Many companies found themselves forced to abruptly implement company-wide work from home policies due to the pandemic. While creating the policies and procedures necessary to support a fully remote workforce may seem like a daunting task at first, transitioning to remote work also offers easily quantifiable value like lower overhead costs, better employee retention, and access to a wider pool of talent. 

In this article, we’ll examine the benefits of hiring remote software developers as compared to hiring onsite developers. 

We’re a fully remote company with ample experience hiring and managing remote development teams, but we’re not basing this article on our own experiences alone. We’ll also link to studies and other helpful sources to help you decide whether remote development is right for you. Let's start out by looking at why developers want to work remotely in the first place. 

Reasons people want to work remote

According to Owl Labs, remote workers report that the top four reasons they want to work remotely are: better work-life balance, increased productivity/better focus, less stress, and finally, to avoid having to commute.

Benefits of hiring remote developers

  • Increase employee retention

  • Greater productivity

  • Access to more talent 

  • Lower infrastructure costs

Increase employee retention

Implementing remote work policies can greatly increase retention rates and employee loyalty. If one of your top performers leaves the company, you’ll need to spend significant time, money, and resources to hire and train a replacement. 

The will of the workplace is changing. Research finds companies that don’t meet employees’ needs will have trouble competing in the labor market and holding on to their existing employees.

Employee turnover is expensive. One tactic we’ve found that helps us keep our employees happy is letting them work from wherever they want as long as it doesn’t affect their performance. 

Recent surveys found: 

  • 51% of workers are actively looking for a new job or are open to one

  • Coincidentally, 51% say they would switch to a job that allows them flextime

  • 55% of remote workers would be likely to look for another job if they were no longer allowed to work remotely

  • 61% of remote workers would expect a pay increase if they were no longer allowed to work remotely

Source: Gallup & Owl Labs 

Greater productivity

According to Indeed’s remote work survey, 72% of companies with remote work policies say workers are more productive, while another 22% say remote workers are equally as productive, and only 3% say that remote workers are less productive. 

While both remote workers and onsite workers report working over 40 hours a week, it’s often for very different reasons. According to a survey by Owl Labs, onsite workers are working longer weeks because it’s required, while remote workers report doing it primarily because they love what they do. 

Interestingly enough, 72% of both remote and on-site workers feel they're working the right amount of hours each week.

Access to more talent 

HackerRank asked 7,000 employers what the biggest challenge they face is when hiring talent and 41% said talent shortage. 

A number of industries are experiencing an increase in demand for skilled developers. This can make finding experienced developers in your area difficult at times -- especially if you’re looking for developers skilled in a specific tech stack or a niche technology. 

Opening up remote software development roles nationally/internationally gives companies access to untapped domestic markets and an endless stream of qualified foreign talent.   

Lower Infrastructure costs

Appealing and well-designed workspaces, fitted with the latest technology, and in a convenient location can be very expensive to acquire and maintain. By working remotely you’re saving a lot of the money you would be spending on installing and maintaining technology systems and infrastructure. 

The only limitation remote workers have as to where they can work is the need for a reliable internet connection. Other than that, just about anywhere is fair game. You’ll commonly find remote workers set up in coworking spaces, coffee shops, restaurants, and even overlooking a beach on occasion if the internet connection is sound enough. 

Not only do you save money on infrastructure and maintenance, but employees enjoy the freedom of choosing their own tech and work environment. 

In conclusion

A shortage of IT talent has prompted more and more companies to look nationally or even internationally when hiring for remote positions.  

While there will always be considerable benefits to working with someone in person, the advantages of hiring remote programmers is undeniable, offering everything from lower costs to access to better talent. 

Ready to hire remotely?

Find the right software development talent for your team. Contact us today and find out how our specialized staffing and recruitment services can help.