Guess what? I’m writing this blog from the comfort of a cozy coffee shop near my house, miles away from the office. I also have amazing and talented coworkers who live in California, Tennessee, the Philippines, Egypt, etc. And we all get to be employed by the same, kickass agency because we have the ability to work from virtually anywhere in the world, any time we want. This is just one of the perks of remote work.
However, remote work benefits more than the employee, it also drastically improves productivity, reduces turnover, and decreases organizational costs. The quantifiable benefits of remote work are undeniable, which is why a lot of companies are starting to make the transition from the 9–5 work environment to giving their employees the freedom to work from anywhere. Here are some of the benefits:
Improved work-life balance. The ability to make one’s own schedule as a remote worker is invaluable for a good work-life balance. You can go to doctor’s appointments, attend events, go to the gym, classes, etc at whatever time of day without worrying that your boss is going to be pissed about you missing a chunk of the workday.
Cut down on time spent commuting. The average worker spends an average of 42 hours a year stuck in traffic on their daily commute, according to Auto Insurance Center. By cutting out the time it takes to drive to and from work in traffic, the employee gains that time back to get more sleep, take their kids to school, or even start work early.
Decreased personal costs. Many people don’t even realize how much money can be spent on work that isn’t covered by the company. Gas, car maintenance, parking fees, wardrobe, lunches bought eating out, childcare, and much more can drain your funds quicker than if you work from home or a location much closer to home.
Choice in the environment. What may be a great environment for one employee may not be conducive to productivity for another. Many offices tend to be drab and gray, lack natural lighting, and force workers to confine themselves to tiny cubicles. Or on the opposite hand, if you are someone who has trouble focusing but is made to work in an environment that has a coworking space, allows pets and children in the office, and lots of noise and distractions, you likely won’t be as productive. Working remotely allows employees to customize their workspace to suit their needs, leading to more productivity and contentedness.
A happier overall work life. Studies show that workers with a more flexible schedule tend to be happier and more loyal to the company. They have also been shown to experience less stress and improve their personal relationships and provide them with more time and energy to focus on their own hobbies and interests.
Better health. The ability to work remotely can contribute significantly to an employee’s health and wellness in a variety of ways. They usually have more time for physical activity, eat healthier, and can more easily recover from illness or surgery because they can work from home. It is also easier to attend doctor’s appointments when they need to.
Increased productivity. A survey conducted by Connect Solutions reported that among those who worked remotely, 77% said that they were more productive when working remotely, and 30% stated that they were able to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time than when they worked in an office.
Saving on equipment. Remote employees are able to use their own technology to perform work-related tasks, as well as a lot of other equipment they may need (desks, chairs, etc) so your business doesn’t have to worry about providing hundreds of computers, for example. Not to mention, you can save big on the cost of large office space.
Option to source talent from anywhere in the world. Allowing employees to work remotely opens up an entire world of talent — literally. You can source hires from virtually anywhere, allowing you to have your pick of the best fit for the position you want to hire for.
Lower turnover. Because employees have all of the aforementioned benefits, it leads to a much lower turnover rate. The flexibility and freedom that employees are offered by the ability to work remotely and choose their own schedule is a huge plus for most, and they won’t be willing to give it up so easily.
So… are you going to make the switch?
If all of this sounds good, perhaps consider making the switch to a remote workforce. Though there are some industries where remote work is not possible, of course, most office jobs allow employees to work from the comfort of their own home, or wherever they so choose. There’s no harm in testing it out, perhaps with a handful of employees to start, or with a couple of days of the week being designated “work from home” days.