Remote work certainly has its perks, but for many of us it also has its challenges. In this blog series, we’ll focus on the home office, discussing ways to adapt, and conquer—both as an employer and an employee. This is post 14 of the series. You can follow the rest of the series and read our past posts here.
The case for workplace flexibility has been made time and time again. From increased employee engagement and retention to improved work-life balance for staff, some employers were quick to see the benefits while others dragged their feet. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, however, the conversation surrounding workplace flexibility has taken on a new urgency. With no choice but to allow employees to work from home, every leader must consider what this means for the company as they find a path forward.
While some may be committed to remote working for the long haul, others might be hesitant to even consider it—going as far as halting hiring altogether. However, the desire to work from home is no longer a workplace fad that we can ignore. Instead, it is a business strategy that will be critical to your success in the years to come.
This isn’t to say that that this new development is anything to fear! Like other flexible arrangements, remote work can have many benefits for the business and staff when implemented correctly. Still not convinced? Here are seven benefits of remote work for your company:
Real estate is typically one of the largest fixed costs for most businesses. While you don’t have to give up your office space altogether, one of the benefits of remote work is that it can reduce the amount of space you need. Additionally, having less employees on location at a time can help save on overhead costs such as office supplies, furniture, and electricity. A formal work from home option can also drive down the high costs associated with employee absenteeism and turnover.
Remote employees can also benefit from reduced costs. By working from home, they can save about $4000 a year—cutting back on expenses associated with their commute, professional wardrobe, and food, and coffee.
One of the many benefits of remote work is access to a larger talent pool. When hiring people who are expected to commute into the office, for example, you’re limited to your geographic region. Hiring remotely, especially for those hard-to-find skillsets, can expand your horizons and help you find an overall better fit for the specific role and company culture. This can also cut down on the amount of time-to-hire, easing the burden off of your existing team.
Today’s technology makes working from home easy! Wi-fi and laptops as well as the proper operating systems, storage databases, and communication tools can set your remote staff up for success. Investing in the right software and infrastructure can also position you as a tech forward company, which can take you far when attracting and retaining talent. To keep their skills sharp, top talent will look for employers who are using the latest and greatest technology. Showing that you are well-equipped to maintain a remote workforce is just one of the many ways you can accomplish this. Read also: Your Comprehensive Guide To Managing A Remote Team
With only so many hours in a day, it’s common for professionals to feel spread thin in both their work and personal lives. This can lead to high levels of burn out and stress, which may lead them to feel like they are failing on both fronts. By working from home, employees don’t have to worry about a long and stressful commute—freeing up more time to better manage their work and personal demands. This improved quality of life can help them be more present and focused when they are “at” work.
It’s a major misconception that employees need to work traditional, full-time hours at the office in order to be productive. Given that your employees are most likely productive at different times (and in different places), this type of thinking can cause more harm than good. Allowing employees to work remotely is a great way to enable your team to work during the times (and in the environment) they can accomplish the most.
One of the top benefits of remote work is that it helps facilitate trust between the company and employees. While the employer gives individuals more autonomy over their schedules, employees are still expected to get their work done. This sense of control over their work-life balance can help employees feel more valued, which in turn, will help foster loyalty across the company.
How your competitors run their business could impact your ability to attract and retain top talent. According to our 2020 Hiring Outlook, 74% of working professionals would change jobs if offered more flexibility in a new role. With that said, employers who do not get on board with remote work risk losing their top performers and top applicants to companies that do.
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