Ahhh, it feels just like it was yesterday. First was conference calling back in the 1990s. Everyone was excited to have a group of people be able to meet on the phone (before the term virtual was connected to the idea of meetings). Then in the early 2000s, an innovation called Webex became the standard practice for screen sharing during these conference calls. It wasn’t long before video conferencing was widely available, reducing travel needs across corporations and resulting in tremendous cost savings.
Today we have taken all of those technological advances and added even more to enable most standard office employees the ability to work remotely from the comfort of their own home, without a commute, without traffic stress, and always right on time. Did life just get perfect?
It is so perfect that many of today’s employees presently working remotely intend to do so their entire career, to the tune of 90 percent according to the 2018 State of Remote Work Report. Some refuse to consider an onsite position, knowing they can find the flexibility they seek elsewhere.
Let’s explore some of the reasons that working remotely is the wave of the future of the typical workplace.
1. Reduced carbon footprint
Environmentally speaking, corporations that offer remote work opportunities can maintain a smaller corporate office, maximize a smaller space, and use fewer resources to conduct their business as a whole. Employees need no extra utilities than their typical usage as a resident, so their use of resources is generally maintained at the same level.
With no commutes necessary for telecommuting employees, carbon emissions are greatly reduced for the entire remote workforce. This lessens greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel reliance.
Remote workers also produce less paper and plastic waste, thanks to the applications created for remote work and virtual sharing technology. For example, instead of printing papers to take to a meeting, a remote employee has the document up on their screen for a virtual meeting. Instead of scribbling on a note pad, the NotePad app can be used. Not carrying lunch to work discourages the need for disposable plastic bags to hold food. Plastic beverage bottles from the vending machine are replaced with glassware in the home office.
2. Increased customer availability
When it comes to e-commerce, most customers conduct business and have questions outside of the standard eight-hour workday. With the convenience of remote workers, you can have someone available to serve your customers almost around the clock, or at the very least, with three hours extra if you have employees across all four United States time zones. Having someone live and available to answer your customer’s questions makes them less likely to seek their answers (and make their purchase) on another website.
3. Reduced cost for employers and employees alike
By not having to provide a workspace for every employee joining the company, employers save a fortune on facilities costs. This not only negates the need for a bigger office to match the company growth, it also saves on utilities and other associated overhead expenses. Furthermore, recruiting and training costs are reduced because of lower turnover from a loyal and engaged workforce.
If you’re wondering how much money we’re talking about, in 2018, cost savings were estimated to be $5 billion, and they only counted part-time workers. According to statistics from PGI News, the average real-estate savings for an employer is $10,000 for each full-time employee every year.
Remote employees also have plenty of benefits working from home when it comes to cost savings. TECLA, a global IT recruiting company, reports that remote workers save around $7,000 per year. These savings are from the costs associated with food, clothing, childcare, and commuting.
4. Larger talent pool selection
Companies that hire remote workers are no longer limited to their regional locale for finding the perfect talent. Their pool just broadened worldwide, full of location-independent candidates. Another benefit is for those in regions with a high cost of living. Expanding the reach to candidates in lower-cost areas will attract more, you can stick with the national average salary instead of a high salary specific to the region.
5. Lower turnover
When it comes to turnover rates for remote workers, the payoff is enormous for employers. The first advantage is the sense of loyalty from their employee population as a result of remote opportunities.
Stanford University conducted research and showed a 50% decrease in attrition, and that remote employees are less likely to leave the company for new opportunities. In another study, remote work has been shown to produce a positive impact on employees over 50. It has encouraged this aging population to remain in their career longer, which has a positive effect on organizations from sharing their wealth of experience.
6. Fewer sick days
Paid sick days are significantly reduced when remote workers are not concerned with spreading their illness around the office. Not only do they reserve sick days for when they are just too ill to function, but they are less likely to catch a virus in the first place as they are unexposed to the germs of a shared office.
7. Increased productivity
When the idea of remote workers first came around, the first concern was a decrease in productivity because of a lack of managerial presence. Studies have found the exact opposite to be the case.
Research from Gallup found that workers who spend part of their week offsite are more engaged than those sitting behind a desk at the office. They attribute the productivity boost to giving employees more flexibility and control over their lives. The trade-off for scheduling a better work-life balance has created a happier and fulfilled rockstar that was once an average employee in the office.
Stanford University studied 500 people working remotely and found that the increased level of productivity was equal to a six-day workweek.
8. Reduced stress
Eliminating commutes into the office and greater control with flexibility and scheduling are making tremendous strides in remote workers experiencing less anxiety about their jobs. OWL Labs reports that people working from home only once monthly feel 24% happier and more productive at their job – and that’s only once a month!
9. Enhanced work-life satisfaction
From reduced employee cost, the flexibility of schedule and home life, and elimination of commuting stress, no wonder employees are happier, more loyal, and more productive! Flexibility enables them the phenomenon of more time with their family and more being productive at work. Their job satisfaction skyrockets from being able to take care of their loved ones instead of finding ways to squeeze in personal time around work. That kind of control reduces stress and enhances motivation and growth, according to the American Psychological Association. This leads to more time to care for themselves, eat better, and exercise more. All of this raises morale and creates an elevated outlook overall.
The future is somewhere else – wherever your talent is
Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of this new movement? You can still choose where to hang your sign, but finding that perfect employee just got easier when you broaden your range.
Work2Live – the final piece of the puzzle
The last piece of heightened work-life satisfaction is by the show of appreciation for a job well done. An active, experiential recognition program with a Work2Live Lifestyle Savings Account (LSA) is nothing short of a bow to complete that perfect picture of a highly engaged employee. Schedule a demo and learn more today!