Having passed the one-year mark of your small business operations, you’re ready to expand, but the physicality of your office space doesn’t allow for room to grow. In for another year on your lease, you’re wondering if it’s worth testing the waters of hiring a remote employee. If you send said employee the equipment necessary to complete their work and get a new general liability insurance policy to include your new staff members, your business will reap the benefits—or will it?
Here’s a list of pros and cons to think about before hiring a new remote employee, because really, you never know what can happen.
Benefits of Hiring a Remote Employee
-Larger talent pool. When hiring from within your area, you will generally be getting applicants with similar skillsets. Hiring outside of your city or state allows you to recruit people with other specialized talents and diversify your staff.
-Overhead savings. With less staff to house in an office or work space, you can scale back on rent and the amenities that come with maintaining an office. According to Kelly Services, the insurance group Aetna saves $78 million a year on utilities, housekeeping and rental spaces because they support a remote staff.
-Increased employee productivity. A survey conducted by TINYpulse found that remote employees are often happier, feel more valued and believe they are more productive working from home than in the office. When an employee feels that they are being supported by management and trusted to complete tasks, they work harder and perform better.
In an experiment conducted by Stanford in partnership with Beijing University and with the assistance of CTrip, a Chinese travel agency, researchers selected 250 of CTrip’s 16,000 employees to work remotely for nine months. The 250 employees selected were with the company’s call center, and it was found that they were more productive than their in-house colleagues. The remote staff spent 9 percent more on calls with clients and had a 4 percent increase of calls per minute.
Drawbacks of Hiring a Remote Employee
-Cyber security weaknesses. The remote employee will need to be granted access to your company’s systems. This increases the chance that a hacker can get into the system because the remote employee could be using a public Wi-Fi connection to log-in to the company portal or may visit suspicious third-party sites.
-Electronic miscommunications. If you have a question for an employee or they have a question for you, you can simply pop over to the other’s desk for clarification. This cannot be done with a remote employee. Subtleties are lost in electronic communication, and a missed or unsent email could result in an unhappy client experience.
-Misuse of company time. It’s like the tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it: if no one is there to make sure the employee is working, is the employee working? Procrastination, lack of follow through and downright laziness could eat up company time that would have otherwise been productive in the office.
There are pros and cons to every decision, but when it comes to your small business, making the right decision counts. Support your business, your employees (remote included) and yourself when you sign up for a general liability insurance plan today with CoverHound.