Imagine Red Sox and Yankees fans agreeing on who the better team is. Or a Harley Davidson fan riding an Indian. Such is the likelihood of getting Government Agents and Eco Warriors to see eye-to-eye on any topic. And unfortunately, stuck between these disparate groups is you, the small business owner. But to our utter surprise, we found that both these groups of people are in agreement about one thing: remote work. And if you’d like to see how that benefits you, contact us right away.
Otherwise, continue reading and find out for yourself what happens in this classic (albeit fabricated) scenario.
A Remote Work Fable
Three people walk into a café. It’s crowded but for one table with three chairs. They have no choice but to share. Introductions are made: Sammi Gov. Agent, Krish Eco Warrior, and Joe Businessman. Three people from very different walks of life only circumstance would force together. Krish recognizes Sammi and musters the courage to speak to her despite the high-power pinstripe suit and the formidable look she’s sporting.
“I remember you from the last elections, you practically singlehandedly appointed our Mayor to office…who then asked for a 4% budget cut that came out directly from policies that protected the environment.”
“Oh, you eco-hippies are all the same.” Replies Sammi, with an open-handed shrug. “You are always taking things out of context! Without cuts, how do you suggest we deal with deficits?”
She then turns to Joe, looking for what she feels like will be an easy ally.
“Don’t you think we should scrub our systems, eliminate waste and have a more efficient system?”
“Yes, of course.” Replies the businessman. “I want to lower the operating costs of my business and improve our performance. That said, I don’t want to do it in a way that compromises my people.”
“Don’t you think helping the environment will help your business, too, Joe?” Krish butts in.
“I want my company to be a good corporate citizen,” Joe says. “But it’s not always possible for me to plunge into every environmental issue that crops our way. Some policies are too expensive for a small business to bear.”
“But you can’t afford to!” Retorts Krish, looking flustered. “The burden on the planet is much higher than the burden on your finances!”
“So, what’s your solution, Eco Warrior? Do you even have one?” Asks Sammi.
Krish gets ready to answer, but Sammi cuts her off before she can even start.
“I’ll tell you what Joe, you can address every concern you voiced just now – in only one, simple move. Two words: remote hiring.”
“What’s that?” Asks the businessman.
“Yes, I know about this…” Says Krish. “You hire your employees from anywhere in the world…they don’t have to commute.”
“As always, you’re only partly correct.” Sammi clarifies: “You can hire locally, too. They can work from home.”
Joe looks slightly aghast. “But I already have many employees, how about them – how will they work with people they don’t see? And more to the point, how will they feel about coming to office when others don’t?”
“Well, then send all of them home!” Replies Sammi. “Oh, don’t look so alarmed. Your current employees can commute for a good portion of the week and only come in when they absolutely need to. Did you know that the Government provides many grants and policies that make telework easy? Right here in Virginia, you can get up to $50,000 tax credit for telework, $1200 for every employee. Other states have taken similar actions.”
“And if you’re not sure, check out the USA.gov site to see which grants you can avail for telework.” Krish adds.
“Is that right?” Asks Joe. “But what about new hires? You mentioned I could hire from anywhere in the world.”
“Yes, anywhere.” Replies Krish. “And you can get your pick of the best talents. Without having to compete with giant corporations. Or without a hefty price tag. It’s the best of the free market economy.”
“Of course you want to save the world. I want to help small towns that are struggling.” Butts in Sammi, rolling her eyes. “When you have remote employees, Joe, young people from small towns will feel a lot less pressure to move to big cities. Which means small towns will get a fair shot at economic development, not just metro areas and its fringes.”
“Well,” says Krish, not wanting to be outdone, “They also stay behind to help develop those communities with their skills, not just tax dollars. Stopping the “brain drain” is the first step in preventing small towns from becoming ghost towns. You should know, your candidate said he was going to provide a better quality of life to small communities.”
“And he’s working towards it. In the same way that he is working towards better environmental policies. Get your facts straight.” Retorts Sammi.
“Then he should do something, instead of hitching his wagon for the ride. Taking care of the planet is one of the top priorities, ascertained by agencies like the UN Sustainable Development. Picking a point from it is easy.”
“No!” Sammi says, shaking her head. “It’s NOT about hitching a ride. With something as concrete as remote work, we could save money for everything from health insurance to relaxed zoning laws to double taxation. A mile of highway costs $44 million, and a mile of information highway? Only $20K! So yeah! My candidate is all about telecommuting and saving the planet.”
“Did you know,” Says Krish to the world in general, looking pensive. “I read that San Diego now has 16% fewer cars on its highway due to remote work. And each vehicle taken off the street means thrice the reduction in congestion.”
“Exactly!” Says Sammi. “Telecommuting only half the time could save as much as 453 million barrels of oil each year! And if you look at the bigger picture, it means less construction, less toxic waste, fewer landfills.” She turns to Joe once more. “Joe, if you, and other businesses, could manage to cut down on paper usage in your company by only 10%, it could help power 228,000 homes. Actually, as a country, we could save $750 billion a year if we telecommuted. You can reduce your carbon taxes, help the clean air initiatives… The benefits are endless.”
Krish pipes in, starting to sound more excited:
“And Joe, you get to reduce wastage, equipment cost, travel costs – everything that’ll help cut down your business’ operational costs.
“Right!” Is the only word Joe manages to get in before she continues:
“I’m sure you’ll find that more and more young people, Millennials, Gen Z – they prefer working with companies that are conscious. Companies that are putting in the effort to help the planet, not just making a profit. They not only support better environmental policies, but they also factor in sustainability when they shop.”
“You never cease to see the small picture, Krish.” Adds Sammi. “The thing is, even older generations prefer conscious companies, and the average age of the remote worker is 40+ years.”
“That’s surprising.” Says Joe. “It’s so good to see you both passionately agree. I mean no offense but that must be rare.”
Smirks all around.
“So how do you feel about this, Joe?” Asks Krish. “Do you think you’ll give remote work a try in your business?”
“I think so.” Says Joe “As it happens, my company is looking for a WordPress developer to revamp our website. Maybe, I’ll hire someone to work remotely. But how do I even find such a person, I mean someone I can trust to do the job?”
“I got you.” Krish continues: “A friend of mine worked with this company a while back to recruit a .NET developer and couldn’t stop raving about what an excellent experience they had and how easy it was and how the company does everything for them. They’re called DistantJob. Give them a try, and I’m sure they’ll exceed your expectations.”
“Do you know how to contact them…?” Asks Joe.
“Hang on a sec…” Says Krish, fumbling with her hipster phone, indubitably kickstarted out of eco-friendly materials. “Here it is…email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’m sure they’ll get you sorted.”
“Nice chat,” Says Sammi, excusing herself, “but I need to head back to the office.”
“We all do…YEAH! I, too, have a job, Sammi!” Says Krish.
(As you can see, if these very different people can agree on the benefits – on the necessity! – of remote work, there’s nary a bad thing to say about it. Save the planet, hire remotely. Sign up today!)