Remote work is the practice of employees doing their jobs from a remote location, such as their home, as opposed to a central office. According to researchers from Ladders, 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022. While the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this trend, advances in communication technology have been making remote work possible—and popular—for several years. Over time, working remotely is likely to become the norm in many fields.
When working from home, employees find it easier to juggle their professional and personal lives. For example, if you want to drop your kids off at school in the morning, you can adjust your work schedule accordingly. An improved work-life balance can boost morale, reduce absenteeism, and cut back on employee turnover.
Let’s face it: nobody likes to commute to and from work. Not only is it stressful and costly—especially with today’s high gas prices—but it also eats into time that you could spend working in the morning and being with family in the evening. In 2019, the average one-way commute in the United States increased to a new high of 27.6 minutes. In the UK the amount of time spent commuting one-way rose to 29.5 minutes in the decade prior to the Covid pandemic. In either country you’re losing almost a full hour per day.
Although employers have previously expressed concerns about a loss of productivity due to remote work, the opposite is generally proving to be true. Working from home helps cut down on time lost due to commuting and in-office distractions. Workers also report being able to take a more personalized approach to time management, which can help alleviate stress and produce better task outcomes.
As an employer, it’s natural to have reservations. However, once you realize the advantages for your company, you may begin to head down this path. Here are a few of the most immediate benefits.
How much money do you spend on your office space? How would it feel to eliminate these overhead costs once and for all? When your employees work from home, you don’t have to invest in office space, helping you save on rental and maintenance costs. You can then use this money to grow your business.
According to PeopleKeep, the average employee retention rate was approximately 53% in 2021. Poor work-life balance, inflexible scheduling, and a lack of remote work options were among the main drivers behind the high volumes of turnover in the last year. Even if your company’s retention rate is higher than average, there’s always room for improvement. Allowing employees to work remotely is one of the best ways to keep them on board because it addresses a number of interconnected quality-of-life concerns.
There’s nothing more important than keeping your employees happy, and remote workers are self-reporting high levels of happiness. When people are satisfied with their jobs, they’re more likely to be loyal and make positive contributions to the team.
What’s behind the increase in worker satisfaction in a remote environment? The convenience and personal balance this arrangement allows have workers feeling like leadership is taking their well-being into account.
Now that you understand the advantages of working remotely—both for employees and employers—turn your attention to deciding if it’s suitable for your company. Answer these questions to kickstart the decision-making process:
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