This is a guest post for the MELD Coworking blog written by Lisa Michaels.
When we think of a business, we often equate the organization with a physical location or office setting. In a digitally connected world, however, the need for traditional office space has greatly diminished.
If there is no office, there is no rent, mortgage, utility, or maintenance expenses. It is estimated that U.S. companies could save $700 billion if the workforce could work remotely just half the time.
On average, employers can save $11,000 per part-time telecommuter employee. Each employee could save an estimated $2,000 to $7,000 a year with the option to work remotely.
This is a serious amount of money that could be better invested in other areas of the business.
Here are five more reasons why you can still succeed without a traditional office.
1. You Do More Core Work
Not all of us thrive in an office environment. For some people, like introverts, a bustling office setting can be rather limiting and affect their productivity and the quality of their output.
Studies have shown that remote employees, compared to office workers, can spend up to 58 more hours doing core work over a year. That’s a lot of hours of productive work you can reclaim by cutting commutes to the office and slashing common office distractions.
Your business success doesn’t depend on your office – it depends on the focused work you put into it. Having the freedom to work from wherever you want makes it much easier to plan your day around the tasks that will propel your business forward.
2. You Can Still Access Great Talent
Previously, one of the biggest hindrances to recruiting top talent was finding candidates in the immediate area or someone willing to relocate for work. Also, considering a shortage of qualified candidates in certain industries, this could have meant your position was nearly impossible to fill.
However, when you no longer have to limit candidates to who can make the daily commute to your office, the talent pool exponentially expands. Instead of focusing on who is local, you can hire the truly best, most qualified candidate for the position from anywhere in the world.
It also serves as a great equalizer in talent acquisition. Hiring remotely has shown to reduce bias and increase opportunities for marginalized groups like women, people with disabilities, and veterans.
Employers can also expand beyond their country’s borders to find talent in underserved populations that may have fewer employment opportunities on their home soil.
3. You Don’t Need an Office to Network
In a traditional office setting, you and your employees are generally limited to interacting with fellow employees, clients, and, potentially, vendors.
In the digital business landscape, there are many excellent networking opportunities available online. The efficacy and accessibility of online events make them convenient for business owners and employees alike.
When you establish a remote business model, your team can also access coworking spaces when they are craving a change of scenery or human interaction.
As more companies adopt an office-less remote model, coworking spaces are becoming more commonplace. Forecasted numbers predict that over 1 million employees will be accessing coworking spaces in the U.S. by 2022. That is up from just over 500K working from coworking spaces in 2015.
Coworking spaces introduce new opportunities to network with other companies. The result could be new collaborations or partnerships that benefit all parties involved.
At the very least, networking with other professionals can inspire creativity and spark new ideas that may have otherwise never come into fruition.
4. Your Employees Will Still Be Happy
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers were forced to quickly transition their team to fully or partially remote to slow the virus spread. Although there was not much time to prepare and adjust, many employees have discovered that remote work has plenty of benefits and wouldn’t mind keeping that arrangement.
According to a recent study, 54% of employees surveyed said they would prefer working remotely to be their primary function. More than 75% said they would enjoy the option to continue to work remotely at least part of the time.
A big contributor to employees’ preference to work remotely is work-life balance. Working from home eliminates some of the employment stressors, such as commuting, unnecessary meetings, interruptions, and dress code. The need for childcare is reduced for many parents.
While there are multiple advantages to remote work, it also presents new challenges for employees. To help your team adapt and make the best of remote work, here are a few points you can help them with:
5. You Can Continue With Meetings
Face-to-face meetings in the office can become a significant waste of time. If travel is involved, it can also be an expensive endeavor. You may have identified with the phrase “this meeting could have been an email.”
With emerging virtual meeting tools like Zoom and Skype, businesses are discovering just how valuable video conferences can be. It eliminates the time and costs associated with travel.
It also offers a quick opportunity to have verbal communication and it helps remote working teams to stay connected.
When there’s a need to gather your employees or meet with clients in person, you can always rent a meeting spot in a coworking space. It’s more professional and effective than meeting in public places like cafés or restaurants, and it costs a fraction of what you’d pay for an office space.
Not only is it completely possible to run a successful business without an office, but there are also even notable advantages for working 100% remotely.
Companies around the world are discovering the benefits of ditching traditional business office settings without sacrificing the success of their business.
From saving and reinvesting the money they’d usually spend on overheads to being able to tap into a wider talent pool, businesses can greatly benefit from transitioning to fully remote teams.
About the Author:
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor, and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.