We’re fast moving to a more digital, online based world. As consumers, we’ve been able to shop online for years, but technologies that are developed on what seems like an almost continual basis are allowing for businesses to benefit in various commercial ways, with having completely remote, home based staff one of them.
But just because you’re able to have home based staff, does that mean you should? Is it really the best move to make or can it end up damaging your business? Here we take a look at the questions you should ask yourself when you’re looking to make the decision on the location of your staff when developing and expanding your small business.
Do you actually need on-site / off-site staff?
Just because you don’t actually need your staff to be on-site and the technology is readily available to allow for such working, it doesn’t mean that you have to have staff working away from the office.
There’s no doubt it can have its benefits, but is there an actual need for it within your small business?
Similarly, if you’re just wanting to keep your staff working in an office as you’re going for the ‘traditional business’ feel, is this the right thing to do? Again, on-site workers can be great for business, but do you actually need them?
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How does your budget look?
Possibly the most crucial aspect to consider when looking at the working location of your staff is the cost implication.
Sure, having your staff working from home might mean you can save on office costs, water, gas, electricity and all of the necessary equipment, but what about the technology you’ve got to invest in?
There’s a very good chance it could work out to be cheaper than an office, but when you’ve priced it together, you may just be surprised at how close the prices are.
For example, you need to remember that in many instances, staff working from home are very often freelancing, meaning you only pay one fee, whereas with staff working from an office there’s not only salaries to consider, but pensions, health care and a variety of other benefits and requirements.
Could you effectively manage your staff?
No matter what type of business you have and the type of manager you are, you need to feel comfortable managing your staff and therefore one of the key points you need to consider when looking at your staff’s working location is how you could best manage them.
Having staff working in an office might make it easier for some to manage them, but if you’re not going to be working in the office yourself much or you find it difficult to manage staff face-to-face, remote staffing could be the perfect option.
As technology develops, it’s affecting businesses of all shapes and sizes in a variety of ways and having home based staff is becoming more and more of a possibility. Just because it is an easy option, however, it doesn’t mean it’s the right one for your small business and it’s absolutely imperative you feel comfortable in any decision you make.
Note: This article was originally published on May 8, 2012.