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The Business Benefits of Remote Work: Why More Companies Should Embrace Working Remotely

Remote work has become a huge trend in the past few years. However, many businesses wonder if it's truly the best thing for their organization. Learn how remote work can help your company and its employees thrive.

#Work-Life Balance
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A happy remote employee working from the comfort of his own home
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The rise of remote working, and why this phenomenon could — and should — be the future

In October 1973, with the OPEC embargo in full swing and the price of oil skyrocketing, employers faced a dilemma of figuring out how to stay productive when their employees didn’t have the fuel to get to work. In the midst of this crisis, former NASA engineer Jack Nilles released a book entitled “The Telecommunications-Transportation Tradeoff.” 

In his book, Nilles proposed redesigning work so employees could do their jobs entirely at satellite work centers closer to home. Alternatively, America could develop a sophisticated telecommunications system to allow employees to collaborate like they were in the office together.

Nilles was introducing a concept that would carry corporations through yet another global crisis over 40 years later. As a worldwide health emergency unfolded in 2020, millions of employers leaned upon modern internet speeds and video conferencing software to allow their employees to work from home without sacrificing productivity. 

Today, about 16% of companies are still fully remote, and 35% of employees who can work remotely are doing so. However, with new return-to-work mandates cropping up every day, clearly, not everyone is on board with the concept.

It’s possible that many leaders just don’t know that remote work can bring increased productivity, cost savings, diversity, and employee satisfaction. So continue reading to learn more about these benefits and see how remote work can take your business to the next level.

Check out these benefits of remote work for employers and remote workers alike:

1. Enhanced productivity and efficiency 🚀

Many employers worry that the rise of remote work will cause many employees to lag behind in productivity. The basic premise is that working from home may make employees too comfortable or present too many distractions. Logic follows that this would decrease the amount remote workers are able to accomplish.

While this is quite a logical argument, statistics actually prove otherwise. Research from 2020 shows that companies experienced a 47% year-over-year productivity growth rate that year. Even in the midst of a worldwide emergency, employees were more — not less — productive when working from home.

There are a few reasons for this rise in employee productivity and efficiency. First, remote work reduces employee commuting time. Recent studies have shown that long commute times can lead to higher rates of burnout and emotional exhaustion.

In turn, this affects an employee's ability to be productive at work. When employees have more flexibility and a reduced commute, they can more easily achieve work-life balance. This allows them to feel more rested, focused, and ready to take on the day.

Research from 2020 shows remote companies experienced a 47% year-over-year productivity growth rate.

2. Cost savings and operational efficiency 💰

The OPEC oil crisis of 1973 taught the United States that remote work can save employees money on gas and other work-related expenses. However, it's important to realize that employers can save money, too. 

Research firm Global Workplace Analytics estimates that the average company sees $11,000 in savings per part-time remote employee.

This savings is, in part, due to a decrease in the company's real-estate footprint. With fewer employees in the building, your company won't need as much office space. This ultimately reduces overhead costs.

Additionally, having fewer in-person employees cuts down on equipment and supply expenses. When you're buying less, you can preserve your budget for more strategic projects.

Still, office space and equipment aren't the only cost savings you may experience. One of the biggest benefits of remote work for employers is reduced turnover. This is because remote work helps employees avoid burnout.

Gallup research has found that poor employee well-being can negatively impact an organization. It can cost a company as much as 15-20% of total payroll in voluntary turnover costs. If your employees can avoid this phenomenon, they may be more likely to stay, which translates to more money in your budget.

3. Improved employee satisfaction and well-being 😊

When employees are in the office, they are often given guidelines for what to wear, where to sit, when to eat, and, in some cases, when to use the restroom. This is often necessary to keep order in the office.

However, it can feel limiting to employees and impact their sense of autonomy and control over their work environment. Remote work can remove these barriers and put employees back in the driver's seat, allowing them to work where they feel the most productive, whether at home, a coffee shop, or a co-working space. In turn, they may feel happier and more engaged in their work.

This increased autonomy and control can spill over into the employee's mental health. Studies have shown that remote work decreases psychological and physical stress for employees. 

Additionally, surveys show that remote employees are also more likely to eat healthy foods.

This can have numerous benefits for their health and the business. For example, having healthy employees can help companies:

  • Reduce absenteeism
  • Increase productivity
  • Enhance employee engagement
  • Boost morale throughout the office

Strengthened work-life balance associated with remote work can also enhance job satisfaction. This is especially true among the younger generation. 

Eighty-nine percent of Gen Z college graduates entering the workforce deemed flexible work options important when considering a job, and 37% went so far as to call it "essential." Additionally, 78% of that demographic see flexible work as essential to their definition of career success.

Clearly, offering remote work options is an important component of worker satisfaction. When employees feel satisfied with their careers, they are twice as productive and stay twice as long at their organization. This is important because having a tenured workforce can lead to as much as a 50% increase in revenue.

89% of Gen Z college graduates entering the workforce deemed flexible work options important when considering a job.

4. Enhanced diversity and inclusion efforts 🌎

Having a distributed workforce increases the size of your overall talent pool. This is because you can now hire employees around the globe instead of just around the corner. That larger talent pool may give you access to employees with higher-level skills and innovative ideas. These higher-quality employees may be able to help increase your organization's performance. They may also offer new pathways to productivity for the entire team.

In this way, remote work can certainly help employers attract a more diverse workforce. Companies have long had to make accommodations for employees with mobility issues, such as allowing them to work remotely.

Voluntarily offering this benefit can make those with disabilities feel more comfortable about applying to work at your organization. It can also increase their comfort in doing their jobs since they'll be in a familiar environment they have already likely customized for their needs. 

As a result, they won't have to worry about navigating an inaccessible office environment and have fewer distractions relating to that inaccessibility.

In addition, offering remote work provides a better work-life balance for caregivers. Those who are tasked with caring for a loved one around the clock may not have opportunities to leave the house for in-person work.

Having flexible working options allows them to be there for essential duties while still maintaining a high level of productivity. A remote job can also reduce absenteeism for this group of employees, especially if they are able to choose their own schedule.

In this way, having opportunities for a flexible work schedule allows employers to open up their candidate pools and build a greater level of inclusivity in their culture.

Doing this work often pays off for employers in the form of increased business performance. In fact, employees working at diverse organizations are 45% more likely to report an increase in market share and 70% more likely to report capturing new markets over the last year.

Enhance the remote work experience with Confetti 🎉

Remote work has tons of well-known benefits for employees, including increased flexibility, cost savings, and reduced stress. 

Still, it's important for business leaders to recognize the benefits of remote work for employers as well. It increases employee satisfaction (and, in turn, your employer brand), enhances DEI efforts, helps employees stay productive, and streamlines business costs so your company can be more efficient.

Still, reaping the benefits of remote work takes planning on your part. You'll definitely need strong policies in place. However, you'll also need to figure out how to help employees connect to each other and to your company culture. 

Statistically speaking, this has been an issue for two-thirds of corporate CEOs. Fortunately, Confetti has you covered.

With hundreds of live-hosted training and team building experiences to choose from, our mission is to help employers get the most out of their remote workforce.

Speak with our Happiness Concierge to learn how Confetti can help your team! Schedule a call
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