the office, can eat up up to 2 hours each day. Office distractions such as gossip and coffee breaks disappear. Employees who work from home or remotely can maximize their time and spend more time actually working than those who work in an office.
2. Low cost
There are many costs associated with having a physical office space: rent, cool furniture and office supplies, maintenance employees and utilities to name a few. Not only can you save money by employing remote workers, but your employees can save money, too. They can easily save on gas, transportation and eating out. Not to mention, they won’t have to worry about purchasing a separate work wardrobe.
3. Flexible hours
Did I mention the flexible hours? Employees who prefer to work late nights or very early in the morning can do so, while other employees can maintain a regular 9-to-5 schedule. Employers can more easily schedule 24/7 customer support by hiring workers in different time zones or with different work hour preferences. You won’t have to worry about when employees will be in the office, or who’s coming in late.
4. Work from anywhere
Allowing the freedom to work from anywhere is seen a great benefit by many employees, especially millennials or those with families to take care of. Employees can choose to work from home or to go wherever they are most comfortable. As a result, it’s easier for employees to have a work-life balance and they will in turn be more likely to stay with you for the long-term.
5. Pay less vacation days
It’s a win win because employees are able to travel more and you won’t have to pay as many vacation days. Working remotely enables employees to travel and/or take vacations without taking time off work, so you get more bang for your buck.
6. Less sick days
The same goes for sick days. An employee who has a cold might take the day off if they have to go into an office, but that same employee might keep working if they can work from home. Employees with children also appreciate the ability to work from home, as they won’t be forced to take days off for sick kids.
7. Increased productivity
A study conducted by Pennsylvania State University recently suggested that employees who work remotely are actually more productive than those who are required to be in an office at set times. Another study published in Harvard Business Review showed that employees who work from home are so productive, they gain the equivalent of an extra work day every week. It seems counterintuitive to many people, but the evidence proves without a doubt that working remotely increases productivity.
8. Workplace happiness
The same study from Penn State also showed that employees who work remotely feel that they have a better work-life balance. Allowing employees to work from home can relieve a lot of the stress that comes with an office job, like worrying about kids at home or feeling like too much time is spent at work. Happier employees are more likely to give their best effort and stay in the company.
9. Environmentally friendly
As part of the corporate social responsibility program of your company, join the green bandwagon. Remote work is not just good for you and your employees, it’s also good for the environment. Think of all the gas your team uses to get to work each day, all the electricity it takes to power an office building and all the paper printed. All this can be reduced and even eliminated through remote employees.
10. Bigger talent pool
Talent acquisition no longer limits itself to geographical boundaries. Hire the most competitive and talented workforce worldwide. You no longer have to worry about not being able to find a certain area skillset within your area.
Besides all the benefits it can offer your business, having a remote customer service strategy is just plain convenient. Employees will appreciate the extra time and money they save by not commuting. You’ll avoid the stress of managing a physical office space.
Both you and your team will have more time and energy to put into providing great customer service, which in turn will make clients happier. Remote customer service is the way of the future, and it’s time to get out of the office and embrace the benefits of working remotely.