Cloud computing empowers remote work, allowing companies to hire from a larger pool of happy and productive employees.
Much of what’s written about the cloud and remote work focuses on how the cloud has made remote work a real possibility for millions of knowledge workers. Workers can communicate, collaborate, and deliver using cloud-based services. Their physical location is largely irrelevant. They can do the same work in the office, at home, or from a coffee shop anywhere in the world.
But there’s another group of remote workers who have been empowered by the cloud: system administrators and other IT professionals. Infrastructure-as-a-Service is a virtual infrastructure platform. It’s controlled by code or web interfaces, which means as long as the worker has decent Internet access, they can work from anywhere.
The benefit of remote work for employees is well-established, but many companies are not sure why they would benefit from employing remote workers to look after infrastructure critical to the smooth functioning of applications and services. I recommend the excellent Remote if you are weighing up the advantages of remote work for IT professionals at your company, but let’s have a look at a couple of the benefits here.
Hire From Anywhere In The World
Remote workers are largely location-independent. That doesn’t mean they’ll be spinning up servers while they’re sitting on the beach sipping a Mojito — most remote workers work from home. But location independence does mean that there’s no restriction on the place a worker calls home.
Hiring experienced engineers is a huge problem for both startups and established companies — IT and Devops professionals are in demand.
Restricting the potential pool of IT workers to a company’s backyard exacerbates the problem. In reality, you could hire from anywhere in the world. If you don’t make location a limiting factor in hiring, you’re more likely to be able to hire the best employee, not just the best employee prepared to relocate to where your offices happen to be.
Happy And Productive Employees
Many companies worry that remote workers spend their time slacking off and that productivity will decline. The evidence shows otherwise. Workers might work less, but if they’re properly managed, that doesn’t mean productivity will decline. And, let’s be honest: eight hours in the office almost never means eight hours of work.
Remote work is not a great fit for employees who can’t work without constant supervision, but perhaps they aren’t employees you want anyway.
Remote employees spend less time commuting, less time preparing for work, and can work on a schedule that suits them (if the job allows it). The result: happier and more productive employees.
Many companies need to have IT staff available constantly to deal with issues. That means having staff available throughout the night wherever the offices or data centers are located.
For a remote-friendly company, the solution is different. If a company needs someone to monitor and respond to issues in the middle of the night in the US, they can hire someone in Europe, for whom the middle of the night in the US is a normal working day.
Some roles aren’t suitable for remote work, but the cloud and Infrastructure-as-a-Service has expanded the scope for remote IT work considerably. If your company doesn’t hire remote IT workers, perhaps it’s time to reconsider.
About Justin – Justin Blanchard has been responsible for leading initiatives that increase brand visibility, sales growth and B2B community engagement. He has been at the core of developing systems, tools and processes that specifically align with Server Mania’s client’s needs.