I read an article recently about Distributed Employment, the new buzz term for working remotely, virtually, or telecommuting. I like the term Distributed Employment, as it describes in more detail the Corporate advantages of having remote workers.
Distributed Employment is gradually becoming a new normal for “progressive” Corporate America, as it saves companies a lot of money by eliminating the need to add facilities and office space to house employees. Companies save oodles by providing a laptop, cell phone, and any other equipment needed for their employees to work remotely. And, they don’t have to relocate top workers for corporate based locations.
Plus, we go bright green by saving on emissions that would otherwise be added to the atmosphere if remote employees had to commute to a corporate office daily. So why aren’t more companies embracing this concept?
I’ve heard this year from a number of companies that contact me for Recruitment and Sourcing support, that some of them still need people ‘onsite’ for the following reasons: 1) It’s their company culture 2) They need people close to their business unit managers (although many of those managers and business units are remote), and 3) They do not have executive approval for remote support.
On the flip side, those companies that are open to remote support and willing to utilize “distributed employment” practices, have nothing but positive praises for their remote workers and the overall concept of virtual working environments. It saves time and money. Period.
Remote workers start work earlier. They don’t have to dress up or take the time to commute in to an office. The commute for a remote worker is generally from the kitchen coffee maker to a designated work space or home office.
Remote workers can better control time spent in meetings, since they call in to their meetings. There is no water-cooler or cubicle loitering by office co-workers. Remote workers generally take shorter lunches. Working remotely is simply more productive.
As we have advanced technology over the years, how much time is spent in front of computers now, versus in conference rooms or face-to-face meetings? So, why are so many companies still reluctant to embrace Distributed Employment, aka remote or virtual working arrangements? Micro-management maybe? In some cases yes. Some company execs feel they don’t have the same level of control over what their employees are doing, if they can’t see them. Yuk. Who wants to be micro-managed? Uh, no one.
Another issue to progressive work environment changes is that we still have the stodgy executives with the mindset “If I have to be onsite, then so does the rest of my staff”. Really, why? If Mr. or Ms. Executive has hired a top notch team to work for them, then why does their whole team need to be onsite? Moreover, why does Mr. or Ms. Executive need to be on site all the time? After all, they hired a great group of trustworthy people to effectively run and manage their operations no matter where they are located, right?
As we move into the new year, let’s hope we see an increasing trend towards Distributed Employment for eligible employee groups (there are many eligible groups). It will surely promote ‘best in class’ hiring, sustain corporate budgets, and help save the planet. Cheers to us all for a progressive 2016!