CHIEF OF STAFF FIVE: The rise of remote work due to the Covid-19 pandemic has been received positively by many organisations worldwide. Several studies show a significant increase in employee productivity and satisfaction in remote work setups, helping both staff and companies hit their targets.
Nearly three years since the pandemic first struck, and even if countries are getting better at living with the virus, alternative work arrangements such as off-site work will continue to thrive due to their benefits for both workers and employers. Here are five reasons why.
1. Reduced employee burnout
Continuous physical and mental exhaustion from day-to-day work can lead to burnout, leaving employees feeling drained, less productive, and less satisfied with their work output. However, work is not the only factor leading to such a condition. The length of time and the amount of energy consumed by preparing and traveling from home to the office can also affect employee well-being.
The remote work setup allows employees to have flexible working schedules where employees can choose the work hours that best suit their personal and professional needs. Employees are less likely to be burnt out when they can tailor their work schedule that suits them better.
But even remote work settings are not immune to employee burnout. Therefore, effective remote work scheduling, drawing clear boundaries between personal life and work, and well-established communication with supervisors and team members will help employees become healthy and achieve work-life balance.
2. Increased productivity levels
A Stanford study has shown a 13% increase in productivity for employees working remotely, with 50% of the surveyed respondents reporting an improvement in their job satisfaction. A wide range of other research projects has also revealed similar findings: an increase in performance when employees are able to work in a comfortable environment.
The flexibility in remote working allows employees to pick a pace where they can be most productive. They can also sleep for more hours, work in their pajamas or comfortable clothes, take frequent short breaks, or meditate when feeling overwhelmed without fear of being interrupted or judged by colleagues. As a result, employees feel more relaxed and focused on their tasks.
3. Higher employee retention
Employee turnover rates are expensive and time-consuming for organisations, especially when short-staffed companies cannot afford to lose talented and competent employees as they recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Since 2020, remote work has become a powerful retention tool for companies worldwide. Many workers say that remote work options make them less likely to leave their company. Some are also willing to take pay cuts to continue working wherever they want.
Working from home also provides parents with childcare responsibilities added level of flexibility. Employees can allot more time for personal endeavors, making them happier and more satisfied in that part of their lives. The freedom and comfort brought by remote work flexibility will help them stay longer in their current jobs.
But HR leaders must note that full remote or hybrid work arrangements are not enough to retain talent. They must continue learning to manage remote teams effectively by touching base with employees more often, improving communication methods, setting clear performance goals, and boosting collaboration, among other strategies.
4. Higher chances of attracting top talents
Having talented and competitive employees is a dream for every company. Turning that dream into reality is up to business and HR leaders, especially in the midst of a global talent crunch.
More and more jobseekers are no longer looking for high compensation and company benefits alone. They are now asking about companies’ remote work policies and pay strategies for remote workers. Some jobseekers are considering taking on jobs below their expected salaries in return for more flexible and remote work conditions.
Another positive outcome of remote work is that opportunities are available to anyone regardless of location as long as they are willing to adjust their hours and meet output demands. Therefore, opportunities are not limited to people in specific locations, increasing the chances of getting talented applicants from anywhere in the world that would foster diversity in teams.
5. Reduced costs
Companies pay for building rentals, utilities, office supplies and equipment, business trips, maintenance and repair, and other operational costs that come with on-site operations. Therefore, switching to a remote setup can help companies cut expenses.
A 2020 survey by Gartner showed that nearly three in four chief finance officers planned to shift at least 5% of previously on-site employees to permanently remote positions post-pandemic, seeing remote work as a practical cost-cutting measure.
It is also the case for employees who can save money formerly spent on commuting to and from work, buying new clothes and accessories to wear in the office, dining out, and other related expenses.