Benefits of Remote Working
It is no surprise that remote working has been on an exponential incline since the start of the pandemic. While this isn’t a new practice by any means, remote working has become an accepted and mainstream working style. “There has been a cultural paradigm shift in what society deems to be an appropriate workplace – and remote work has capitalized off of that newfound freedom1”. What was once deemed as a temporary situation has become a common expectation, and employers are quickly learning that having a remote workplace carries a lot of benefits.
The most notable benefit of remote working is its cost-savings advantages. As reported in a survey of employers, 6 out of 10 say they’ve saved money by allowing employees to work from home2. Increased savings derive from real estate costs such as office rent, office utilities, and maintenance, food, furniture, etc. Beneficially, this is great for a company’s bottom line. In a statistic by Global Workplace Analytics, it was found that allowing employees to work from home only half of the time can save employers approximately $11,000 per employee per year3!
In tune with cost-saving benefits, remote working has proven to be beneficial to higher employee retention rates. With any business, turnover is costly. It takes up time and resources to source the right candidate, conduct the necessary hiring procedures, and then onboard them which is why employee retention is a big challenge for any business owner. Unexpectedly, the forced shift to remote working has helped aid this obstacle. In a statistic reported by WBM, it was found that 7 in 10 employees placed equal value on flexible working as their pay and health benefits4. Flexible working arrangements allow people the leeway and extra time to accommodate to life changes, meet family commitments, engage in hobbies, and have fulfilled schedules. This change has allowed employees to see a better fit in their job with their life priorities and as a result, happy employees equal higher retention.
Employers are not the only ones who reap the benefits of a remote workforce – the employees themselves are the primary benefactors of remote work. Many of the efficiencies and conveniences are self-evident: getting more sleep at night, foregoing the morning commute, saving money on gasoline, spending more time with family and loved ones – employees benefit from remote and hybrid work schedules at many levels, especially when it comes to finances and mental health. In some surveys, 60%+ employees reported that they prefer being fully remote in 20215. It is no surprise that this fraction is so high. These workers tend to make more and save more money on a yearly basis compared to their in-office counterparts – it is estimated that 30% of all telecommuters save upwards of $5,000 per year due to their working arrangements. Additionally, on average, people who work from home earn a total of $4,000 more annually6. This is likely due to the costs they save, the more productive they become, and the more hours they tend to work. Beyond the financial incentives, telecommuters are often happier and feel better about their job overall. From research conducted by Owl Labs, 83% of both remote and non-remote employees state that opportunities to work remotely make them feel happier at their work. Additionally, 81% of employees say that the option to work remotely would make them more likely to refer their friend as a job candidate to the company7, acting as a highly effective method of internal recruiting. Since remote work has such a significant impact on the well-being of employees, it is understandable why this workplace model is being adopted even after the threat of COVID-19 slowly dissipates. 50% of workers state that they don’t plan on staying at their current company unless remote work is offered as an option8. Employees are so motivated to pursue remote work, that in one survey, 25% of all respondents said they would take a pay cut of 10% in order to continue working from home even after COVID-19 mandates end9.
Of course, not all companies can translate their workplace operations into a work-from-home model. Many sectors require the physical presence of employees to accomplish work, such as the service and automotive industries. However, there are still plenty of industry workforces that have the potential to become partially, if not fully remote. The finance, management, professional services, and information sectors have the highest potential for remote work. For example, within the Finance and Insurance sectors, 86% of all activities do not require physical on-site presence to be completed, acting as a theoretical maximum for time spent working remotely10. The pandemic shed light on what the future of work could look like. Soon, any work that can be done from the comfort of one’s home will likely be moved there as the status quo, for the benefit of everyone involved.