Employees today want to work remotely. This is no longer a trend — remote work is here to stay. A survey conducted by social media-management company Buffer found that 99% of respondents would like to work remotely at least partially for the rest of their careers.
While keeping your workers happy and engaged, remote work can also have a substantial impact on a company’s bottom line. A study by researchers at Harvard Business School found that when allowed to work away from the office, workers’ productivity increased by 4.4% — and the researchers estimated that this increase would add $1.3 billion of value to the US economy each year.
More than one in four IT workers are remote, according to a recent Technology Skills and Sourcing survey by Andela. The survey was conducted in partnership with Foundry, with 211 enterprise IT decision-makers from the US, the UK, and Germany. Only 17% of leaders surveyed expect a decrease in the size of their remote IT over the next year, while 29% expect an increase and 54% expect no change.
To build a strong and agile tech team, hiring globally can do wonders for your business. Fifty-four percent of respondents also said their organizations prefer to expand their search for tech talent beyond their home region or country.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of bringing on remote talent, as cited by our survey:
1. Business continuity during disasters or emergencies
A distributed workforce means that when one part of the world is experiencing an emergency — such as a natural disaster, cyberhack, or lockdown — you’re not suddenly left without staff or specialized skills. Workers in other regions can jump in where needed, take over urgent projects, and continue to provide around-the-clock customer service and IT support, ensuring business can resume without delay no matter the circumstance.
This was the biggest benefit cited by IT leaders—53% stated this as a primary benefit of a remote team.
2. Workforce flexibility
With employees scattered across different time zones, companies can address internal bugs or issues as soon as they arise — without having to wait for their IT team to wake up in another region. Any tech you rely on can run smoothly at all times.
Remote teams can also get projects done faster because they’re able to capitalize on their overlapping hours while also leveraging their respective time zones to pass off assignments to their distant peers seamlessly. Rather than worry about the day ending with something incomplete, managers can coordinate with team members in other regions to get whatever’s left over the finish line. Almost half—44%—said workforce flexibility was a top benefit of remote workers.
3. Expanded talent pool
Hiring remotely immediately widens your pool of talent by giving you greater access to skilled technologists. Borderless hiring is where people with the right tech skills work — and live — in their home country, but are employed by a company in another country. It gives you more options and flexibility of choice. Gartner Group reports that 58% of firms are currently practicing “borderless” hiring, a figure that has doubled in the last three years.
By considering candidates based anywhere, you also may come across niche or valuable skills you couldn’t find before. In addition, if you’re looking to implement new tech or systems fast, remote and borderless hiring makes it possible to hire the most qualified candidate, rather than compete for the same limited, local network of engineers. Of those surveyed, 43% said access to an expanded talent pool was a benefit of the shift to remote work.
Diversity is another upside to hiring global, remote workers. A 2020 McKinsey report on diversity in the workplace found that the greater representation companies have, the higher likelihood of them outperforming their peers. If you have clients — or want to attract clients — from around the world, it also helps to have your staff reflect those same regions. You’re able to bring in staff with unique, often unmatched experience and a fresh perspective that will force your organization to think outside the box or catch mistakes you’ve missed in the past.
4. Higher productivity
Forty-four percent of US respondents and 48% of UK respondents to Andela’s survey said higher productivity was a benefit of remote teams. The research backs this up: A 2022 Future Forum Pulse Report found that workers who had full schedule flexibility to choose when and where they work reported 29% higher productivity and 53% greater ability to focus than workers with no ability to shift their schedule.
When workers are trusted to work from the locations that best suit their needs, they’re often more engaged and fulfilled in their roles. Remote work also removes distractions that hinder productivity, such as loud offices, and gives workers time back in their days by cutting out the need to commute.
5. Supports sustainability goals
Remote work is better for the environment and 39% of leaders said that being able to support sustainability was a perk of working remotely. Workers no longer waste resources like gas or contribute to carbon emissions because they don’t have to travel by air or car to do their jobs. Companies, meanwhile, don’t have to provide heating or electricity for their offices.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the largest share (28%) of greenhouse gas emissions in 2021 came from the transportation sector, while the second-largest share (25%) came from electricity production. If your organization is keen on hitting their sustainability goals — and wants to save money — hire globally and allow workers to set up shop wherever, rather than investing in wasteful office space.
6. Lower overhead costs
Remote work isn’t just sustainable — it also cuts significant costs for businesses by removing the need to purchase and maintain physical workspaces. A report from research-based consulting firm Global Workplace Analytics estimated a US employer can save on average $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year. That’s likely a factor behind the 31% of those surveyed who said reduced costs contributed to their support of remote work.
Instead of paying for often unnecessary utilities, remote companies are able to onboard and engage staff with plenty of other low-cost benefits, tools, and software.
Demand will continue to increase for global remote talent
Our recent survey showed that 83% of enterprises say the number of remote employees will increase or remain the same over the next six months.
It’s time to rethink your workforce strategies to incorporate remote and borderless hiring.
Mastercard Foundry, a subset of the financial giant Mastercard, needed to expand its engineering team to scale the products that had started showing market promise. So they tapped into Andela’s global private marketplace of skilled technical talent. As a result, Mastercard Foundry was able to staff more than 10 projects globally, sourcing more than 20 technical skills competencies with remote talent that worked seamlessly with the rest of their team, in just weeks.
Scale your tech team quickly with certified talent with Andela. Learn more.