We all know the convenience and many soft benefits of embracing remote work. After all, when properly employed, remote work represents an opportunity to keep workers far happier, which in turn leads to better collaboration and stronger, more creative output.
However, the benefits of remote work go well beyond happy employees. Remote work often positively impacts the bottom line.
As Drew Hendricks writes in this Entrepreneur article, “workers who telecommute are almost twice as likely to work more than 40 hours a week as non-telecommuters (53 percent compared to 28 percent for non-telecommuters).”
Not only are remote workers fully engaged for more hours, their productivity numbers are up as well. According to 1 Million for Work Flexibility article, studies have shown repeatedly that employees who work remotely are more productive than in-office counterparts. Specifically, remote working leads to 13 percent increase in productivity. And the reason is quite simple, the lack of distractions enables remote workers to better focus on their work.
This Harvard Business Review article, takes it a step further with the argument that enhancing productivity can have a bigger impact on the organization’s most crucial numbers than a boost in efficiency.
“Leaders that take a productivity mindset seek to eliminate organizational drag at every turn. They simplify their organization’s structure and align their operating model with the true sources of value in their business. Research suggests that the best companies are more than 40 percent more productive than the rest. And this difference in productivity results in significantly higher profits — operating margins 30 percent–50 percent higher than industry peers — and faster growth.”
About that happiness
Happiness has financial benefits as well. When organizations empower teams to work remotely, the opportunity exists to enjoy attractive cost savings through higher retention levels.
According to a study done by Staples Advantage, workers who were allowed to work from home reported much higher levels of job satisfaction and better work-life balance. Home workers reported 25% lower stress levels, 73% said they ate healthier working from home, 76% were more loyal to their company and 80% reported a better work-life balance.
An analysis of more than 500 telecommuting studies by Global Workplace Analytics found 36% of employees would choose the option to telecommute over getting a raise and 37% of technology professionals would even take a 10% pay cut if they could work from home.
Simply put, the potential for cost savings is significant, considering the average company will lose between $10,000 and $30,000 for each employee who quits.
Where does it make the most sense?
Of course, not every position will thrive in a remote work environment. However, as this Remote.co article suggests, there are (at least) six work environments that lend themselves well to remote work and offer opportunities for organizations to improve the bottom line.
Specifically, the article suggests editorial, customer service, IT and software development, data entry, sales and graphic design. Interestingly, half of these disciplines typically fall under the creative category – all disciplines where typical office distractions can have a negative impact.
Understandably, for organizations to reap the benefits, it is important to properly equip remote workers with access to needed tools (i.e. messaging and other collaboration tools, including video and desktop sharing capabilities) so it is possible to seamlessly collaborate with others and keep the work relationships at optimum levels.