Hiring Remote Developers vs. Onsite Developers in 2023: What you need to know before you decide.

Hiring Remote Developers vs. Onsite Developers in 2023

Tech recruitment has seen big shifts in recent years, and 2023 continues that trend. The global pandemic and the push towards digital have made the decision of hiring remote versus onsite developers more complex.

The 2023 Remote Workforce Report shows that 54% of companies have more full-time remote workers than before. This means businesses, whether locally or internationally, are expanding their remote teams.

So, what’s driving these changes? And how do remote and onsite developers compare in the current work scene? Dive into this article as we explore the pros, cons, and key points of each hiring method, offering insights for tech leaders.

Hiring Remote Developers vs. Onsite Developers: Pros and Cons

Hiring Remote Developers

The Pros and Cons of Hiring Remote Developers

Pros of Hiring Remote Developers

Broader Talent Pool

Think global, act local – this adage has never been truer than in the realm of remote recruitment. Unrestricted by geographical boundaries, the world becomes your hiring ground. Companies no longer need to confine their search to their city or even their country. According to a survey by FlexJobs, 65% of respondents report wanting to work remotely full-time. This suggests that there’s a vast talent pool of developers worldwide ready and willing to work remotely. By eliminating geographical restrictions, companies can scout the globe for the best fit for their team

Cost efficiency

The fiscal benefits of remote hiring can be game-changing for many businesses. By having remote developers, there are clear savings on physical infrastructure like office space, utilities, and other overhead costs. Companies can expect to spend $7,500–$28,000 in hard costs to find and onboard a new employee, including job board fees, background checks, and the new hire’s training. Soft costs—such as lost productivity—can add up to as much as 60% of the total cost to hire, according to SHRM. The Global Workplace Analytics estimates that a typical employer can save an average of $11,000 per half-time telecommute per year. Furthermore, geo-arbitrage, the practice of leveraging currency differences, means firms can hire top-tier talent from regions with a lower living cost, getting high-quality work without the high salary tag.

Report of Employer Annual Savings by Global Workplace Analytics


With remote developers, the work never sleeps. Companies can harness developers from different time zones, leading to continuous productivity. Teams can potentially function across various time zones, offering round-the-clock productivity.

Diverse perspectives

Global hiring leads to global insights. Developers from diverse geographical and cultural backgrounds can introduce a unique perspective, leading to more creative problem-solving and a broader understanding of global user bases. A report highlights that diverse teams are 45% more likely to improve market share and deliver sustainable growth.

Enhanced employee satisfaction

Happy employees often mean better work. The option to work remotely can greatly enhance job satisfaction, providing developers with the flexibility they crave. During FlexJobs’ 2022 Career Pulse Survey, 84% of respondents stated that a remote or hybrid job would make them a happier person. 68% of people in the State of Remote Work 2023 report by Buffer said that they had a very positive experience with remote work, while 0% negative experience. By catering to this preference, companies can not only attract top talent but also retain them, ensuring longevity and consistency in their projects.

Experience with Remote Work – State of Remote Work 2023 by Buffer

Cons of Hiring Remote Developers

Communication barriers

Being in an office typically facilitates spontaneous and clear communication. However, remote working, which largely depends on digital tools, might not always capture the crispness of direct interactions. This shift often brings forth communication challenges: tasks can be misunderstood, the absence of in-person cues can cause confusion, and the possibility of teams not being in sync can increase.

These challenges stem from various factors, including:

  • Time zone differences: When teams are spread across various time zones, synchronizing communication becomes trickier.
  • Technical hurdles: Unreliable internet connections, software errors, and equipment malfunctions can disrupt communication flow.
  • Missing non-verbal signals: A significant portion of our communication is conveyed without words. We say a lot with our expressions and gestures, which can be hard to catch online and often gets overlooked in digital correspondence.

Security concerns 

Remote workers can become one of the biggest threats to your network’s security, putting your company’s data at risk. Working from home can potentially cause data breaches, identity theft, and a host of other negative results. The 2023 World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Risks Report, published in January, put cybersecurity in the current and future top 10 risks globally. The cost of cybercrime is projected to hit an annual $10.5 trillion by 2025, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, with remote setups being more vulnerable points of attack. 

Issues may include:

  • Unsecured Wi-Fi networks: Public Wi-Fi, commonly used by remote workers in cafes or public spaces, is often unencrypted. This lack of security makes it easy for hackers to intercept data, leading to potential data breaches or theft.
  • Unverified third-party apps: In the quest for efficiency, remote workers often download and use third-party applications that haven’t been vetted by their organization. Such apps can serve as entry points for malware or other malicious entities.
  • Poor data backup procedures: Without standardized backup protocols, important data can be lost due to unforeseen circumstances like device failures or ransomware attacks.
  • Webcam hacking and Zoombombing: Enterprises increased their use of video conferencing and other online collaboration platforms and so did hackers. Cybercriminals can sabotage or disrupt online conferences or prowl around undetected to obtain information, such as proprietary data or corporate emails, which they can use to their advantage.
  • The practice of unencrypted file sharing: While organizations may think to encrypt information that’s stored on their network, they may not consider encrypting data when it’s in transit from one place to another. Your employees share so much private data every day that your company cannot afford to not secure this information from being seized by a cybercriminal. If sensitive company information is intercepted, it can lead to identity fraud, ransomware attacks, theft, and more.
  • Cloud misconfigurations: The cloud is a crucial technology for remote work, although it also comes with risks. Misconfigurations, especially those related to access, pose one such risk. Companies may accidentally give users too much access or fail to implement access controls.

Team cohesion 

Creating a close-knit team when everyone’s apart can be tough. It’s often those little moments in an office – like grabbing coffee or a quick chat by a desk – that bring people together. The Gallup State of the Global Workplace report indicates that only 15% of employees feel genuinely engaged in their work when operating in entirely remote environments. The absence of spontaneous coffee breaks, face-to-face team meetings, or casual office banter can create a disconnect among team members, potentially affecting morale and collaboration.

Oversight & productivity

In regular office setups, it’s easier for managers to gauge how things are going just by looking around or having a quick chat. Daily stand-up meetings or quick check-ins, and a shared space promote accountability and teamwork. However, remote work diminishes these oversight methods due to lack of face-to-face interactions, varied time zones, and no common workspace. 

While many remote employees have showcased remarkable self-discipline and adaptability, making sure everyone delivers consistently can be a delicate balance. It’s crucial to maintain productivity without stepping over the line into an employee’s personal space or autonomy.

Hiring Onsite Developers

Pros of Hiring Onsite Developers

Immediate collaboration

The immediacy of face-to-face interactions facilitates rapid problem-solving, brainstorming, and ideation. With onsite setups, there’s no delay in communication due to technology hiccups or time zone differences. Teams can convene spontaneously, ensuring that ideas flow seamlessly and doubts are addressed promptly.

Company culture

Nurturing a cohesive and robust company culture becomes more straightforward when employees share the same physical space. Celebrations, team outings, and even casual water cooler chats contribute to a sense of unity and belonging. As global engagement authority Gallup puts it, engagement comes mostly from relationships. When employees have strong relationships with their coworkers, employee engagement rises, and brings all the other benefits you can think of with it. Gallup’s most notable data point demonstrating this is that employees who report having a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged.

Immediate resource access

Having developers work in-house provides them with immediate access to essential organizational assets. From state-of-the-art computing systems to proprietary software and dedicated hardware tools, the availability is streamlined, ensuring efficiency and reducing potential bottlenecks commonly associated with remote access.

Easier supervision 

Direct oversight becomes feasible in an onsite setup. Managers can monitor project progression, address concerns, and provide feedback without any latency. Compared to remote work, 67% of supervisors believe they spend more time supervising remote workers than onsite workers. This is because managers can monitor project progression, address concerns, and provide feedback without any latency. Being in the same physical space can expedite the resolution of challenges and help maintain the momentum of a project.

Cons of Hiring Onsite Developers

Geographical limitations 

One of the inherent limitations of onsite hiring is the geographical constraint. Businesses are often bound by the talent pool within a certain commuting radius, potentially missing out on global talent. According to a recent study by global staffing firm ManpowerGroup, a staggering 77% of employers around the world are experiencing difficulties in filling job vacancies, marking the highest talent shortage in 17 years. This could mean settling for less-than-ideal candidates or enduring lengthy recruitment processes.

Higher overheads

Operating a physical office entails substantial expenses. Beyond the base cost of renting or purchasing space, there are added expenditures for utilities, equipment, and amenities. In fact, annual occupancy costs in Manhattan reached over $169 per square foot in the second quarter of 2021. But if a significant amount of those employees work from home at least some of the time, you’ll be able to downsize to a smaller office and pay less in rent. According to Global Workplace Analytics, a remote workforce helped IBM save $50 million on real estate costs.

Less flexibility

Onsite jobs usually stick to set working hours, making them less flexible than remote positions. For many parents and caregivers, the flexibility of remote work means they can have a better work-life balance and juggle their jobs with looking after their kids or family members. This flexibility of remote work has impacted women, especially with one study finding that women with childcare responsibilities were 32% less likely to leave a job if they had remote work options.

Risk of local market saturation

In certain tech hubs, the demand for developers often outstrips supply, leading to intense competition for top talent. Such competition can inflate wages and make the recruitment process longer and more challenging. Due to the competitive landscape, there’s often an upward pressure on wages. The Robert Half Technology survey indicated that in top tech cities, like San Francisco, competition for IT professionals led to a 7-8% annual increase in salaries on average. This local market saturation can strain resources and delay projects.

Hiring Remote Developers vs. Onsite Developers: Consider Factors to Choose which Model Suits Best for Your Company

Not sure about the right hiring model that suits your company? Use these questionnaires to evaluate your current situation and decide whether to hire remote or onsite developers.

  1. Considering Costs Beyond Salaries
  • What additional expenses come with having an onsite team, such as office rentals, utilities, and equipment?
  • Can remote work offer savings, like cutting back on physical office needs or tapping into affordable global talent?
  1. Finding the Right Talent
  • Does your local talent pool fulfill your company’s software development needs?
  • Are specific skills you need hard to find locally but accessible through remote recruitment?
  • Do existing company networks or partnerships make remote hiring easier?
  1. Balancing Productivity and Well-being
  • Is creating a flexible work environment and ensuring work-life balance a priority for the company?
  • Have you evaluated how remote work might influence employee motivation and output?
  • Can the company implement tools and strategies to measure and uphold remote team efficiency?
  1. Infrastructure and Resources
  • Is the company equipped with the tools and systems (like remote access and secure networks) to facilitate remote work smoothly?
  • Can the company offer remote developers the essential software, hardware, and resources they need?
  • Are there potential remote work risks, like data security concerns, that need attention?
  1. Cultivating a Suitable Company Culture
  • Is your company’s culture aligned with the trust, autonomy, and discipline remote work demands?
  • Can the company’s existing policies adjust to suit remote work scenarios?
  • How does the company plan to maintain team unity and a sense of belonging among remote members?

Start Building your Remote Tech Team Today!

Every company has a distinct path to crafting its optimal team. By considering the factors outlined and embracing the possibilities of remote work, organizations can navigate the future of tech with agility and foresight. Whether a burgeoning startup or a seasoned business, it’s prime time to delve into remote tech talent.

Want to scale effortlessly? With Insius by your side, we streamline everything from headhunting to paperwork and managing your IT talents. Our seasoned IT recruiters prioritize not just skills, but also cultural fit and fluent English communication.

Your next game-changing developer might just be a few clicks away. Seize the moment, and start building your future-focused, remote tech team today!

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