Here at Quest, we know that Remote Working is an important aspect of every business. Our guest author, Amanda Peterson of Enlightened Digital, has written a piece explaining the benefits of remote working and the vital role that it plays for modern organisations.
Businesses around the world are investing in a larger number of remote employees. In fact, a recent study revealed over 70 percent of the global workforce works remotely at least once per week and 53 percent work remotely for at least half the week. Hiring remote employees has proven to be beneficial to businesses in more ways than expected. Remote workers promote diversity, productivity and retention, all while saving companies money. This post explores the reasons remote employees are a key aspect of successful organizations.
What are the benefits of working remotely
Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom constantly questioned whether remote work was of benefit or detriment to businesses. Eventually, after getting mixed responses, he decided to run a study of his own. What he found was that telecommuters were significantly more productive than those who worked traditionally in the office. There are several reasons remote employees are more efficient.
- Work-life balance: One of the most important requirements of potential candidates is a company’s emphasis on work-life balance. A recent FlexJobs survey found work-life balance was ranked higher than salary in evaluating possible jobs. Employees want a healthy relationship between their careers and their home lives. Remote employees have the ability to stay at home throughout the day and can therefore balance the two more seamlessly.
- Reduced stress and higher morale: According to a PGi report, 82 percent of remote workers reported reduced stress levels, and 80 percent reported higher morale as a result of working remotely. Telecommuting instills a higher level of trust and freedom in employees, motivating them to do better and allowing them to work in their most effective way.
- Less sick time: Remote employees are less likely to take time off for a sick day. They have the ability to work from their couch or bed in pajamas. Employees can nap if and when necessary, and take a more leisurely approach to the day. Telecommuters are significantly more likely to work even on days they aren’t feeling well.
- Peak work hours: One thing that makes remote employment so desirable is the opportunity for each employee to work on a schedule that works best for them. That means they’ll get more (and better) work done in the hours they’re running. This creates a more efficient workflow and ultimately, higher production value per employee.
- Longer operational hours: Remote employees have the ability to work on their own schedules. That means business hours can start with the early birds in the morning, and end with the night owls, creating a longer business day and more opportunity for production. In addition, because remote employees are not location-dependent, you can have workers in different time zones, expanding your work hours even further.
How does working from home save companies money
Office space, utilities, necessary work technology, furniture, and other overhead costs are associated with each in-office employee. Remote employees don’t require desk space in the building, or use the break room or restrooms throughout the day. By reducing the number of workers physically in the office, you will be saving the associated costs of each of them as well. Nicholas Bloom’s study found organizations saved nearly $2000 per employee on office space alone!
Additionally, a recent survey revealed 30 percent of workers would take a pay decrease if given the opportunity to telecommute. By simply allowing employees to be a part of your company, regardless of location, you’ll be saving money in both their salaries and overhead costs. Not only that, but you’ll also be getting (and keeping) a more dedicated, productive workforce.
Remote employment creates a more diverse workforce
When you hire remote employees, you automatically set your business up for a more diverse, well-rounded staff. Telecommuting lends itself to workers who need to work from home due to circumstance. This can include single parents, individuals with health conditions or disabilities or even a lack of transportation resources.
Additionally, remote employment opens the door for a more global, and possible round-the-clock, workforce. Talent isn’t limited to a specific location. That means you can have employees who speak foreign languages, come from different cultures, and have varying points of view to bring to the table. Your business can hire the top talent even if they live in a different state, country or continent.
Remote work creates more loyal employees
Remote workers, though not physically in the office, are actually more loyal to a company than those who work in-house. 76 percent of the FlexJobs respondents said they’re more likely to stay with an employer if they have a flexible work option. Loyalty plays an important role in an organization’s success.
If a staff member is unhappy and chooses to leave a job, the company will face more than just a disruption of workflow. They have to absorb the responsibilities of the employee, taking valuable resources from other areas. However, productivity loss isn’t the only pitfall. Businesses have to go through the process of re-hiring, on-boarding and training a replacement. By providing remote work options, your business will be able to retain its employees and save those costs.
Hiring remote employees and providing flexible work arrangements creates happier, more diverse and efficient employees. In doing so, companies will have higher retention, more effective workflows, and even save money in the long run.
– Amanda Peterson at Enlightened Digital.