The Benefits of Remote Work for Both Employees and Managers
Well before COVID-19 hit many companies and pushed more people than ever to telecommute, companies were already looking at ways to make workers remote.
Just two years ago, Forbes magazine estimated that more than half of the U.S. workforce would be remote by 2027.
In Europe, remote working numbers were skyrocketing well before the forced shutdown in many countries.
Why work remotely and why are so many companies pushing this unique model even after COVID shutdowns have relaxed and offered many the chance to go back to the office? There are several benefits for both employees and managers that you may not realize.
The Benefits of Telecommuting for Employees
When most people think about the benefits of telecommuting, they see only those offered to employees, and for good reason. Most of those are quite obvious.
One of the biggest benefits to employees is that it creates a solid work-life balance. Remote employees typically don’t have to commute, which means adding time back into their day.
What’s more, though, is that they have the ability to work in a comfortable, safe space, allowing them to be far more productive.
It also allows a level of scheduling freedom working at the office just doesn’t. If, for example, an employee needs to pick up the kids from school each afternoon, he or she can do that then go back to work.
Similarly, it’s possible to work from anywhere, so whether that means a beach house while on vacation or the back bedroom on any given day, employees have the freedom to check in from almost anywhere.
Most employees who work from home also experience less stress. There’s no traffic to fight, no rush to grab lunch, and no long hours in the office away from absolutely everyone.
That means they tend to be happier and healthier, which can lead to greater productivity. It may also save you quite a bit of money.
If you commute regularly, you spend a chunk of money on public transportation or your own vehicle. Commuting less means you’re saving that money you’d normally spend on getting to work.
Remote work may also allow you to avoid distractions. How many times have you gotten off track at work thanks to unimportant meetings or interruptions from your co-workers?
Remote work comes without those distractions, so you can typically dramatically increase the time you spend on work related tasks.
The Benefits of Telecommuting for Employers
While the benefits for employees that surround remote work might seem a bit obvious, there are some massive benefits for employers as well.
Fewer employees in the office equal reduced costs. You’ll need fewer desks and maybe smaller office spaces.
One Stanford study of remote employees found that the companies who employ remote office workers save nearly $2000 per employee on rent alone.
Allowing employees to go remote may also make you more competitive when it comes to attracting and retaining the best talent in the business.
No matter what you sell or market, your team is your primary driver of success, and getting the best possible team members may be more likely if you offer them some flexibility in how and when they work.
Going remote could also allow you to extend your company’s hours of operation. Imagine, for example, video conferencing with clients during the evening hours is something you’ve always wanted to offer.
If you have a remote team, it may be possible to schedule their hours so that you’re continually available to those clients any time they need to meet.
Some studies have even found that remote teams take fewer days off and are more likely to keep working even through a mild illness.
You may even find that the overall wellness levels of your employees are quite a bit higher thanks to the fact that they come in contact with fewer germs outside of those in their own homes.
Is Remote Work Right for Your Company?
Not sure whether this is a step your company should take? Before you make that decision, you’ll want to think about the culture of your company, the size of your team, and your goals.
You need to understand the work expectations your managers might set for remote teams, and whether you already have the technology available that you need to ensure your remote employees can be productive at home.
Additionally, you’ll need to create a way for your team to stay connected to one another despite the fact that they’re working remotely on a regular basis. Interaction with other team members is likely a key part of your company, and there are ways to do just that, but it’s up to you to create that space.