The pandemic marked the beginning of a flexible workplace revolution that the world had not anticipated. It saw many companies send their employees away from the offices to work remotely. According to a PwC’s US Remote Work Survey, the shift to remote work has registered an 83% success rate for both the employers and the employees. Consequently, remote jobs will shape the future with approximately one-third of companies now allowing half of their office employees to work remotely.
While the office setting is here to stay, its role is bound to change with the shift to remote work. For many employees, the office will remain a place where they meet for collaboration with team members. However, most will prefer to work remotely, at least three days a week post-Covid-19.
Many employers want their employees to return to the office quickly, but this is not happening. Some continue to grapple with how to extend remote work options and provide the necessary tools for remote work. To ease their burden, it would help to consider the advantages of letting their employees work remotely. Despite the disruption of normal operations and difficulty in monitoring performance, remote work has a fair share of benefits.
1. Improved Employee Retention
One big challenge that most companies have to deal with is losing the employees who provide the most outstanding value. Small businesses are especially at risk, as they are not well equipped to compete with large corporations. They can’t afford to pay the huge salaries and benefits typical in big companies.
As such, it helps if small businesses can utilize the advantages they already have. Remote work is one avenue they can use to give employees the freedom they crave. As they work remotely, they don’t have to attend endless meetings in boardrooms or keep up with outdated workplace practices. Besides, the entrepreneurial spirit and agility present in many small businesses keep them motivated to keep giving their best.
Many employees value working remotely, and it’s high time that employers embrace this trend. Even though employees still leave their jobs when working remotely, employers have a better chance at enhancing employee retention. Here’s what they can do:
Establish a Mentorship Program
Remote workers are in greater need of mentorship programs than those who work from the office. They need to be made to feel that they belong and that their accomplishments are recognized and appreciated. With a mentorship program in place, employers are likely to have a more engaged and supported remote team.
On the other hand, the employees that provide mentorship to their co-workers should also be rewarded. They should be given all the necessary tools to mentor their colleagues effectively.
Employee motivation and reward work effectively in improving the rate of retention. Following through the workers’ progress and rewarding them for achieving specific goals contributes to their productivity. Remote monitoring is only as effective as the tools in place. However, monitoring of employees should not be too much that it interferes with their autonomy.
This is why it’s essential to have clear performance markers that determine who gets rewarded for what. By rewarding the employees who deliver and over-deliver on business and individual goals, employers can enhance an environment of constant growth.
2. Lower Costs of Operation
Every company’s goal is to maximize profits while keeping costs as low as possible. One of the benefits of remote work is that it takes away most of the office setting’s expenses. Apart from the expensive office space that companies have to pay for, there are other related expenses in running an office. These include office snacks, continuity of operations, supplies, and overhead costs.
The idea is not to do away with the office setting altogether. However, by letting employees work part-time two or three days a week, entrepreneurs can reduce the office space they need. The approach can be more effective if the workers can alternate among themselves on the days they work remotely.
With increased employee satisfaction, companies experience lower employee turnover. Consequently, they save on the costs associated with the recruitment process, hiring, and training a new team. Statistics show that approximately 46% of companies that allow remote work have reduced attrition and increased retention. Losing long-term employees, especially the top talent, can cost between $10,000 and $30,000 per employee; hence keeping them long-term can result in massive savings.
Other cost cuts include:
- Lower travel costs due to reduced business trips
- Reduced healthcare costs as employees who work remotely tend to live healthier lives
- Improved customer support helps reduce the costs of finding new customers
- Having a remote work policy significantly impacts a company’s tax burden.
However, in matters of tax remittance, it’s crucial to check what state laws say about having a remote workforce. For example, a city like New York imposes taxes on remote employees regardless of where they work from. If an employee lives and works in Connecticut, a company may remit taxes to both states.
3. Better Work-Life Balance for Remote Workers
Work-life balance describes the delicate stability between professional and personal obligations. Without striking a balance between the two crucial aspects of life, employees cannot lead happy and healthy lives. Subsequently, they become stressed, their health sets on a downward spiral, and they lose control at home and work. Which affects employee’s productivity in all areas. Those with an excellent work-life balance lead happier and more productive lives at home and work. They can allocate their time accordingly so that they don’t overwork and have time for personal issues.
Remote work provides flexibility around employees’ working schedules. They can choose when to start or end their day, provided they meet their day’s objectives.For example, instead of spending time commuting, they can enjoy the comfort of their bed longer. Good quality sleep is crucial in promoting employees’ productivity and good health. Yet, it’s unbelievable how many people don’t get the recommended seven hours of deep sleep per night.
Smartphones are a significant culprit for self-imposed sleep deprivation. Shutting them down a few hours before bedtime can help improve sleep quality and increase employee engagement. Besides, they also should be the last thing to reach out to upon waking up.
How to Improve Work-Life Balance?
For employees to maximize a work-life balance in their remote work schedules, they need to be deliberate about it. They should set a working plan and stick to it to ensure they spend their time on productive work. With a concrete schedule, it’s easier for co-workers to know when an employee is available for zoom meetings or video calls. Having a working program also helps to identify when one is working more hours than they ideally should.
Telecommuting professionals should also use tech communication tools that indicate their online and offline hours. For example, a tool like slack allows users to set their availability and make it known to others. Once they publicize their schedule, team members in different time zones will be more mindful of the time differences. However, they should be careful not to set themselves away when they should be productively working for their companies.
The Future of Remote Work and Increasing Benefits
Remote work is shaping how companies operate but in a good way. For many remote workers around the world, telecommuting provides more benefits than working from the office. However, the benefits are not only for the workers but for employers as well. For any company that is yet to embrace remote work, this is the opportune time. There is a lot it stands to gain locally and around the globe.