6 Proven Business Outcomes of Remote Work

6 Proven Business Outcomes of Remote Work

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.   

Reduced Absenteeism

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.

How to Adopt Remote Work Functionality in Your Organization

How to Adopt Remote Work Functionality in Your Organization

When you want to adopt remote work in your organization, you must also follow four best practices during the process to ensure successful adoption. When you follow these best practices, you will see many positive business outcomes. 

Some businesses have failed at implementing these best practices into their remote work initiative, which causes them to eventually give up on remote work altogether, leaving its many benefits behind and potentially some disgruntled employees as well.

With prior planning and careful consideration, you will be able to start and utilize a functional remote work initiative that will greatly benefit your organization. Here’s how:

Adopt The Right Technology

A remote workforce is heavily dependent on technology to communicate. And communication is at the center of most businesses. Without the right technology, employees can become lost and unengaged because of a lack of communication.

Relying on email and phone calls alone is an outdated approach for distanced teams. Now, video conferencing software, collaboration platforms, and cloud services are vital for a remote team to be successful. 

Not only is adopting the right technology important to your success, but so is a quick, successful adoption of those technologies by your workforce. If adoption is slow and time-consuming, employees can feel stranded and confused, unable to make work progress. But when adoption is quick and efficient, employees are involved and engaged. That’s why we offer Adoption Acceleration services

Increase Security

With remote work, there is an increased need to improve security measures for your company’s data. Many work-from-home (WFH) policies allow employees to use personal devices for work, which means that your company’s cybersecurity needs are changing. In fact, even if you don’t technically allow employees to use personal devices for work, they likely are anyway, especially on mobile devices.

Every device is a potential entry point for hackers. As such, every device can be a weak point in your cybersecurity efforts and your cybersecurity posture is only as strong as your weakest endpoint. Your employees’ personal anti-virus protection or other cybersecurity efforts are no longer enough. Instead, they need enterprise solutions to protect your data. 

In order to meet these increased cybersecurity demands, we recommend working with a cybersecurity Managed Service Provider (MSP) in order to receive guidance on how to best protect your company’s data. This is why we partner with CyberFort Advisors, an MSP, to bring you customized cybersecurity solutions. 

Update Your Company Culture to Accommodate Remote Work

When your workforce works remotely, they still need a company culture to align their work. This helps them work on behalf of the company’s mission. It’s about teamwork, collaboration, and trust.

When you adopt remote work, you will need to change or add to your current company culture. It may involve new technologies and yearly retreats, but it has to include connections. When employees connect with one another, they are able to build trust with one another over time. This trust enables them to feel more at ease in their work because they know they can count on their teammates, even if they don’t see them every day. 

Part of building trust is transparency. Even if you don’t see your employees, you still need to be transparent with them, which means communicating openly with them. A remote team should communicate just as much, if not more, than an in-office team.

Another important part of a remote work culture is being goal-oriented. Similar to an in-office setting, employees need to know expectations and goals, so make them clear and communicate them often. This helps develop a culture of growth and motivation, which is important for having an engaged, productive workforce. 

Each company has a different culture, so your remote work culture will vary based on your organization’s mission, goals, and other factors. Involve your team in a discussion about how they want the company culture to adapt as it goes remote. Ask them what kind of support they will need before adopting the remote work opportunity and after. That will kick-off the connection and further build trust with them, which will start impacting your company culture right away.

Implement New Remote Work Policies

To make remote work actionable for your workforce, you will need to create WFH policies. These policies will establish the dos and don’ts of working from home and working remotely in general. It’s important to establish boundaries and best practices in these new policies to guide your workforce to productivity. Without these policies, you may come across problems that are avoidable, such as employees feeling overwhelmed or not completing tasks in a timely manner. 

Common remote work policies include the following details:

  • Expectations
  • Responsibilities
  • Who is eligible to WFH
  • The process for requesting WFH privileges
  • Regular working hours, if you want to establish them
  • Expected online hours, if necessary
  • Timekeeping process and recommendations 
  • Attendance and availability expectations
  • How different technology will be used (tip: avoid duplicate uses)
  • What expenses you will cover

When you create a WFH policy, you will likely want every employee to sign an agreement stating they agree to the terms within the policy. This helps ensure employees understand the policy before they work remotely. 

Are You Ready to Make Remote Work Functional at Your Organization? 

Most businesses considering remote work are going through extensive changes, which can be challenging for employees to adopt. To help you support your workforce during big changes, we offer Change Management services.

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