Remote Office Workers, A Trend That Works For Some OccupiersJuly 27, 2018
Corporations are always looking for ways to cut costs and work more efficiently. Some of the trends have been to build smaller offices, more open space for cubicles, smaller cubicles, and remote workers who work from home. A trend that has been around for more than ten years has been to have a portion of your work force working from home. I’ve had many conversations with clients who are following the trend, considering it, or just exploring ways to trim their office footprint by moving workers offsite. I recently ran across an article that covered this topic and I thought I’d share it with you. The article was in favor of remote workers for the following three reasons:
- Productivity – Remote workers can control their distractions.
- Teamwork – The article argues that when you work remote that you are forced to communicate with your co-workers.
- Presence – When you work remote, you have more control of your schedule and you can work around your personal needs and be available without the need to take an entire day off for illness or personal matters. In other words, if you’re sick, you will still likely work and get the essentials done for the day without taking the entire day off.
I wanted to add a few comments from my perspective on this topic:
- I believe that working remote isn’t for everyone. Other than outside sales or employees with long commutes, I don’t see a lot of companies going with this model. It’s a good tool but only works for a small percentage of the work force.
- The article I referenced above argues that amenities in your office space usually distract employees and don’t really offer a benefit. Our research has shown that creating an attractive office environment does attract employees and can offer an edge when it comes to recruiting. I do agree that if your amenities consist of beer taps and ping pong tables then you need to ask if the amenity is a distraction or a benefit?
- Noise is a distraction and prevents productivity so be cautious about moving employees with offices to a cubicle format. As an example, going to an all open office environment to just reduce your physical footprint can hurt you if you are creating an environment that is too noisy to concentrate or moving certain employees that routinely have private conversations to a cubicle layout can create problems that didn’t exist before the change. Consider the group and what their needs are before a change is made.
- It is popular for companies to create a collaborative space for employees to meet and use for ideas and meetings. This may be going the wrong way if your only goal is to reduce your footprint but it is a way for companies to create value for employees with their office space instead of just looking at it as a cost.
For some additional information on trends for occupiers, you may want to see an older post of mine from last December where I covered the pendulum swing to occupiers. The post can be found here.
For additional reading, the article I used for working remote can be found here.
Hope you enjoyed the perspective, In the comment section below, let me know if you have any positive or negative experience with remote office workers. Also, if you would like to further discuss ways you can be more efficient with your office space then give me a call or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love the opportunity to meet and see your office space.