Survey: Only 40% of businesses hire remote workers. Do you?

At Veem, remote workers are a growing force and part of our amazing team. We wanted to know if the same was true for the business owners and their workers who follow us on Twitter, @GoVeem.

The results are in:

61% of small business owners prefer to not hire remote workers.

58% of people polled do not work remotely.

Considering all the benefits that can come from hiring and working remotely, the results were slightly unexpected.

In fact, a two-year study by Stanford University found a large increase in productivity with people who worked from home, opposed to those that come into the office.

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Change can be scary. As a society and as a small to medium-sized business (SMB) owner, there’s a traditional understanding of “the workforce.” The 9-5er, sitting at a desk, making water cooler conversation, and paying employees using physical means like cash or check.

It can make the idea of remote work seem like a futuristic minefield that your SMB isn’t ready for. Given the wariness of some, we wanted to address the concerns business owners may have when hiring remote workers, and highlight the numerous benefits with hiring out of city, state, and even out of country.

The pros of working at the office

It can be a lot to trust a worker you don’t see everyday, and if they live in a different city or even overseas, it becomes even harder to build a strong relationship. Not to mention the issues with paying them.

man and woman sitting on table

Tradition is tradition for a reason, and in-office presence and culture is a huge part of any workforce. Working in a physical office space with your coworkers can help develop a sense of community in any business setting, large or small. It allows employees better opportunities to seek help and affirmation from coworkers, management, and customers.

Working at the office builds trust, accountability, and company loyalty. A physical presence ensures you, as the business owner, know what everyone is doing, and can ensure things are running smoothly, goals are being met, and projects are getting done.

If your employees are at the office, it’s also easier to hand out those payday checks. No paying for stamps, nothing gets lost in the mail, and no envelope licking.

Small business owners may also need to learn how to adjust to the changes a remote worker could bring. Relying more on technology could risk the work-environment you’ve built, and paying someone via wire transfer or online can seem like a daunting task.

We won’t lie, the transition breaks tradition and takes some education and adjustment. But there are so many new tools that make everything easier (and cheaper) for small business owners. So, why aren’t more businesses making the switch?

The pros of hiring remote workers and freelancers

The benefits to hiring remote workers can often outweigh the concerns. First and foremost, there’s way less overhead cost for remote workers than housing everyone in an office. According to statistics from PGI News, the average real estate savings for employers with full-time remote workers is $10,000 per employee every year.

Small business owners don’t have to pay and secure office space or furniture, as remote workers can work from the convenience of their home, local cafe, while also using their personal computers. You know, hence the term…remote.

woman wearing black framed sunglasses

Remote workers get to save money too! According to statistics from TECLA, a global IT recruiting company, remote workers can save around $7,000 per year. These figures are mostly attributed to the reduction or elimination of commutes, eating out for lunch, extra clothing, and childcare.

Another benefit to remote work is access to a larger talent pool. Hiring platforms and tools like ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and Lever.co have made it easier than ever to find talent from around the world. No more posting in the classifieds, or even holding interviews in person. Take a call using Zoom, send a message on Slack, or even Google Hangouts.

Finally, remote work allows for job flexibility, one of the most sought after perks for workers of all ages. According to a report by UpWork, 73% of all teams will have remote workers by 2028.

How to pay remote workers and freelancers

Payment has been cited as one of the biggest hurdles to get over for businesses looking to hire remote talent at home or abroad.

As the cliche goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. The same is true with the cyclical form of payment. Checks and cash have been the norm when paying workers since the beginning of time, and as our survey data shows, not much has changed.

52% of business owners surveyed still pay their remote workers by cash or check.

The other 48% use a combination of wire transfers and payment apps.

Until now, it’s always been more convenient for employers to hire on-site employees or contractors and pay them with these classic methods. But often, convenience doesn’t mean ease, and it definitely doesn’t mean it’s the best. Mailing cash and checks is not only a risky move when sending payments, it’s time consuming and costs business owners more money than using an online service.

focus photography of person counting dollar banknotes

At Veem, we make paying remote workers easy, secure, and trackable. Take the anxiety out of sending money with our online payments network. We take the hidden fees out of wire transfers (especially if you’re looking to pay your employees in their local currency) with our exchange calculator, and offer competitive FX rates.

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Track your money online, reconcile your transfers with your favorite accounting software, and enjoy a ton of business-friendly features all on one platform. Payments don’t have to be scary. In fact, they’re easier than ever.

There is a strong argument for the move to remote worker culture. And if you’re scared to join the movement – remember to look at all the positives. Those slow to change might be left behind.

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* This blog provides general information and discussion about global business payments and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.