Remote Teams Vs In-house Teams

Remote Teams Vs In-house Teams

As the business scales, so does your team of employees, which leads to a conflict of decision between whether to go with a remote team or an in-house team.

Lately, there has been an increase in remote work, which has disrupted the traditional ways and policies of employment in almost every industry. People not only prefer, but, are demanding to work from wherever they want whenever they want.

The catch here is, it’s not a one size fits all, some companies can really reap benefits from a remote team while others can’t, and same goes for the in-house teams.

Productivity and cost are two of the most important things while building a team, doesn’t matter if it’s remote or in-house, how much of the prior can you scale up and how much of the latter can you scale down, or achieving a sufficient balance between the two, is the primary factor behind selecting any team.

If you’re a startup or a well established organization who has been reluctant so far to explore working with a remote team, by the end of this blog you’ll have the clarity on which team would suit you the best.

So let’s dive deeper into the topic and see the prevailing ups and downs of both the teams.

01. Synergy

“To collaborative team members, completing one another is more important than competing with one another.” — John C. Maxwell, Leadership Speaker

It all started with open offices, in the earlier years, even though people were working in the same offices, they were hard to reach because of the hierarchy, closed door policies, etc which proved to be a great hindrance to communication. To make collaboration easier, the concept of open offices came into existence, which proved to be really effective in the beginning but some of the employees sensed a feeling of disturbance, the constant chatter of the coworkers made it hard to focus on work. Over the time the new alternative to this situation was conceived, which we know as work from home. If we go back a decade, such an arrangement wasn’t as common as it is now, the advent of internet paved way for successful communication between teams which are partly located in the same office and partly scattered around the globe, or the teams which are fully remote, this further led to remote work.

Internet and various communication tools have made it extremely convenient to reach out to your colleagues, be it work or just to discuss the weekend plans. There might be a chance that you might not find your in-house teammate at his desk when you are in dire need of his expertise, but there will hardly ever be a situation where you won’t be able to get in touch with your remote teammate.

Water cooler talks have been replaced by dedicated channels on tools like slack, where you can have a channel for a specific team, for the entire office, or just for you and your best bud to make an after office drinking plan.
The best part about collaborating with a remote team is that you’ll indulge in more written than verbal communication, you’ll always have a trail of documents you can refer to whenever you are missing out on something rather than spending an hour thinking about an important point another person had mentioned.

02. Commute

“People today really value workplace flexibility and remote work because it allows them to focus their energies on work and life as opposed to commuting or other complications due to geography.” — Ken Matos, Vice President of Research, Life Meets Work

The most dreadful thing about going to the office after a nice relaxing weekend is the LOOOONG commute, for some it’s a daily nightmare. You spend every day in public or private transport, doing nothing productive, enjoying the blinkers of the car in front of you. Heavy traffic is a huge obstacle to an enthusiastically planned day. You don’t feel as productive when you reach the office as you felt while leaving home.

According to a Robert Half survey, more than one out of five employees quit their jobs because of the hectic commute.

Remote workers don’t have to deal with this situation cause they enjoy the bliss of working from their bed or their couch.

On an average a person spends 70-90 minutes of his/her time commuting to and from work, this is one of the major factor behind reduced productivity and availability, how much productive can a tired employee be?
It has been observed that employees are willing to work extended hours from home than to be victims of a long commute.

The only commute which remote workers are involved in, and which they enjoy dearly, is the walk from their home office to their kitchen, some might be even working from the kitchen, having a slice of pizza while writing an email, or drinking a beer while coding, must be adding that extra buzz to the code.

Some workers who might not like working from home would often work from a nearby cafe or a coworking space, but even that’s a less of a commute compared to non-remote workers. I can stretch this paragraph to another 500 words but still I wouldn’t be able to come up with one perk for the non-remote workers when it comes to commuting.

03. Productivity and Availability

“Technology now allows people to connect anytime, anywhere, to anyone in the world, from almost any device. This is dramatically changing the way people work, facilitating 24/7 collaboration with colleagues who are dispersed across time zones, countries, and continents.” — Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell

Productivity is one of the most critical factors taken into consideration while building a team or hiring an employee. Research shows that in-house teams find it hard to concentrate at their desks. According to a study the number of people who say they can’t concentrate at their desk has increased by 16% since 2008, and the number of those who don’t have access to quiet places to do focused work is up by 13%.

Remote work is a great boon for productivity, with more autonomy and lesser distractions remote workers have the ability to achieve way more than their in-house counterparts.

As per the survey conducted by SurePayroll, Employers lose an estimated $1.8 trillion in lost productivity each year because of lack of engagement with the job, parents stressed over the cost of child care, hangovers, chronic health problems and more. Thankfully, remote work and various technologies such as email, video conferencing, IM, collaboration softwares have made it extremely convenient to get your work done whenever you want from wherever you want and with the least distractions.

Another factor that weighs in is availability, we don’t need research to state that it’s difficult to reach your employees once they leave the office, the only time you can tap on their shoulder for a quick meeting is between 9 to 5, unlike in-house teams, you can get in touch with a remote team at any time of the day. And if you have a team scattered across multiple time zones, with a little overlap in time, it’s not just you, even your customers can reach out to your team whenever they want.

04. Happy Employees are More Loyal and Productive

Nothing makes a company shine like the smiles of the employees. Remote Work is hands down the best solution to keeping your employees happy. An employee can work from wherever they want, whenever they want, with such autonomy, employees are willing to take on more responsibility than ever before.

With no manager present to supervise the employees, they feel they are trustworthy enough to take end to end responsibility of every task & completing that task within the given time becomes their top priority.
You can find so many in-house employees whining about the working hours, working conditions, policies, no matter what you send their way to enhance their abilities, they will manage to find some discrepancies and soon enough you’ll have a complaint box filled with letters.

It’s a fact that companies establishing policies promoting remote work have way lesser employee attrition rate than the companies who don’t have any remote work policies.

Not having to commute every day to the office actually saves a lot of money, employees don’t have to pay for transport, lunch or buying office-appropriate attire. All the more reasons to work remotely, right?

We all work to provide for our family, give them a better life, but if you’re stuck at office all day, going home only to find your family has already slept, and there’s cold food on the table for you, what’s the use of such long hours?

On the other hand, wouldn’t it be awesome to work from home while helping your kids with their homework, going out with your spouse to buy groceries and finally tucking your kids in bed, remote work let’s you do all of this, while achieving each of your business target. Amazing right? Why wouldn’t a remote worker be happy and loyal if his company is taking such good care of him?

05. Absenteeism

Now, this is something every manager, CEO, or top-level executive hates about his employees. Too many leaves, some are informed and we always have those rebels who go AWOL, have always been a big concern for the company. Skipping work for a friend’s wedding, going on a long vacation, going to your kid’s soccer match, these are all important occasions but some of these occur quite frequently. Going on a leave every time you have to tend to some of your functions isn’t viable for either you or your company, let’s face it you’re on the clock and if you are going to be unavailable after 5, you are expected to be present at the workplace and put in efforts for as long as you are there.

Well, there is another way that you already know of that facilitates the time off to do all of the things that are important to you. People who love to travel, prefer remote work over any other thing, they get the freedom to roam the world while staying in touch with their teams and achieving their targets sometimes from Paris, sometimes from Brazil and sometimes from their own homes.

Remote workers take lesser leaves than an in-house team, with the freedom to work at your own convenience, given that you meet all of your KPIs, nobody is going to stop you from attending your friend’s wedding or taking out time for Netflix and chill.

06. Infrastructure

The humble abode! In-house teams spend most of their time in the office than at home. So it goes without saying that you need to look after your team and their comfort in the workplace. Upgrading all the furniture, making sure your employees get the best of the technological instruments, replenishing the food stock from time to time, and in case your team grows and can’t fit in your current workplace, you are up for one crazy ride of finding a new and big workplace. A company spends almost $10,000-$20,000 to house an employee in their office.

Unlike, in-house teams, remote teams can save you a tonne of money. You don’t have to worry about the employee’s desk, computer or any other thing that is needed to work efficiently, remote employees take care of themselves.

Conclusion

Remote work is a blessing, but it’s not a one size fits all, you have to take into consideration your workforce, their productivity, cost and what kind of work you are involved in. If you’re a startup looking to attract the best talent but are running low on capital, remote work is definitely something you should look forward to. If implemented right, remote work will work wonders for your company, if you’re reluctant or need any help with any kind of remote resources, doesn’t matter if it’s a backend requirement or a development need, RemotePanda has got your back.

About the Author

Ayush Jain
Ayush Jain is an entrepreneur whose work revolves around building global teams that work efficiently. He loves to encompass everyday adventures and turn them into meaningful success lessons. Ayush co-founded MindBowser, a digital agency and currently working on his new endeavor RemotePanda. RemotePanda is a curated marketplace that takes care of end to end remote work cycle including searching, hiring, recruiting as well as managing remote employees.

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