Can Remote Work Help Businesses Scale? How To Expand In 2024

Whether you’re a startup business or an established company trying to scale, you’re probably developing a new strategy ready for 2024. Growing a business means different things to each company. Do you want to increase your number of employees? Is your aim to enter new markets? Or, do you want to open an office in a new location?

Figuring out what your goal is will help you achieve it much quicker and in the most effective manner. Increasingly, remote work is a great option that can help scale your business in more ways than one — incorporating this kind of work setup into your business could be just what you need to make your expansion plans a reality in 2024 and beyond.

Here’s all you need to know about how remote work can help you scale your business.

What options are available for hiring remote workers?

What options are available for hiring remote workers

The great thing about remote work is that there are many options available depending on your needs. For example, if you’re looking for someone with specific skills to help on a project but don’t want to hire that person as an official employee, taking on a remote independent contractor could be your best option. 

Remote’s guide to hiring independent contractors includes all you need to know about working with temporary contract workers, including the practical and legal considerations. Choosing this option may be a practical way of scaling your business, enabling you to benefit from the expertise of an external specialist without having to commit to taking on a permanent employee. 

On the other hand, you can also build a remote team of employees who work solely for your business. Onboarding someone who lives in another country, for example, has many advantages: perhaps you require an in-house employee who knows all about another country’s market, or maybe you’re looking for someone with very specific skills and you’re struggling to find anyone locally. Either way, broadening your talent search by taking on a fully remote employee can help you progress and scale up much quicker.

Lastly, you can also hire remote workers who live locally. The advantage here is that because they live within commuting distance of your office — if you have one that is; many companies are forgoing a permanent HQ — there’s still the possibility of in-person collaboration. Perhaps you have an important project that would benefit from having many brains in one room, or maybe you just like to get your team together once a week to boost morale. They can still perform their roles remotely most of the time, but this hybrid approach offers flexibility for your business and your employees.  

Does remote work create more productivity among teams?

Does remote work create more productivity among teams

If your business is going to scale, then of course you’ll need your teams to be as productive as possible. That’s where remote work comes in. Not everyone works to the best of their ability in a rigid 9-to-5 office-based environment — something that many businesses recognized as a result of the pandemic — while remote work gives employees the freedom to work when and where they feel most productive. 

If done right, working from home can improve productivity — by up to 77% according to some studies — and with an efficient remote team behind you, there’s no reason why remote work should be a barrier to business growth — quite the opposite, in fact. 

Here’s how remote work can improve productivity:

Better work life balance

The overall ‘happiness’ of an employee clearly makes a big difference to their attitude and overall work output. And when you consider that remote workers are said to be 22% happier than office-based employees, enabling remote work is likely to go a long way to creating a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce. 

Remote work promotes a better work life balance. This means that employees can divide their time between work and their personal life, instead of sacrificing hobbies, social time and their general well-being by. When staff feel that their personal lives are valued they’re more efficient, productive and motivated.

Increased motivation to complete work

As a business owner, you may be completely motivated to scale up your business but if your employees aren’t equally as enthusiastic, your overall progress is going to be slower than you’d like. Why? It’s simple: unmotivated staff members don’t care as much about their work.

However, those who are working remotely can create a work environment that works for them, and if you’re flexible with working hours — as mentioned, allowing an asynchronous working model where employees work during the hours they feel at their most productive — that can provide a further boost in productivity and motivation, too. 

Less time spent commuting

If you do have an office, even if it’s located in a central location like a city centre, not everyone is going to have the same commute time. Getting to work by bus, train or by car can often be arduous and cause your employees to arrive at work stressed, which isn’t the best mindset to start the day with — as many as 47% of people who live over 2 hours from the office would like to work remotely every single day.

In comparison, remote work can help your employees have the best start to the day. Plus, with no time spent commuting they can get started earlier, and without having to recover from the stress of a long commute. Commuting may seem like a simple part of your work routine, but the underlying stressors can affect your team and slow down their productivity.

How does remote work improve business finances?

When scaling your business, one area that needs particular attention is obviously your finances. Consider whether you have any unnecessary expenses and where you can make savings. For many businesses, the introduction of remote work has highlighted just how much money can be saved on operational costs, and that means you can use this extra cash to put towards scaling your business.

This is how remote work can save you money:

No need for an office

Global businesses such as IMB have made incredible savings by going remote. The company saved around 50 million dollars by shedding more than 58 million square feet of office space and reduced lease expenses drastically. Sounds great, right?

Even if your business isn’t on the scale of a global enterprise, if these types of companies are making the switch then there’s no reason a smaller business couldn’t benefit, too. If you don’t need an office — or you don’t require as much space as you currently have — then remote work is the perfect alternative. There’s no sense in wasting money on a space that isn’t being used to full capacity when you can grow your team remotely. 

Money can be spent in other areas

One of the most significant changes that remote work has on your finances is the opportunity to channel money into new areas. Scaling up takes time and investment, so with extra cash to play with, you can channel it into recruiting new talent, increasing your marketing efforts, streamlining your operations, and launching new growth strategies. 

Entering a new year with a strong financial plan will put you in a great position to grow as a business. If you haven’t already, sit down and take a look at which areas you can save money in — paying particular attention to your operational costs — so you can start 2024 on the right financial footing.

What are the possible drawbacks of remote work?

What are the possible drawbacks of remote work

Of course, whale remote work offers multiple advantages, you can’t ignore the potential challenges it may also present. Before you jump into a remote work setup, consider what particular difficulties you might face and where you’ll need to adapt. No style of working is completely flawless, so understanding how remote work will impact your workforce is crucial. 

Here are some of the possible drawbacks of remote working and how to overcome them:

  • Lack of direct contact with team members: Working remotely (whether that’s in the same city as your team members or in another country altogether) means there is no direct face-to-face contact. Despite this, collaborative tools such as Asana are great for project planning, whereas Slack allows you to message your employees and team members instantly. Hosting virtual events and socials are also a great way of keeping everyone connected.
  • Increased need for meetings: Again, since you can’t simply pop over to someone’s desk for a chat, there may be an increased need for meetings, which can eat up precious hours in the day. Because of this, it’s essential to schedule meetings only when they’re absolutely necessary, and set an agenda beforehand so the discussion has a clear focus. 
  • Difficulty supervising work: Often a concern for managers is not being able to ‘see’ they’re employees, and therefore it can be more difficult to measure their productivity and assess whether they’re meeting expectations. It’s important not to micromanage your remote employees — as this will cause resentment and disengagement — but scheduling regular one-to-ones and team ‘stand ups’ will help keep everyone on track.

Adopting a remote working model is a practical, cost-effective and productive way to scale your business. Going into 2024 — and far beyond that — remote work can offer access to a wider talent pool, improve work life balance, and in many cases it’s been shown to boost productivity. Is remote working right for you? 

For more advice going into the new year, check out our blog on the top 11 graphic design trends for 2024, or 5 effective ways to promote a landing page in 2024. Thanks for reading!

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