The COVID-19 pandemic has been such an outright disaster that it’s really difficult to find any silver linings. But if we have to then the growth of remote working culture in the IT industry can be considered as the biggest unseen benefit of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 pandemic forced every IT company in the world to resort to remote working. Even the staunch opposer of remote working practice has to hire remote developers in times of COVID-19 to sustain their IT business.
Even before the pandemic, there was a huge section of the population which supported remote working culture. However, it has also had a lot of people who were sceptical on the feasibility aspect of the practice. With COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is for sure that remote working is absolutely possible in the IT industry and it’s here to stay for a long time if not forever.
Tech leaders adopting the remote working culture
Remote working culture is on a rise. All the leaders in the tech industry have already started to leverage its benefits by hiring offshore development teams. Let’s have a look at how these tech leaders are employing remote work culture in their organisation.
As per the Washingtonpost.com, Twitter announced that a majority of their employees would be able to work remotely forever.
Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg announced to move half of the Facebook’s operations remotely in a span of 5-10 years. He also said that Facebook is looking to aggressively start remote hiring.
HubSpot’s Director of Acquisition Matthew Howells-Barby said in an interview that his team has already started to work in a remote environment. He also added that it has worked really well for them.
In May, Coinbase announced that it’s planning to adopt the ‘remote-first’ policy for their company.
Popular eCommerce provider Shopify has also said that most of their employees will work from home in 2021.
Top benefits of remote working based on research
Remote work benefits are not just assumptions. These are proven with studies, surveys, and data. These data will clear all your doubts as to how outsourcing an app development can be beneficial.
Remote working increases productivity
Many people are sceptical regarding remote work as they think that this practice can’t be productive since it has numerous interruptions and no supervision. Even if these points are somewhat valid, they fail to paint the complete picture.
It’s because remote working is much more than that. Remote working comes with utmost flexibility and convenience which remote resources value a lot. They cherish these benefits so much that they are willing to work for extra hours in the night and even on the holiday to compensate for the wasted time.
These are not just baseless claims. As per the survey conducted by CoSo Cloud on its remote resources:
- Around 23% of the employees said that they are willing to work for longer hours to get their work completed.
- 52% of employees said that they are less likely to take off.
- 30% of employees said they were able to accomplish more in less time.
- 77% of the employees confirmed increased productivity while working remotely.
All these stats prove that outsourcing is the successful model to extend your team.
Offshore developers are cost-efficient
Remote working is a boon for startups which work on a tight budget. This is because remote working has proved to save a huge amount of money. Let’s have a look at some facts to see how cost-efficient remote working is.
If you’re looking to rent an office then it may cost you somewhere around $100 per square feet. This cost doubles if it’s a prime location like New York, Hong Kong, Paris, or London.
So, if you’ve got a team of 50 members, then you’ll require at least 6,000 Square feet of space assuming that each member would need 100 square feet along with common areas such as reception, lunchroom, meeting room, storage, etc.
So, even if we take the average rent of $75 per square feet then it will cost you $450,000 per year. Moreover, if you add other costs such as office supplies, furniture, computer systems, utility bills, and maintenance, then the total cost would be somewhere around $600,000 per year.
This means that you can save around $600,000 a year with remote work.
A report by Global Workplace Analytics suggests that start-ups and businesses can save up to $11,000 per person a year with remote work.
If it’s a large company that has over 1,000 employees then the savings can be in millions. For instance, AT&T saved approx. $30 million a year by offering telework programs in real estate.
This was just one aspect of it. Secondly, hiring remote developers is also cost-efficient as you can hire skilled remote developers at more affordable rates as compared to the developers of US and European countries.
Many IT companies are leveraging this by hiring offshore remote developers from developing countries in Asia and South America. The below chart compares the minimum and maximum hourly rates of remote developers across the various regions of the world.
Remote resources are healthier
Health is emerging as a major concern for all the resources working in the IT industry. It’s mainly due to the sedentary nature of the work. Developers sitting for long hours are causing serious health complications.
Serious health conditions obesity, diabetes, blood pressure, and high cholesterol are increasing in among the developers. Not only this, but as per the study, office workers are more prone to alcohol abuse, obesity, and other problems that are associated with physical inactivity.
Office workers are also highly susceptible to contagious diseases and the spread of germs and viruses. We are currently living in the age of COVID-19 pandemic, and working in the office in these times is nothing less than a grave danger.
Studies also show that people who share office generally take more sick leaves as compared to remote workers.
It has also been observed that employees working in the office take more fake sick leaves as compared to that of the remote workers. Careerbuilder in its study found that as many as 35% of the employees took fake sick leaves. Most of these leaves were taken on Fridays and Mondays.
By adopting the remote working culture, companies can ensure that they resolve all the above issues. Remote work benefits developers’ health significantly as it frees them from sitting on a chair for long hours.
Secondly, it eliminates the fear of transmission of contagious diseases. Third, it saves them from those long commuting hours which are quite exhausting.
Remote workers exhibit better collaboration
One of the major reasons as to why employers refrain from adopting remote working culture is that they fear there won’t be a seamless collaboration. However, the reality is poles apart.
According to a study, around 81% of the total remote workers have stated that their communication with their colleagues is excellent. The remote workers complaining about poor communication are less than 3%.
Another major disadvantage of office work is that developers tend to indulge in random conversations with their coworkers. With remote work, developers can easily dodge such distractions.
Remote resources show more loyalty
Offering remote work increases employee satisfaction and retention. Offshore resources are 13% more likely to stay at their job as compared to those who work on-site.
This is the reason why companies offering remote work facility have 25% lower employee turnover rate than the ones who don’t offer remote work.
Furthermore, 76% of workers said that they would be more loyal to the company if they are provided with remote work facility. Additionally, 74% of people said that they would quit their job to go for a firm that offers them with remote work.
Another study showed that there was a steep drop of 50% in the employee turnover when the employees were permitted to work from home.
Not only is this, but around 33% of the resources are ready to take a 20% pay cut if they get to work remotely.
Not providing flexibility to employees have proved costly for the employees as around 62% of employees have left their job because it lacked flexibility. Similarly, 79% of employees stated that they would be more loyal to their company given that it provides them with flexible working culture.
Best remote work practices for software companies
To reap the maximum benefits of remote working, you must employ the best remote work practices. Let’s have a look at few of the top remote work practices
Remote work environment comes with its own remote team challenges. For instance, in a remote working environment, you can’t expect remote workers to be online on a consistent basis. However, you can always ask them to inform you while they leave or come back to work.
You should try to refrain from monitoring all their moves with the help of a sophisticated system of clocking. Instead, you must structure and plan the entire work week with a proper task-tracking system that can be accessed by everyone from their computers.
You should also try to schedule timings for every progress meeting. In such meetings, you can review all your employees’ tasks and monitor their progress.
In a remote working environment, it becomes your responsibility to help your employees to organize their work rather than taking all decisions for them.
Give home office budget to your developers
When you establish a remote working environment, then you must provide your customers with a proper set of tools. Your software engineers might have their personal computers at home but it’s highly possible that they might not fit your company as they don’t meet your security standards.
Instead, you must provide your developers with laptops which enable to carry their “working station” with them to their office, homes, and business trips. Initially, the laptops will cut into your budget but it will payout in the future.
Apart from providing laptops, you can offer your engineers with a fixed budget for home office equipment. With this, employees can buy quality equipment which will enhance productivity along with maintaining your employee’s health.
Document and socialize for effective communication
It’s not possible to carry out effective communication solely on emails. To establish seamless remote communication you must set up platforms for instant file transfer and real-time chat. With these tools, your employees can reach each other by sharing files.
The communication tool which you choose should also support video conferencing feature. When employees see each other then it creates a sense of community and eliminates the feeling of seclusion.
Apart from the work, you can also use video-conferencing for casual socializing which is a big part of team building. In this, you can see everyone’s face and ask them as to how they spent their weekend.
Remote work expands your talent pool
One of the biggest advantages of remote working is that it provides you with access to a much bigger pool of candidates. Remote work option will always attract more job applicants with children and family as they want a job that can allow them to take longer breaks to manage their family matters.
Similarly, it also attracts those candidates who live far away from your office location. Those kinds of candidates don’t need to come to the office as they can directly work from home.
Remote working also enables you to hire people living in abroad. However, in this case, you must consider the time zone difference. You can access quality candidates from across the globe.
Remote working was in practice in the IT industry even before the pandemic. However, COVID-19 has played a huge role in the growth of the remote working culture.
It has presented itself as a cost-efficient, global, and modern alternative as compared to the office working. That’s the reason why we are witnessing that IT companies are actively looking to outsource Mobile App Development and software development.
The remote work trends are positive and we shouldn’t be surprised if we see a large percentage of IT companies continuing remote working practices even after the pandemic has ended. But only the time will tell if it actually happens or not. Until then we all can reap the benefits of remote working from our homes.