6 Reasons to Embrace Remote Work

As technology improves, more and more employers are considering implementing a remote work option. This pressure is only heightened by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

By adding a remote team to your workforce, or by shifting your current office space to remote work, you benefit from reduced office expenses, increased productivity, improved employee morale, and an improved bottom line overall.

Unfortunately, transitioning to a remote workforce is not as straightforward as you would expect. While there are many benefits to telecommuting, it still takes time and effort to move away from the traditional office space to a remote work environment. 

Well, we think it’s worth the effort. 

If you’re on the fence about making the change, we’ve provided 6 reasons to embrace remote work:

  • Affordability 
  • Improved productivity
  • Improved employee engagement and employee retention
  • A more diverse and equitable workforce
  • Lessen your environmental impact
  • And improved customer engagement

We also conclude with steps to implementing a distributed team. 

1) It’s more affordable

As a business owner, you know that by eliminating a physical office, you can reduce overhead costs and other operational expenses. 

Remote team members do not need to work out of physical office space. Therefore, the costs associated with workspaces infrastructure will be either eliminated or drastically reduced. Where office workers require that an office space’s systems are maintained, including housekeeping and IT expenses, a business owner no longer bears these expenses when shifting to remote employment.

You can also remove the real estate or rental fees from your budget. When moving part of its employee base remotely, IBM saved $50 million in real estate costs. Depending on the size of your business, you could end up saving up to $10,000 per full-time employee per year. 

When considering expenses, a remote worker can deduct a portion of their at-home expenses from their personal income taxes.

Some states also offer fiscal benefits, such as grants for employers and employees to improve working from home. Other states also offer free training in order to encourage remote work. 

2) Improve productivity

Commuters contribute to traffic jams, which cost the U.S. economy $78 billion per year in productivity. Sun Microsystems suggests that remote teams are redirecting the time saved from commuting to performing work. 

Additionally, a large portion of your potential workforce (around 80%) consider a remote job a perk, and around 37% of that potential workforce would consider a pay cut to work-from-home.  By reducing the negative impact of commuting and implementing remote working, your company will see a boost in job satisfaction and worker productivity. 

Shaving down the cost of poor productivity is something that every company must deal with. It is reported that large companies lose around $650 billion a year in workplace distractions. Management experts agree that performance measurement, goal setting, and goal achievement are key to successful management. However, these performance variables are often difficult to measure in-house. 

It seems that remote working might actually reduce this financial hit as operational expenses are decreased and employee satisfaction is high. A report from Best Buy, British Telecom, Dow Chemical, and others show that teleworkers are more productive (by up to 40%) working remotely. 

Remote work also encourages that these performance metrics are measured. Remote employee monitoring tools like SoftActivity accurately and ethically monitor productivity and other performance goals so you can improve your bottom line and company performance.

3) Enjoy higher employee retention and engagement

Remote work greatly affects your employee satisfaction. More than ever, employees in the younger generations are more difficult to retain and are more attracted to flexible work arrangements. 

Losing a valuable employee can cost upwards of $30,000. This is particularly so if new employees need to be trained on a variety of services or if your workspace sits empty for a while. However, by embracing telework, your company is less likely to lose good employees. 

According to Global Workplace Analytics, attribution is boosted by 46% when telework is introduced. Another 95% of employers say that telework greatly impacts employee retention. 

By eliminating the daily commute, your company recognizes that your employees might incur a negative mental toll by a costly commute. Offering remote work options shows that your company is aware of these potential problems and wants to take the lead solving workplace issues. 

Embracing remote work is supportive of worker well-being and job satisfaction, as employees will come to work happier and more engaged with your company. You will also have more flexible scalability, with less risk in scaling up or down. 

4) Improved employee equitability and diversity

You may be thinking that remote opportunities will only improve your current employees’ well-being. Keep in mind that remote working also provides more employment opportunities to a wider, more diverse talent pool. 

Work-from-home can be very flexible which can open doors for people with disabilities (who are approximately 16 million Americans in the workforce), part-time workers, non-educated workers, stay at home parents, and other underemployed groups. This is because remote work drastically decreases the amount of hiring discrimination that these underemployed groups typically face.

You are further opening up the talent pool. Because work-from-home is less limited by geography, your company may be able to find top talent in larger cities without having to relocate to those cities. This could even expand your workforce overseas to provide more accessibility to more countries.

5) Going green

Going green is important in this day and age. A reported 70% of employees said they would see their company in a more favorable position if the company made efforts to reduce their carbon emissions. 

By adopting work-from-home, your company is able to reduce CO2 emissions due to lengthy commutes. The more that workers telework, the less they are on the road. This will reduce traffic jams, prevent accidents and save lives, and reduce the impact of the 26 million extra tons of greenhouse gases released during traffic jams.

Remote work also reduces the need for in-house office technologies, which bear a high energy consumption rate. Work-from-home requires that employees bear the energy consumption costs of work. Even if your company has a type of remote work arrangement in order to offset these costs, home offices tend to use half the rate of office equipment.  This not only adds to cost savings, but it also decreases your environmental impact.

6) Improved customer engagement

The financial, mental, and environmental improvements that can stem from remote work is well worth the transition to a distributed team. However, it is equally important that remote work can improve consumer engagement. 

When employees are happier, they are more willing and openly engaged with consumers. Remote teams also open up more headspace to consider consumer well-being. 

Employers are less focused on managing the company’s infrastructure and can instead focus on keeping customers happy and engaged.

How to Embrace Remote Work

You may recognize the benefits of remote work, but you’re unsure how to implement them. In order to effectively implement remote work for your company, you’ll need to consider the following points:

  • Recognize that a remote workforce will succeed when remote work policies are implemented
  • Identify and encourage a remote work culture, which requires that a team is accountable for all their remote colleagues
  • Consider barriers associated with remote work, such as shifting time zones and the potential digital nomad as these can negatively impact the work of an entire team
  • Implement technologies that keep your team accountable; employee monitoring software, video conferencing, and virtual meetings need to become a regular practice in order to retain knowledge workers and maintain a positive company culture

Flexible work is a rising benefit for job seekers. Therefore, it is best that your company quickly consider embracing remote work so that your company can stay competitive amongst employees and consumers. 

By SoftActivity Team

May 26th, 2020