The COVID-19 pandemic has altered how we work today, and it will possibly have lasting effects on how businesses operate for years to come.
Though many employees worked remotely for the first time this year, remote work had already represented a large and growing share of our labor force. According to a US Census data analysis, 4.7 million employees, or 3.4% of our labor force, had been working remotely pre-COVID.
Now that some workers tried remote work for the first time, many welcome it and hope to work remotely more in the future. A 2020 Buffer report found that 98% of survey respondents would like to work remotely at least some time during their career. Respondents cited greater flexibility and more work-life balance as the biggest benefits of remote work.
Because of its effectiveness and popularity, many organizations are considering allowing remote work options in the future. Below, we’ve outlined some reasons why your teams should consider remote work options after COVID-19:
1) Embracing Remote Workers Grants You Access to a Bigger Talent Pool
By embracing remote work, your organization can cast a much wider net and expand your available hiring options. Remote work grants you access to global talent pools where you can find the best talent possible and bring in new workers with diverse perspectives, attitudes, and ideas.
This arrangement can be especially beneficial to offices in remote areas that often lack access to large and diverse candidate pools. Because employees can basically work from anywhere, you and your teams can worry less about geographic distance and focus more on finding the best fit for your company.
2) Work-From-Home Options Can Increase Employee Productivity
Several studies over the past months have shown that remote work productivity can be higher than working in an office setting. Many remote workers thrive because they can pick the office space of their choice and spend less time and energy commuting to the office.
For example, one Stanford study followed 500 workers who were separated into “remote” and “traditional” work groups to note differences in their productivity. The result? Remote workers showed a productivity boost equivalent to a full work day, fewer call offs, and reduced turnover.
Giving workers the option to create a comfortable work space where they can stay organized and productive can definitely pay off for everyone.
3) Remote Work Can Help Build More Flexible Teams
Having remote work options is a great way to build flexible teams. Employees learn how to work from everywhere, gaining the social and technical skills to function in and out of the office.
For example, if an employee calls off work for a day but has to deliver an important presentation, everyone in the office can adapt to these circumstances and gather to listen in on a remote presentation. These skills can save your team from postponing events and make a more adaptable work environment.
4) Work-From-Home Options Can Lower Employee Turnover
Employees need workplaces that work them. Long commutes and inflexible work arrangements are some of the main reasons why many workers seek new employers. In fact, one report found that 1 in 4 employees had quit a job because of the time and fuel costs associated with their daily commute to the office.
When employees can work from home, their outlook on their employer changes. They’re given more flexibility to work comfortably, have greater work-life balance, and save fuel and transportation maintenance costs. These factors can contribute to increased retention as workers have more reasons to stay and reap the flexibility of their work environment.
5) Remote Work Can Improve Employee Experience
Denise Lee Yon, best-selling author of The Seven Brand-Building Principles That Separate the Best from the Rest, defines Employee Experience (EX) as “the sum of everything an employee experiences throughout his or her connection to the organization — every employee interaction, from the first contact as a potential recruit to the last interaction after the end of employment.”
Allowing remote work options shows your employees that you are investing in their interests. It expands the number of spaces where they can be productive, which can promote their company success as well as their emotional well-being and work-life balance.
Finding ways to make work more enjoyable and less stressful can go a long way in providing your team members with a satisfying and positive employee experience.