- Michael Jones
If there was something you could do to increase workforce productivity, efficiency, employee wellness, increase employee satisfaction and save money, would you?
For many businesses a remote workforce can provide the benefits stated above. For small businesses the benefits of a remote workforce can drastically decrease overhead cost, allowing additional talent acquisition and business growth. For larger businesses a remote workforce can decrease turnover and attract top global talent.
Remote employees, also known as location-independent employees are those company workers that can accomplish their work from a location other than the physical location of a company office. In addition to the benefits of a remote workforce, it’s important to realize this is not a fad. In fact, a survey conducted by Owl Labs determined that as much as 52% of employees around the globe work remotely at least one-day per week, with 16% of global businesses operating 100% remote. The reason for the increase in businesses utilizing remote workforces are many, in this article we will explore increased productivity, increased employee satisfaction, access to top talent and saving money.
Imagine having a cohesive team that consistently gets more done in less time. The University of Illinois published a study that showed telecommuters often outperform their location-dependent peers and go above the call of duty to provide more effort for their companies. Remote workers generally work more hours as they start earlier since they do not have a long commute. These same workers also take shorter breaks and are more likely to work until the end of the day, as they are not rushing out of the office to try and decrease their commute time in traffic or run errands before businesses close. Remote workers also tend to work through lunch and unscheduled leave for sick days decrease. According to a study in the Harvard Business Review, remote employees actually worked almost an entire day more per week than their in-office counterparts.
Flexibility to get demanding work done during hours the employee is most effective increases productivity and deliverables. For some employees the early morning hours are when they are at their best, for others the middle of the day is when they are most effective or creative. Other employees are inspired by their environment and the flexibility to physically change their work environment helps to increase their productivity and give all their attention to the project at hand.
Remote collaboration using conference calling and video chat cut down on lengthy meetings and help provide a smoother transition from meetings to working on projects. Instead of using valuable time chatting about the weather before or after a meeting, online meetings are more likely to start and end on time, allowing employees to begin meaningful work much faster after a virtual meeting, rather than an in-person meeting.
Increased employee satisfaction
Remote work leads to increased employee satisfaction. Namely, location-independent jobs allow for work/life balance. This balance decreases employee stress and increases wellness. With the flexibility of working remotely employees are often able to increase their physical activity, while still spending time with their family as a result of saving considerable time not commuting each day. Location-independent work arrangements also lead to the flexibility of employees being able to explore additional education and career training. This flexibility to improve one’s skill set leads to not only increased employee satisfaction, but personal fulfillment and career growth. Along with the savings realized by corporations, Flexjobs reported that employees save on average $4,600 per year by working remote full-time.
Access to top talent
A remote workforce can allow a business to tap into top talent and subject matter experts across the globe. With geographic constraints removed employers are now able to seek the best and brightest talent, regardless of living location. AfterCollege conducted a study showing that 68% of millennials would consider a remote work arrangement a favorable perk when deciding on a prospective employer. When competing for top talent, offering remote work arrangements can give a business a competitive advantage.
It’s simple, reduce the number of employees in an office and you can reduce overhead cost. Some of the cost reduction associated with fewer employees working in an office are office rent, furniture, supplies and utilities. According to Flexjobs employers can experience a $22,000 savings per full-time remote employee per year by offering a full-time remote work arrangement. According to an online article in Forbes, Insurance giant Aetna is one of the largest employers offering remote work. This arrangement has paid off big for the company with an estimated cost savings of $78 million per year from a reduction in rented space.
Location-independent employees also have a reduced rate of employee turnover. Remote employees are more likely to stay loyal to their company. It is estimated that millennials average job tenure is about two-years, imagine being able to double that. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has conducted research that suggests average replacement cost of a salaried employee is six to nine months’ salary. It’s clear that keeping a valuable employee engaged and loyal will ultimately pay dividends given the cost to replace an employee, remote work arrangements help with turnover reduction.
For some businesses, allowing employees to work remotely will greatly benefit both the business and the employee. Workers who feel valued and inspired will ultimately be more productive, efficient and more willing to work harder in order to be a valuable member of the team. While remote work takes discipline, providing employees with tools that will help them succeed will allow businesses the ability to experience significant benefits by allowing for partial or total remote work. Finally, remote workforces help to decrease carbon emissions, thus improving the global environment, which is a major focus area for ZorroSign.