Remote working, telecommuting, or working from home.
No matter what we call it, the impact stays the same. It means employees are able to get work done without stepping foot inside the office.
This can be a permanent arrangement for some employees. It could also be an infrequent event, like once or twice a month. Remote work arrangements depend on the needs of the job and the employee. The right balance between those needs leads to fruitful productivity.
Imagine having a mobile workforce you don’t need to supervise or spend too many resources on.
Imagine that same workforce still delivering whatever’s expected of them.
You can have those when you implement remote work policies for your small business.
How remote working benefits you and your people
For a startup or small business, keeping operational costs low is always a priority. (Here are some companies that have been working remotely and how they did it.)
Remote work allows you to run a 20-man team with an office that barely fits 10 people. You can have a workforce big enough to tackle difficult projects without having to worry about increased utility bills. You can even project a global image for your company without busting your budget on a large corporate office.
Remote working arrangements are not just cost-effective, they’re also pro-employee.
Even though they’re still on the clock, staff won’t have to worry about the commute to and from work. They can be more productive because they get to choose their working environment.
It’s easy to talk about the benefits of remote work, but none of them matter without the facts to back them up. Fortunately, there’s a lot of data to support these claims. Let’s look some of them below.
Boosting Your Company’s Productivity
With all the distractions in the modern workplace, it’s easy for employee productivity to decline. A study of more than 5,000 full-time private sector workers and hiring managers shows that tech-related factors account for the majority of distractions at work.
- Around 50% of the respondents said cellphone usage affected their productivity
- 39% said that the Internet, in general, causes the major decline
Add this to the usual office distractions like:
- noisy co-workers (24%),
- meetings (23%), and
- email (23%)
…and you’ll realize that working at the office can be the source of the problem.
Clearly, employees can do away with the usual watercooler gossip, ineffective meetings, and other things that get in their way.
With a remote working arrangement, you can turn these office weaknesses into strengths.
For example, you can use the Internet, including cellphone usage, for productivity (instead of letting it become a distraction). You can also explore the use of apps for team messaging. Other things you can try include collaboration tools that help people work in groups despite geographical differences.
Here are other numbers you may want to chew on:
- Around 65% of these respondents think a remote work schedule can potentially increase their productivity
- Unfortunately, only 19% of these respondents are allowed to work remotely by their companies.
This creates an opportunity for you.
If you want to attract a workforce dedicated to productivity and results, consider being a company with remote working policies.
Promoting Health and Well-Being, and Helping Save the Environment
Think about the amount of time each person spends going to and from work. Even if you drive your own car, it’s possible that you’d be doing nothing for at least an hour every day thanks to the insane traffic.
According to the Royal Society of Public Health in the UK, more than 50% of people interviewed felt more stressed because of their daily commute. This can lead to an unhealthy and inactive lifestyle, further affecting their productivity in the workplace.
A 2014 study conducted by communications service provider PGi, showed that around 80% of employees who are able to work remotely reported higher levels of morale. Around the same percentage reported having lowered their stress levels, and 70% said they were able to lower their absenteeism because of it.
Imagine the toll it brings to the environment too. Thousands of workers drive and commute in cities daily, burning fuel for hours. A remote working arrangement can ease this problem by taking thousands of cars off the roads.
Just think about it:
- The remote workforce will be able to contribute to the reduction of our carbon footprint
- Employees gain more than an hour’s worth of travel time, which they can then use for their families.
Doesn’t that sound good to you?
You don’t need to jump into a drastic remote work arrangement. You can let your employees have one day every week to decide if they want to work from home or be at the office. If that works, then you can do it more often to figure out a schedule that works well not only for the employees but also for the company.
The benefits of enabling remote work are wide-ranging: from productivity-boosting effects for your business to promoting health and well-being of your employees. With better internet connectivity and advanced mobile computing devices, more companies will embrace this kind of working arrangement. So why shouldn’t you?
Do you think your company is equipped and ready for remote work? Head on over to comments and share your opinions!