Nearly two years after the COVID-19 pandemic forced companies worldwide to go remote, the new normal has become just that—normal. The idea of reporting to a physical workplace to clock in for a nine-to-five shift suddenly seems antiquated as more and more businesses build distributed workforces by hiring remote talent.
Statistics speak to the fast-changing attitudes about remote work. In the years leading up to the pandemic, only about 25% of U.S. professionals worked from home, even just occasionally. Now, 92% of talent expects to work remotely for at least one day a week—even after the pandemic ends. Fortunately for employers, the benefits of hiring remote workers are numerous.
Read on to discover four reasons that companies increasingly embrace the distributed workforce model.
1. Hire Top Talent, Anywhere
The days of employers being restricted to engaging talent only from their local market are over. By hiring remote talent, businesses source the best and the brightest professionals—no matter where they're located.
While resourceful global companies were building distributed workforces across international markets before the pandemic, COVID-19 accelerated the future of work for other businesses that stuck to the traditional in-person workplace model. These companies were forced to take their operations online due to social distancing mandates. After enabling SaaS solutions for functions such as virtual meetings, chat, and file sharing and storage, companies were primed to plug in talent from anywhere across the globe.
Recruiting talent from beyond the home market gives companies a larger pool from which to source talent. As a result, they can hone in on the specific skills they need and source more competitive candidates than they would while drawing from a smaller, regional pool.
2. Boost Talent Recruitment and Retention
Companies that build a distributed workforce also gain a powerful tool to recruit new talent—and retain their existing workforce.
According to a recent survey by FlexJobs, 65% of employees want to work remotely full-time following the pandemic, with just 2% wanting to return to the office full-time. Meanwhile, 58% of talent say they would seek a new job if their employer did not offer them the opportunity to work remotely. Another study says that 74% of employees would be more likely to stick with their current job if their employer provided a remote work option.
Adopting a distributed workforce model means a company is inherently set up for remote work. At the same time, it makes these employers more attractive to both current and prospective workers.
3. Meet Skill, Budget, and Timing Needs
Sometimes the right talent for a company's budget isn't in their immediate area. Or an employer needs to quickly hire a professional with a skillset that's hard to find in their home market. Companies that hire remote workers are better able to overcome both obstacles.
Consider a U.S. company looking to hire the tech talent it needs to keep up with rapid digital transformation. If based outside a prominent tech hub like Silicon Valley, Atlanta, or Austin, the company would have to consider several cost and time-intensive options to find the talent it needs:
- Set up a second office in a market with a high concentration of the desired talent
- Pay talent to relocate to their home market
- Prolong their search until the right talent became available nearby
Each of these options adds costs or time to the hiring process. That's why more and more companies are hiring remote talent to quickly and cost-efficiently bring in workers with the skills they need. By expanding their search area, companies give themselves the ability to find the talent they need more quickly. They're also able to avoid the costs and stress of relocating employees, registering their business in new states, or establishing entities in new countries.
Hiring remote talent also allows companies to build teams in markets that better meet their budgets. While it is notoriously costly to hire, for instance, a developer in San Francisco, other states or countries offer skilled talent at much more competitive rates. Engaging talent from emerging tech hubs such as Bucharest, Romania and Bengaluru, India helps companies find the right skills for their budget—assuming they are set up to hire remotely.
4. Reduce Physical Workplace Overhead
Employers that build a distributed workforce no longer need to house every employee in a central office. For many companies, this leads to significant savings on expenses related to maintaining a physical workplace.
When employees work remotely, companies can downsize their offices and cut costs on utilities, rent or mortgage, maintenance, property taxes, and more. One study estimates that each employee costs a company around $18,000 annually in physical office space.
Another study found that employers saved an average of $11,000 for every employee that spent even half their time working remotely. The savings would double to $22,000 if that employee went fully remote.
Considering these stats, it's no surprise that nearly six out of 10 employers cite cost-efficiency as a significant benefit of moving beyond the physical workspace and enabling remote work.
Make Hiring Remote Talent as Easy as Possible With a Proven Partner
While the benefits of hiring remote workers are numerous, building a distributed workforce is not without challenges.
Employers hiring across state or country lines must deal with labor laws in new markets, creating compliance risks and extra burdens for internal teams like legal, HR, and finance. These teams must carefully research local employment regulations related to taxes, benefits, talent classification, and more. Failing to adhere to these laws puts companies at risk of fines, legal fees, business interruptions, and reputational damage.
That's why companies turn to employment experts to help them build distributed workforces—easily and efficiently. Working with an Employer of Record (EoR) helps companies quickly and compliantly hire and manage talent in new states or countries. An EoR partner also takes control of everything necessary to keep out-of-market talent supported and happy—from taxes, benefits, and payroll to providing fast, localized support for remote talent. All while ensuring their distributed workforce receives an optimal employee experience.
This post originally appeared on Velocity Global's blog. See how Velocity Global can support your remote workforce.