The benefits of remote work for employees and managers

Posted by Moose Consultant on January 9th, 2021

Remote working, known as the ability to work anywhere, anytime, is more than a global trend - it became a whole labor movement. According to Forbes, 50 percent of the US workforce will soon be remote. Across the pond, Europe's remote workers grew from 7.7 percent to 9.8 percent in the last decade. Giving employees the flexibility to work where and when they want cuts across all industries and companies of all sizes. In fact, many of the major companies offer full, medium, or partial remote work. Working remotely doesn't always mean working from home, but refers to all the times an employee works outside of the office, be it in a coffee shop or in a flexible workspace.

Basically, working remotely allows greater flexibility and autonomy for employees. According to Inc., 9 out of 10 workers who currently work remotely plan to stay that way for the rest of their careers. Technology enables people to check email, connect in a meeting, and complete projects anytime, anywhere. But it's not just the employees who benefit - employers are beginning to view remote work as an important factor in hiring and retaining skilled talent, staying competitive in their field, and even saving on costs.

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Let's see what are the benefits of remote work for employees and employers.

Why work remotely? Three employee benefits

1. Working remotely allows for a better balance between professional and personal life

For many companies, even a couple of decades ago, working remotely would have been nearly impossible. Without technology, the office was the only place the employee could get work done. What is the downside of these technological advances? Unclear boundaries between work and personal life. For many employees, maintaining a healthy balance between professional and personal life is essential. The ability to balance these two aspects became the key to staying more satisfied and more productive at work. Saving time wasted on long commutes to the office allows employees to have a better balance between professional and personal life, and gives them back hours to use as they wish.

2. Remote employees have more freedom

Clearly, the benefits of remote work help keep employees compliant, engaged, and fulfilled. According to the Gallup State of the American Workplace report, the optimal reinforcement of engagement occurs when employees spend [about] three to four days working outside the office. Do you need to travel to visit your family? Or come home in the afternoon to go to your son's soccer game? A traditional employee would have to leave the office earlier or ask for leave. But remote employees can check in from home or from the regional offices where they go. Whether they stay home, travel, or go to the office one day a week or three, employees enjoy the freedom of remote work.

3. Remote work promotes employee well-being

Without having to commute, without rushing lunches, and without extra hours in the office away from family and friends, remote working can improve the health and well-being of employees by reducing stress, and avoiding being around sick colleagues helps you avoid catching colds. But employers shouldn't skip the remote workplace wellness plan - its inclusion in corporate wellness programs, like access to the gym, is just as important for those with flexible work.

Three business benefits of having remote teams

1. Remote work is synonymous with increased productivity

Employers struggle with the existential question "If I don't see my employees working, are they working?" The ability for employers to trust their teams, even when working outside the office, can be the key to boosting productivity like never before. Data shows that when employees can avoid extra coffee breaks, a long commute to the office, and other distractions to focus on work, productivity prevails. For example, in a two-year study on remote work productivity conducted by Stanford University, researchers tracked 500 employees, dividing them into "remote" and "traditional" workgroups. Results from the remote workgroup not only demonstrated a boost in productivity equivalent to a full day's work but also had fewer sick days and a 50 percent reduction in attrition.

2. Remote work helps companies save money

Having fewer employees in the office also helps reduce company costs. How? Imagine a traditional office space. Can you imagine a busy and energetic workplace or envision empty desks waiting for new hires to fill the next year? The ghost town effect is real and maybe costing your business thousands. When there are fewer people in the office, businesses can condense their real estate needs to use the workspace more efficiently. That same Stanford study of remote workers allowed the participating company to save nearly $ 2,000 per employee in renting office space, simply by using the space more efficiently.

3. Offering remote work makes companies more competitive

Regardless of the company's product, mission, or goals, it's the people who make its success possible. Who but your employees will shape the products of the future, drive the efficiency of your teams, and make your business plan grow and develop properly? For this reason, the ability to attract and retain qualified talent is a key differentiating factor in the corporate world from today's competition. Remote work can play a positive role in this context and offer a sense of personal recognition between employer and employee. In fact, 35 percent of employees would change jobs if it meant the possibility of working outside the office full time. Companies that offer a flexible working arrangement, such as full, part or part remote work, can make a difference for a candidate looking for their next job.

What to consider before adopting remote work

So far, we've seen that remote working offers greater flexibility and autonomy for employees, and increased productivity and savings for employers. However, before venturing into the world of remote work, companies should consider their current office culture, team size, and goals.

What job expectations will managers set for remote teams?

Are measures in place, such as video conferencing technology, to facilitate seamless remote work?

Are there programs in place that embed remote employment in the company culture and make them feel integrated into day-to-day operations?

These are important issues that a company must consider before changing its current employment structure.

On the other hand, before accepting a position that includes remote work or asking managers to work remotely, employees should consider their own boundaries between work and personal life. Employees should ask themselves, "Can I thrive working remotely? Will I be able to structure my days efficiently? Is my company technologically capable to support my remote work?"

The concept of working from anywhere and at any time, more than a mere trend, is the future of work. Technology is going to advance and it is going to bring us even closer. It will continue to connect employees and businesses across time zones and continents. While we may not be physically in the same office, the work can be as efficient, if not more, than in a traditional model. It's time for employees and employers alike to embrace the new way of working and consider the benefits of the remote model.

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Moose Consultant
Joined: September 1st, 2018
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