Scaling up your business? Remote working is the way to go

While the benefits of remote working are regularly touted by employees, as a business owner — encouraging telecommuting can also benefit your business.

Hiring telecommuters gives you the opportunity to bring on board the best talent you can find, without geographical considerations. Hiring a remote worker also allows you to leverage your salary budget to achieve its greatest potential: An average NYC salary can often buy you top talent in areas with a lower cost of living.

Telecommuters may also be willing to take a lower salary for the overall flexibility that remote working provides. Many of these workers report that they can concentrate better at home versus in an office setting, which leads to better productivity gains.

Even if you’re not convinced that remote workers and freelancing will work for your company, here’s some numbers. Experts estimate that half of all employees will work at home at least 50 percent of the work week by 2020. Granting a work-at-home benefit to trusted staff can help them save time and commuting costs.

Although there are numerous benefits to telecommuting, some companies are rethinking the benefits. For example, IBM is encouraging its workforce to return to the office. The company worries that it’s losing the serendipity of chance interactions between the workforce. It hopes that forcing people into an office may increase business momentum. It’s impossible to know if this will work. Although, it’s clear that IBM feels that it doesn’t have an adequate level of communication between team members.

Telecommuting can make communication more difficult, but many workplace experts argue that eliminating work-at-home policies will just lead to a disgruntled workforce, with low productivity. Instead, if you want to successfully lead a remote workforce, you’ll need to ensure communication between team members. You’ll also need a way of managing projects that lets you track and easily determine the level of productivity of each member.

To fill this communication void, there are many project management apps and group collaboration apps. These apps will allow you to connect with your staff members whether they’re spending the day in Los Angeles or London. However, when choosing an app, it’s important to pick one that will foster the type of communication which builds strong relationships between your staff members.

At Flock, we don’t require our workers to spend the entire day at the office. Our talented workforce spans the globe, but we’re just as tight-knit as any small office of in-person workers. We joke, brainstorm and solve problems every day using our group collaboration app. The way we communicate may be different than traditional companies, but we’re getting the interaction we need to spark innovation and maintain our company culture.

Our Flock customers echo similar success stories. Employees who use our team management app report a 40-percent reduction in email and a 40-percent increase in productivity. Team members can use Flock — the all encompassing collaboration app — to get quick solutions and easily reference past conversations about each project.

They can also use Flock to praise hard work, call out members of a channel or create channels for brainstorming to solve tough problems. By committing to using a communication app, our customers are eliminating the communication problems that sometimes follow telecommuting.

Remote working can yield tremendous benefits for your company, but only if you still retain the ability to easily connect with your workforce. By creating digital conference spaces, you can retain most of the benefits of face-to-face collaboration while allowing flexibility for all members of your staff. It’s really a win-win for everyone!