Making the choice to employ remote workers can enable your small business to grow successfully by allowing flexibility and enhancing productivity.

Remote work is becoming an increasingly popular choice for businesses thanks to the ease and accessibility of the internet. The traditional 9 to 5 workday is being replaced by flexible hours that can be completed anywhere and at any time.

Employing remote workers isn’t the best choice for every workplace, such as those that require hands-on labour. However,if the benefits of flexible work will apply to your business, it could give you a competitive advantage.

Increased productivity:

Research has shown that remote workers can actually be more productive than those who work in an office. Employees that work from home don’t have the distractions that occur in daily office life. They also have the ability to work longer hours at times that suit them, without being regimented to the typical 9 to 5 workday. This can lead to workers being more engaged with the work and can also increase happiness.

This style of work is not necessarily suited to everybody, with some people experiencing isolation and loneliness when in a remote work environment. As an employer, you should make sure working remotely is a good fit for each employee’s personality.

Reduce business costs:

Hiring remote workers can enable you to save money on office expenditure, such as real estate and utilities. Consider maybe moving more of your business into cloud software to allow remote employees to access office files from home or wherever they may be working. This has positive implications from an environmental standpoint, while also cutting utility costs such as paper, recycling and waste. While these may seem like minor costs, they do add up and the savings resulted from removing these costs will be noticeable to your business.

Safety obligations:

Even though staff may work from home, there are a number of workplace obligations that employers must be aware of. The employer has responsibility for health and safety issues and worker’s compensation, and should complete a Work Health and Safety (WHS) checklist to assess risks in the home. A WHS checklist helps to ensure things such as safe work practices and that the work environment is secure. Both parties should sign the agreement in the event of a compensation claim.

While there are a number of considerable advantages to employing remote workers, it would be beneficial to receive professional advice regarding issues such as payroll and your workplace safety obligations as an employer.

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Make use of us! This guide is merely a starting point, designed to help you identify areas that might have a significant impact on your personal and business planning.
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*** This publication is for guidance only, and professional advice should be obtained before acting on any information contained herein. Neither the publishers nor the distributors can accept any responsibility for loss occasioned to any person as a result of action taken or refrained from in consequence of the contents of this publication. Publication date April 2018

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