Remote working has become the one constant in a year of flux, with video conferencing, open communication channels, and inter-team emails becoming synonymous with our workdays. What was an initial fear that teams may become more distant, has become a realisation that it has encouraged a collaborative effort within workforces.
There’s no surprise, then, that some of the world’s largest and most well-respected employers have embraced the change for the positive opportunity it is. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Reuters and Microsoft, to name a few, are employers who have incorporated remote working into their long-term strategy. No matter if their staff are located in San Francisco, New York, or anywhere else in the world, they’re still integrated within the core business. With the level of planning and understanding that goes into repositioning these behemoths of workforces, you can be sure that the research that has gone into these decisions were comprehensive. If the most successful businesses in the world are leading the way from the front, then it’s a good indicator of what’s to follow.
To understand their decision, and the benefits of working remotely for employers, we’ve delved a little deeper into what makes this oncoming opportunity as exciting for businesses as it is.
Whether it’s the removal of aimless meetings about meetings, more sleep due to less commuting, or a desire to show ‘it works’, the data backs up the fact that remote working has increased productivity and efficiency for most.
A two year Stanford study, as reported by Inc., has displayed the positive effects of remote working, one of many such studies that do so. The likes of Hubspot and Mckinsey have also conducted their own studies which back up this fact, whilst Business News Daily has also covered studies that follow the same lines.
Yet, it must run alongside an engaging approach to promoting employee wellbeing (more on this below). If so, you’ll find a boost in productivity for your business.
In the current climate, forcing people to go into an office can have an untold effect on both physical and mental health.
An understanding and empathetic approach to work is needed, as the scars of the pandemic are going to be raw for a long time. Employees are going to react differently to potential work solutions, but at least allowing them a remote working option shows that you’re interested in their wellbeing. This is not just a tick in an HR box, but one that may need some fine-tuning to get right.
If you do so, you’ll find a healthier, more engaged and more productive employee on the other side.
As the task of rebuilding catches pace, as does the competition for the best staff.
Therefore, remote working provides a perfect addition to a more competitive package, leading to one of the key growth benefits of working remotely for employers.
Economies reopening mean there’s huge potential for those businesses who can hit the ground running, yet the only way that’s possible is through having the right staff. The days of promoting a car/mobile/laptop as perks are becoming the bare minimum essentials to complete a job. It’s now about going above and beyond the expected, and to provide attention-grabbing perks which separate you from the crowd.
But be aware; it’s important to be ahead of the curve with allowing remote work and travel, as soon, these will become the industry standard.
Adjust and stand out now, to be well-positioned later.
Remote working, if utilised well, has a tangible impact on the bottom line.
Lower overheads, with a reduction in office rent, daily expenses and rates, all contribute. Whereas if you transform your workforce into a well-oiled remote machine, you will achieve the aforementioned boost in productivity and efficiency, again helping that bottom line. Combined, these are key financial benefits of working remotely for employers.
So if you’re looking at cutting costs and increasing output, then remote working may be the way to go.
This is a benefit in which research will continue to return results on for the next few years, yet there is already proof of lower absentee rates within remote working teams.
Forbes point to the various studies that have taken place, that show that “ Higher productivity and performance combine to create stronger engagement, or in other words, 41% lower absenteeism”. This is a remarkable drop in absentee rates, with Mondaq and Hubspot also reporting drops.
So, whether employees have that opportunity to look after a sick child, or can bear the thought of working with a migraine when it doesn’t involve three hours worth of commuting each day, remote working is having an effect on reducing the number of sick days for your business.
If finding new staff ready to hit the ground running is important, then retaining your current superstars should be at the very top of your list.
The existing employees who are driving your business should be well-rewarded, with a perks package that encourages them to not only survive but thrive within your team. As everyone works different, it doesn’t mean it’s the best option for everyone. Yet for those who require a greater level of autonomy, it's important to provide it.
If you do, you'll be keeping more people happy, and thus staff turnover lower.
The benefits of working remotely for employers can be vast if done well. It's better to embrace the change now, rather than lagging behind competitors.
When described by the World Economic Forum as “a critical topic in the future of work” , you begin to sit up and realise that remote work is here to stay.
For teams who are exploring the potential that remote working has, we encourage you to check out our Employers page, where we go into great detail about how your business can thrive through a Landthere remote working package.
With evidence mounting that remote working can actually improve productivity, and with businesses realising that they no longer need to hold on to expensive city centre real estate office space, it looks like the remote working revolution is here to stay.
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