Many companies have implemented remote work policies for a variety of reasons. In crisis mode, this happens by necessity. In typical situations, there are many reasons companies adopt remote working policies. Seeking desired business outcomes is another reason to enable remote work for your employees and company.
Common benefits of remote work that are discussed typically focus on the employees’ benefits, but businesses of all sizes can improve a variety of business outcomes by utilizing remote work, too.
Remote Work: Our New Reality
Remote work has been a growing trend for many years, but the COVID-19 pandemic sped up the process for many companies. According to the CNBC All America Survey, “42 percent of U.S. workers who did not telecommute previously are doing so now [during the pandemic].”
This work-from-home (WFH) initiative has allowed many Americans to perform their job duties entirely from home, which has helped businesses continue to run, adapting to the situation. It has also helped protect our public health.
However, some employees and business leaders have felt the stress and strain of the WFH movement. But this is to be expected during a unique, global pandemic. The majority of the stress is caused by the coronavirus itself, its health implications, and the worries it has added to everyone’s daily lives. The fault does not lie with the adoption of remote work. Yet, there are many ways to best adopt remote work into your organization that will help lessen the strain on your workforce, though these options were largely overlooked as companies quickly adopted WFH policies practically overnight (and understandably so in the situation).
Looking forward to after the coronavirus pandemic, remote work will still be our new reality. Employees will want to continue working from home, even if only part-time. For this reason, it’s important for business leaders to continue refining their WFH policies for the future. When you adopt the option to work remotely, you will see many benefits in your team and business.
The Business Outcomes of Remote Work
There are many positive business outcomes of remote work, including increased employee engagement, increased employee performance, reduced real estate costs, reduced absenteeism, improve acquisition rates, and improved employee retention.
Increased Employee Engagement
Having a flexible job increases the engagement of employees, especially in terms of remote work.
According to Gallup, “Engagement is not an exercise in making employees feel happy – it’s a strategy for better business outcomes.”
Their research found that companies that experience the highest amount of employee engagement spent 60 percent to 80 percent of their time working remotely. This equals three to four days in a five-day workweek. This may be because people typically enjoy in-person interactions, including at work.
Increased Employee Performance
When employees are engaged, they perform better. So, with increased engagement, you will naturally see increased performance.
Gallup research proves that engaged employees before better. In fact, their research states that “Highly engaged workplaces can claim 41 percent lower absenteeism, 40 percent fewer quality defects, and 21 percent higher profitability.”
According to Business News Daily, remote employees tend to work more hours than in-office employees.
“Remote employees work an additional 1.4 more days per month than in-office employees, which is nearly 17 additional workdays a year.”
Remote employees work an additional 10 minutes per day and spend less time, on average, being unproductive when working. They also say they are less distracted by their boss while working. In fact, 15 percent of remote workers say their boss distracts them while 22 percent of office employees say the same thing.
Reduced Real Estate Costs
According to Global Workplace Analytics, companies whose employees work 100 percent remotely save an average of $10,000 per employee per year on real estate costs alone.
Businesses that employ a part-time remote work policy still save money on real estate costs. Many companies implement WFH policies when they run out of space in their current building. This way, employees rotate their on-site days, sharing desks, pausing (or stopping) the need to expand to a larger building or office space.
Other businesses encourage employees to use co-working spaces. This saves companies money on real estate while offering their employees an in-office atmosphere in their local community.
Remote work can also curtail absenteeism. This has been noticeable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees who are able to work remotely can complete job duties while quarantining.
If employees do get sick, they can choose to get some work done because they are able to work safely from home without infecting co-workers.
According to HubSpot, employee absenteeism often happens when employees are burnt out. But with flexibility and a WFH policy in place that guides employees on remote working best practices, employees are more likely to take time off when they need it and continue to work otherwise.
Improved Acquisition Rates
According to Gallup, “54 percent of workers say they’d change jobs for the choice to work remotely or not.”
This makes companies that offer remote work policies very desirable for job hunters, which is especially important for many businesses to consider during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
Improved Employee Retention
The opportunity for remote work can also improve employee retention rates for the same reasons. More employees want to stay at a company that is flexible.
According to the 2019 Future of Work survey by Crain’s New York Business, which surveyed company managers, “78 percent of the respondents listed ‘flexible schedules and telecommuting’ as their most effective non-monetary ways to increase employee retention.”
According to the Workplace Survey Results by Staples, which surveyed office workers and business decision-makers in the U.S. and Canada, “90 percent of employees say that flexibility in their work arrangements contributes to their morale.”
While the term “flexibility” varies from person to person, remote work is seen as one of the top ways companies can offer flexibility to their employees.
Are You Ready To Adopt A Remote Work Policy?
Working remotely has a few challenges, but its benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. The best way to have a workforce that effectively works remotely is to adopt communications tools that connect employees. This helps your workforce feel like a team and work as a team.
Are you ready to adopt a WFH policy? Learn about our Adoption Services.