Why Remote Teams Are Way Better Than Your Guys At The Office?

“There’s nothing like a team that meets face-to-face!”

Many leaders believe that a traditional office set-up is better than remote/virtual teams.

But this idea is being eroded and challenged by virtual teams revolutionising how humans collaborate, create, and innovate.

In this post, we will list the 7 inherent advantages of remote teams that make them significantly better than traditional office teams.

What Makes A Remote Team So Much Better?

#1 Access to Global Talent

What are the chances that the best workers in your field live in your town, city, or even state?

In a traditional office setting, businesses have to live by the talent that lives nearby. That is, they can only hire people who can get to a designated place at a specific time each day.

Virtual teams do not suffer from this constraint and they’re not limited to individuals living at a driving or commuting distance from the office.

Since they do not need to report at some geographic location, remote workers can come from virtually anywhere. This opens up the candidate pool on a global scale—which means you can have your pick of talent from around the world.

This is a big boon for virtual teams because, on a member-by-member basis, virtual teams generally are on a higher talent level.

#2 Individual Remote Workers Are More Productive

Contrary to fears, remote workers actually work longer hours than their office counterparts.

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, remote workers work an extra 48.5 minutes longer—which, in a year, can add up to 193 additional working hours.

The unfounded myth is that remote workers become laggards because nobody’s keeping an eye on them. Research has shown that this is not the case. The opposite, in fact, is true.

In addition, remote workers are more productive because:

  • They don’t need to commute.
  • They are not distracted by coworkers.
  • They are self-starters.
  • They work at their best hours

Not all working hours are created equal.

There are moments when one is simply whiling the time away, looking busy but not actually creating something of value. Then, there are those hours when you’re naturally productive and creative.

The hallmark of remote work, and the one perk most appreciated by workers, is flexibility.

Employees can customise their work schedule and work environment, and work during those hours when they can focus best and accomplish tasks more efficiently.

These will eventually be mirrored in the output because:

High-quality Input = High-quality Output

Office workers on the other hand are under the clock, regardless. Whether they’re effective or not, they plough through the tasks because nobody wants to look idle in an office.

This will also eventually affect the morale of the individual and the quality of the work produced. And the drawbacks will only become even more pronounced over time.

#3 More Efficient Group Dynamics

Many leaders have always considered face-to-face interactions as superior. Office groups can easily collaborate by simply being in the same physical space.

In reality, offices can be a large time suck that can make for very inefficient group dynamics.

Have you ever been in a meeting that could have been an email?

While this happens even with virtual teams, they are more prevalent in the office.

“Since everybody is already here, why don’t we sit down and talk about things that’re very similar to the things we talk about in front of the water cooler? But let’s make it more formal, and let’s take longer doing it.”  

Remote teams tend to have less time for office politics. Gossip, friction and conflicts are more of a feature in face-to-face office interactions.

So the “personal interactions” vaunted by many as the reason for the office team’s superiority is actually a two-edged sword. These personal interactions can draw focus from the job, and in some cases, can even be toxic.

Virtual teams on the other hand are more output-oriented and are more focused on metrics.

And with people distributed around the world, work is being done round the clock. For example, a global marketing team can shift tasks between members in different time zones to ensure continuous progress on projects.

#4 The Inherent Virtues of an International Team

Access to global talent doesn’t just impact the baseline skill level of the group. It also has some other serious upshots.

Having an international team increases the diversity and enriches the perspective of the team.

An office tends to hire the same folks with the same kind of education and imagination. Their skin colours might be different, but they essentially have the same kind of boilerplate experience.

This severely limits the team’s mental bandwidth to think outside the box.

When a team has to think through a problem, the lack of diversity limits the levels of creativity that can be tapped.

A diverse team on the other hand has richer experiences and insights to draw upon.

#5 Enhanced Retention

Remote workers are more likely to have job satisfaction.

With the reduced stress from not commuting and having more personal time, remote workers have better flexibility and work-life balance.

Research shows that employees who are not satisfied with the level of flexibility at work are 43% more likely to report burnout.

As a result, they are more likely to quit, while remote workers are staying longer in their jobs.

This translates into more accumulated experience for the group.

By staying on the job, people become masters at what they do. They become even more proficient and adept at their roles.

With enhanced retention, virtual teams have greater stability and become more seasoned than a group that has a revolving door of talent that comes and goes every few months.

#6 Remote Workers are More Likely to Make Better Use of Available Tech

Remote teams are virtually forced to use technology. That’s the only way to bridge the physical distance between team members.

But more than regular office workers, remote employees often use a whole suite of software tools and applications to automate their “busywork”—a set of activities that are manual, routine, perhaps redundant, and would likely be low-impact.

Smart use of tech allows human talent to shine where it’s supposed to and affords remote teams the chance to work on higher-order tasks that are critical to the job as a whole.

On the other hand, managers are obsessed with “busywork.” If you’ll notice, many of the tasks performed in an office are “busywork”—manual data entry, form filing, document printing, seeking multiple approvals, unnecessary back-and-forth emailing, writing reports that will never be read etc.

(Everybody wants to look busy in an office. Nobody wants to look idle.)

With their more efficient use of tech, remote workers can shorten turnaround times, reduce error, increase consistency, enhance data management, optimise resources, and take care of their well-being at the end of the day.

#7 Adaptability to Change

Virtual teams are better equipped for those unforeseen disturbances and disruptions. A global pandemic couldn’t even stop their work from being done. A distributed team cannot be stopped by any natural disasters, power interruptions, or policy changes—(whereas a flooded street can prevent a whole team from reaching their desks.)

And because these jobs are often digital in nature, data and progress can seamlessly change hands, such that when one team member has an emergency, the workload can temporarily be taken over by another member.

Remote teams are often “flat.” Remote workers are independent thinkers who can make decisions and commit to a course of action without the approval of someone high up in the organisation.

So the DNA of virtual teams is such that they can quickly pivot and respond to various business scenarios and adeptly adapt to the needs of the moment.

These 7 inherent advantages put a serious dent in the idea that office groups are better.

Kinetic Innovative Staffing knows how a remote team works because we have witnessed our clients scale their businesses by employing virtual teams. We help companies find world-class remote workers.

With our over 4 million remote professionals, Kinetic can fill a broad range of roles—from software developers, graphic artists and virtual assistants, to lawyers, engineers and accountants.

A virtual workforce combines competence and affordability, saving companies, on average, 70% in their labour costs.

If this sounds like an opportunity you would like to explore for your organisation, do not hesitate to get in touch with us and we’ll give you all the assistance that you need.

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