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Why small businesses would benefit from remote work

The world of digital is well and truly here to stay, in fact it is growing at a crazy rapid pace. This also means that the world of work and growing a business is changing.

Working remotely, whether from home or a co-working space, full time or once a week, is no longer a disadvantage.

New technologies allow workers and entrepreneurs to have meetings with team members from just about anywhere with an internet connection, as well as access work files via laptops or smartphones through cloud storage.

However, though there are plenty of benefits of hiring remote workers only a small percentage of vacancies are advertised as flexible or remote.

On the flip side, the trend is becoming increasingly popular in small businesses and in the NGO and social sectors.

Essentially small businesses in particular are not taking up permanent office spaces, instead choosing to run their business and manage their team remotely.

So, what are the key benefits to remote work you ask?

Opening up the playing field

The biggest benefit to businesses is that remote work and flexible practices will help recruit and retain talented staff. Offering remote work widens the talent pool and allows for a truly global workforce. Flexible practices also increase commitment and loyalty of staff members. It also allows small businesses in particular to contract those who are self-employed as a gateway for experienced people to get back into the workforce.

Diversity & Inclusion

Rather than having to chose from just the local applicants, remote work allows businesses to be more flexible in their hiring process. Giving the opportunity to hire diverse talent from not only different backgrounds, but also different countries. It also means a higher chance of inclusivity; applicants with disabilities or who face difficulty with a work commute have a chance at applying for work they are trained in and are passionate about. Which in turn would help with inclusive and fair marketing campaigns, business strategy and potentially even the companies’ CSR.

It’s attractive to parents

Parents, women in especially, find it difficult returning to work, despite representing a great pool of experienced talent. This talent pool is a missed opportunity. According to the Guardian 40% of managers avoid hiring younger women to get around the issue and costs of maternity leave: ‘The cost of maternity leave is too high and women ‘aren’t as good at their jobs’ when they return’ according to a survey of 500 managers.

Wider reach

Hiring remote talent leads to a global workforce that not only are loyal but also ambassadors for the businesses they work for. This leads to a wider reach across the country, or even globally. You can also base team members in different countries or in cities that you want to target with your products or services. Essentially by hiring applicants based elsewhere you are reaching new audiences for free.

It can be much cheaper

Small business that literally start up from their kitchen tables, can expand their team without having to fork out huge sums for company office space before they’re ready, or ever in fact. Bills would be less with team members working remotely and the amount or resources needed would be significantly reduced.

Work/life balance for employees

There have been many surveys to show how flexible and remote work can benefit people’s wellbeing and work life balance. As well as their productivity, creativity and loyalty to the work that they do. Not only this but it allows people to live where they want, near their families or on their farm but also continue with their career and earn a living. This all becomes a more attractive prospect for new employees which in turn also reduces employee turnover.

I have been working remotely on my own business and with others for 5 years now. It’s meant that I’ve been able to hire and contract people from all over the world and more importantly get different perspectives towards important changes and decisions that would impact the businesses. The ability to build a business from the ground up has in fact relied on having a virtual team of mostly freelancers whom without I wouldn’t be where I am today.

There is a big place for remote work and I believe it is time for more businesses across the board to take advantage of this way of working, because it is the future.

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Natalia Komis is an intuitive business mentor, marketing strategist, serial entrepreneur, creative activator and the founder of Remote Mission. She is known for her entrepreneurial mission-led projects that empower the visionary leaders of tomorrow.

Her creative and holistic approach to business and marketing is revolutionising the way we see and do work and 'making a living'. While her unique and modern businesses, programs and concepts, allow others to embrace their individuality, discover their true calling and create and accelerate memorable businesses that solve problems in order to make a positive difference in the world.