Remote work is on the rise as professionals increasingly demand more flexibility and choice in the workplace. The internet, laptops, cloud computing, and other emerging technologies have reduced the need for people to be tied to a location and time in order to work effectively. Professionals today can work from home, from a cafe, a virtual office, or from wherever they are as long as they have access to internet and a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Recent studies have shown that remote work policies offer various benefits to employers and employees alike.
Top 5 Benefits of Remote Work Policies
1. Business Savings
You read that right. Remote working is cheaper than the alternative: it helps reduce commuting costs and overhead.
For starters, if people aren’t commuting to the office, there’s no need for companies to offer commuting benefits; furthermore, individuals save on valuable time, gas, and parking costs.
On the employer side, remote work helps reduce business overhead costs because companies won’t need to take up as much office space. This reduces leasing costs and electricity costs (fewer people means less energy: less heating or cooling, less lighting, less electronics to plug in or charge, etc.). But there’s more, remote work means less need for office supplies, furniture, coffee, tea, snacks, and maintenance services (less people means there’s less to clean up).
If you manage a fully remote team or a mostly remote team and still require some access to office and meeting space, you can hire a virtual office service which would enable you and team members to have limited access to fully equipped office and meeting space. Virtual offices can also help remote companies have a centralized operation by offering VoIP systems and centralizing where a company receives and sends mail.
2. Increased Productivity
People don’t need to be in an office anymore to work effectively. In fact, some individuals work better in the wee hours of the morning or late at night; remote work policies empower individuals to work whenever its best for them, which means they will provide the best results, regardless of time or location.
Other than working at times when professionals feel their best, other reasons why remote work increases productivity include: fewer coworker distractions; fewer meetings. Because remote workers choose where they work from and how they work, their environment is typically more conducive to personal productivity; and they can dress more comfortably.
Moreover, since remote work usually eliminates the need for a commute (or, at least, a long, traffic-filled commute) individuals are better able to sit down and get to work without having to de-stress. Because commute times are essentially eliminated, workers have more time to devot to their work.
3. Tap into the Best Talent
One of the key benefits of implementing remote work policies within your business is you’re free to tap into a wider talent pool.
Since companies are not restricting themselves to hire talent from a specific geographic location, it means that they can access the best talent available.
More importantly, however, is that offering remote work policies helps companies attract and retain talent, especially millennial talent.
The 2018 Global Talent Trends study by Mercer found that: 51% of employees wish their company offered more flexible work options and 84% of working parents said work flexibility is the number one most important factor in a job.
Similarly, a survey by AfterCollege found that 68% of millennial job seekers said an option to work remotely would greatly increase their interest in specific employers. Sharefile for its part found that 69% of Gen Z said flexible hours (69%) are a valued employee benefit, along with free healthcare (23%) and the option to work remotely (18%).
Beyond talent attraction, remote work policies help companies retain the best talent, which improves business efficiency and reduces costs.
BambooHR states that the cost of on-barding new talent averages $4,125 per employee, and a Stanford University report found that after a company introduced telecommuting, attrition rates fell by 50%. Furthermore, Staples Advantage has found that 76% of remote workers feel more loyal to their company.
4. Remote Work Improves Diversity and Inclusion
Remote work policies can help companies in their diversity and inclusion efforts. The flexibility that remote work offers enables candidates who wouldn’t typically apply for a position to submit for it. This includes mothers, caregivers, people who live in other countries, people who aren’t able to commute, professionals with disabilities, etc.
Moreover, remote work can help keep the older generation of workers at work, especially as more of them keep pushing off retirement in order to pay for increased costs of living.
A McKinsey research report found that:
- Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.
- Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry median.
5. It’s Good for People and the Environment
Remote work helps people reach and maintain better work-life balance, which in turn improves employee wellbeing and job satisfaction.
Moreover, remote work is also good for the environment. By reducing or eliminating the need to commute, remote work policies can help reduce greenhouse emissions and fossil fuel consumption. It also reduces a company’s overall environmental impact by requiring less infrastructure and consuming less office resources: paper, energy, water, etc.
Remote work policies can help companies meet environmental and social goals. It can also improve company performance by having a more engaged and productive workforce and by reducing overhead costs. To make remote-work work, companies and individuals need to have access to the right tools and resources like a reliable internet connection, the right electronics, access to meeting space, a professional address and phone number, and collaboration tools.
For some companies, a virtual office has been key to the success of their remote operation, as they provide access to office space, meeting space, an address, and a robust phone system, as well as the right technologies to enable mobile, remote work.by