Remote work existed but was not as favored before the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the onset of the pandemic forced companies to adopt remote work as the only option. While there were concerns about telecommuting leading to decreased productivity, studies have shown the opposite. According to a survey conducted in 2020, remote employees worked an average of 16.8 days more per year than their office-going counterparts. Forbes stated that teleworkers demonstrated an output increase of 4.4% and a 35-40% increase in productivity. Not only did remote work show increased productivity, but it also allowed businesses to reduce costs, employ workers globally, and work around the clock.
Assembling a remote workforce and running a business successfully without on-site workers might seem daunting. However, remote work benefits both the employer and the employee. Let’s take a look at how telecommuting profits companies.
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- Reduced costs
The popularity of telecommuting has allowed companies to cut costs. An office requires quite a lot of equipment, like desks and chairs, printers, photocopiers, paper, computers, etc. With remote work, the equipment cost can be reduced. Employees working from home may prefer using their personal computers. Workers may also have a workspace and office equipment, which would further save the company money. Without an office, a company would save a fortune on electric, gas, and water bills.
Renting office space is quite costly. Instead of renting out large premises, businesses can utilize coworking spaces. Or the need for office space can be eliminated, with the entire workforce operating from the comfort of their homes.
Lastly, employees who work from home are less likely to contract illnesses that might stem from sharing an enclosed space with their co-workers. This would reduce the healthcare costs of the company. Studies have also shown that long commutes or disagreeable co-workers harm an individual’s mental health.
- Increased Productivity
All businesses benefit from the increased productivity of their workers. Remote work allows employees to have a better work-life balance, which also increases their motivation at work. If a company offers flexible working schedules, employees can work during the hours they find suitable and thus work more efficiently. Working from a space they are comfortable in also boosts their productivity.
Another benefit of remote work is that employees waste less time chatting with their colleagues, taking water cooler breaks, or getting distracted in a noisy office environment. They can work in a space that enables them to concentrate on their work, finish ongoing projects faster, and take on new work. Research conducted by Stanford University shows that the increase in productivity of telecommuters equals an extra working day!
- A more global workforce
Working at a physical office would mean employing people who live near the workplace or are willing to relocate, significantly narrowing the talent pool. Remote work, however, allows employers to hire people from diverse locations who are the most suitable. Companies that choose remote work can select employees from a larger talent pool.
Secondly, global hiring entitles businesses to gain access to the consumer preferences of other parts of the world or their local customs. It also allows companies to expand their customer base without language barriers.
Lastly, a workforce with employees from different time zones permits a company to work more hours. Operating a 24-hour work schedule in a local office setting isn’t feasible. However, if a business hires people from different time zones, it can provide continuous customer service!
- Better Employee retention
If a business encourages remote work, they have a better employee retention rate. Retaining employees help a company lessen the cost and personnel needed to train a new employee. Recruiting a new worker might also bring uncertainty about their ability to handle the previous worker’s job.
Employees respond better to remote work for numerous reasons. For one, a worker moving to a new city or country won’t affect the company’s work.
Secondly, if a business doesn’t allow work from home, working parents might be forced to leave their job to take care of their kids. Flexible working hours would let a parent perform daily tasks like dropping the kids off at school before starting work. Also, employees can work peacefully without worrying about babysitters and daycare costs, enhancing their productivity and motivation.
- Flexible hours
Flexible hours are a great way to attract people to your company. Rather than having to work a night shift, employees in different time zones can work during the day. Flexible hours also allow employees to choose a time when they are the most productive. For some, it could mean the time when their kids are at school. For students, a night shift might be more convenient.
Flexible hours are a huge incentive, even for employees in a company’s time zone. A study showed that millennials prefer jobs that offer them flexible schedules. Employees with adjustable schedules might not have to commute to the office daily (or at all), lessening fuel consumption and making the company more eco-friendly.
- Fewer absences
In case of an illness, an employee may be forced to take an entire day off work since they might be too sick to commute to their office. However, they might be able to complete some tasks if permitted to work from home. This would also mitigate the risk of spreading a contagious disease around the office.
Secondly, in the case of natural disasters like snowstorms, flooding, or heat waves, employees can work from the safety of their homes. This means that a company’s operation won’t seize.
Covid-19 changed the way businesses work. While remote work might have seemed counterproductive to employers initially, companies are now discovering the benefits of telecommuting. Employees are showing increased productivity due to flexible working schedules, the elimination of long commutes to offices, and a working environment of their choosing.
Working remotely also allows a company to hire talent from all over the world rather than settling for underqualified individuals who live near their office spaces. Since many employees prefer working from home after the pandemic, allowing them to do so helps the company retain its best workers. It also assists the company in working around the clock since they can hire people from different time zones.