Characterised by the ability to work from any location at any moment, remote work has exploded into a global movement over the past few years. Technology has played the largest role in facilitating the approach, and the coronavirus pandemic pushed many businesses to adopt it further.
The number of remote workers in Europe has grown from 7.7% to 9.8% in the past decade, while estimates from Forbes projected that half of the U.S. workforce would be remote by 2018. Most of today’s leading companies offer full or partial remote work – and for good reason.
Giving employees the freedom to work when and where they want is more affordable than building offices. Remote working does not necessarily happen at home, either. It applies to any scenario where work is done off-site, be it at an internet cafe or shared workspace.
A post by Inc. reported that nine out of 10 external workers plan to continue working remotely for the rest of their careers and that almost everyone will be doing the same in the next few decades. Let’s take a closer look at why this is possible by detailing how remote work benefits employees and managers alike.
Remote Working Leads to an Improved Work-Life Balance
For many small businesses, even just a few years ago, it would have been almost impossible to facilitate remote work. Employees need the right tools and offices require certain infrastructure to make it happen. Thanks to technological advances and services such as remote IT Support that provide the necessary resources, this is now the case.
While blurring the line between work and home life can be jarring at first, it can also be beneficial when done right. Balancing these two aspects is vital to fostering positive emotions and increasing productivity.
Taking back the hours lost to stressful and expensive commuting adds more time to spend outside of work. This enhances morale among external teams, which helps their managers just as much.
It should come as no surprise that remote work helps employees stay engaged and fulfilled. Within days of being out of the office, a greater sense of freedom and well-being can be felt.
One reason for this is that it eliminates the anxiety and complications that come with requesting time off to tend to obligations outside of work. It’s much easier to attend your child’s school play or visit family in another city when you can clock in at any location.
This is particularly evident when travelling abroad, which would otherwise take days or weeks of productive time from the business. Employers with remote teams have peace of mind knowing that they can still meet deadlines.
Health and Wellness
Remote work can cut out more than just dreary commutes. There’s also no need for the breakfast and lunch rush that forces many people to spend money on unhealthy convenience meals. Additionally, extensive hours away from friends and family are no longer a concern.
Another benefit that the pandemic brought to light is exposure to potentially sick co-workers. Of course, this all contributes to healthier and happier staff who take fewer days off. That’s not to say employers can forgo the implementation of any wellness plans. Taking care of remote working staff should remain a priority.
Increased Productivity While Working Remotely
Trust is a major factor when managing remote teams. After all, how do you know if your employees are working if you can’t see them? The existential question for the ages could actually contribute to greater productivity than ever before.
It’s clear that employees who skip the endless commutes, extra lunch breaks, and engagement-killing distractions are more capable of focusing on important tasks.
In a two-year study by Stanford University, researchers followed 500 employees who were split into ‘remote’ and ‘traditional’ teams. Results showed a productivity increase that equated to a full day’s work. Not only that, but sick leave fell drastically, and employee attrition dropped by 50%. Less commuting also reduced carbon emissions.
There are financial benefits to working remotely, both for employees and their companies.
Facilitating staff is expensive, and that infrastructure goes to waste when desks are empty. Whether it’s due to someone being on holiday or preparations for next year’s hires, the ghost town effect pours thousands in precious capital down the drain. Having fewer people means smaller and more efficient offices that cost less to maintain.
This is further helped by the ability to outsource certain needs. For instance, remote working IT support companies can provide the resources employees require to work securely from home. They offer the tools that allow data to be transferred seamlessly between home and business networks in addition to a variety of other services.
At the end of the day, it’s the people who work for the business that drive success. Who else will see through the health and growth of a company? That’s why attracting top talent is paramount to staying successful in today’s competitive landscape. Remote work is conducive to this factor because job seekers are attracted to businesses that provide it.