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Does Your Startup Need Remote Workers?

The idea of remote workers is one that’s intriguing to a lot of business owners these days. In the best of cases, it can save costs and increase productivity and flexibility all at once, and even the potential of these benefits likely explains in part why we’ve seen the rise of the “freelance economy,” of shared workspaces for remote contributors, and so on. As with many other significant changes that have affected the business world at one point or another though, it’s important not to buy into the trend just for the sake of doing so. Instead, if you’re looking to address employment needs for your own startup, ask yourself the question: Do you actually need remote workers?

The following points are worth considering closely as you look to answer that question.

At Some Point, Growth Means An Expanding Workforce

It’s natural to start this process of consideration by recognising that should all go well for your startup, you’ll likely be looking to expand your workforce at one point or another. This is a concept we covered in a piece about turning a startup into an organisation. Essentially, once a new business reaches a certain level of influence or a certain size, the strategy has to shift to building a larger organisation that can handle multiple functions and business verticals. That means hiring new people, and potentially even building entire new departments. It may be wise to consider what this might look like, and plan in advance for whether or not you’ll need those new employees or departments in one place.

You May Attract Better Employees Remotely

In a piece about the potential benefits of remote workers, American Express questioned the idea of saving money by hiring remotely – something a lot of people simply assume to be a perk. However, while this piece took a negative stance as its primary point, it also included interesting survey data suggesting that 71% of new job seekers would prefer to work remotely. This is an important number to keep in mind because it suggests the possibility that by sheer probability some of your best potential employees may be among those seeking work flexibility.

Modern Marketing Almost Demands External Contributors

Today’s startups have to engage in digital marketing if they’re to keep up with their competition – perhaps most of all in Asian markets where rapid expansion in internet access and online entrepreneurs are driving industries forward. And much of this digital marketing is well suited for remote contributions. On the subject of SEO and marketing among startups in Asia, Ayima points to various marketing techniques meant to spark growth, including big data gathering, SEO analysis, and content creation. When coordinated and upheld over time, efforts in these areas can indeed lead to significant expansion. But since most startups aren’t equipped to handle all of those efforts in-house, the need for modern marketing practices can also be an incentive to hire remote contributors.

Turnover Becomes Simpler & Cheaper

As we alluded to above, there are some doubts about the common assertion that remote employees can save company money. However, that assertion typically refers to salaries and office costs. When it comes to turnover, there is an argument to be made that remote work may ultimately lead to savings. While the numbers are different for each individual company, Huffpost did a thorough examination of turnover costs and determined that they can represent an extremely heavy burden on even a company of modest size. Not all of the costs involved in this process disappear when you’re managing employees remotely, but it’s reasonable to expect that some, related to in-person orientation and development if nothing else, could be lower.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to hire remote contributors is a tough one for any new startup. But hopefully, the points in this piece will help you to consider the idea from all angles and make the best decision for your business.

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  1. Coworking Labs

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