Second Wind believes in the small + smart agency model, but realizes it isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. Here are some questions to consider when deciding if a remote workforce is the best choice for your agency:
Does remote working benefit your competitive situation? Does a competitive situation ever change the way your agency does business? Are there times when your agency wishes to be perceived as a large, vibrant agency versus a permanently small one? If so, a remote workforce may not your best choice.
How is your agency’s morale? Does it need a radical change? If so, bringing all your employees back to one physical location may be the most efficient way to change it.
What is your agency’s culture? Can you maintain it when you are not all together? Can you keep everyone invested in the company’s culture no matter how scattered they are?
Does teleworking inhibit your people’s creativity? While some argue that creativity occurs best when everyone is in one location and can bounce ideas off each other and build a creative spark, new technology can encourage the same engagement online. Jason Fried, author of the book Remote: Office Not Required, argues in favor of remote working for creatives who, he says, need long stretches of uninterrupted time to work best. You know your employees’ work styles. Which works best for each of them? What works best for the agency as a whole?
Can you work efficiently and maintain productivity with a remote workforce? Make sure your processes enable seamless collaboration, good recordkeeping and efficient time management.
Do you have the physical space to house all of your employees in one place? If not, a remote workforce is essential.
Does your agency have the resources to provide benefits and higher wages to keep a full-time on-site staff? Would you do better combining a core group with a remote freelance/contractor workforce? How does failing to provide benefits to part-timers and freelancers affect their bond with your agency?
How does a lack of remote work options affect employees? Do you have key employees who would need to commute long distances, or who live too far away to commute? If so, are you willing to lose them by not allowing telecommuting?
Do you wish to attract a young work force? Most Millennials expect—and even demand—workplace flexibility. You risk losing them, too, if you banish remote working.