While most of the chatter around the benefits of working remotely centers on how it makes employees happier and possibly more productive, there are also advantages for employers. In this post, we’ll discuss the top nine benefits of remote work for your business.
1. Get happier and more productive employees
It ends up that the top advantage of remote working for employees and employers are the same: happier and more productive employees. According to Forbes, people who work remotely are 35-40% more productive than those who work in a traditional office and their work has 40% fewer mistakes. These workers are also 20% happier than their in-office counterparts, according to research from Tracking Happiness. While happiness and productivity aren’t always related, most employers would probably agree that happier employees are more likely to be able to work to their fullest extent than stressed-out or burned-out employees.
2. Hire from a broader pool of applicants
When your recruiting efforts aren’t constrained by your office geography, you can hire from (almost) anywhere. Local licenses, taxes and laws are always important factors in where employees can work, but if you allow your employees to work from anywhere, it opens you up to a broader range of applicants. This can also help your organization get a larger variety of opinions and skills, which will improve your company’s performance overall. At the same time, you can save money on company relocation costs if you find the perfect candidate in another city or state. They can also start their job much sooner than if they have to move to your office location to begin. They can just open up their laptop in their home office on day one.
3. Get better employee retention
According to the Forbes research mentioned above, 54% of employees surveyed said they’d leave their current job for one that offered a more flexible schedule, and businesses that offered the option to work remotely reduced their turnover by an average of 12%. The greater flexibility of a remote or hybrid schedule can be an enticing benefit for employees, especially if you give them a say in the type of schedule such as the days they work remotely.
4. Cut costs
Office space is a big expense for most businesses, with some research indicating that the average cost of an employee workstation is about $18,000 per year when you factor in rent and technology. The costs of maintaining a traditional office add up: rent or mortgage, furniture, electricity, heating, cooling, WiFi, security, janitorial and more. If you have a fully remote workforce, employees will cover the cost of their own utilities, rent, WiFi and more, although you may want to provide them with increased pay or a stipend to make up for it. If one of your main goals for your business is saving money, allowing employees to work remotely may be high on your list of cost-saving measures.
5. Reduce your company’s carbon footprint
Cutting costs isn’t the only benefit of cutting out an in-person work environment from your company’s list of assets. One study found that those who work remotely can reduce their carbon emissions by 54%. A lot of this is due to cutting out a commute from your employees’ days, but other factors contribute as well, especially around electricity usage and heating and cooling. Eliminating an office eliminates the need to heat and cool the office, which cuts down significantly on an organization’s carbon footprint.
6. Improve customer relationships
Employers who allow their employees to work remotely also see bumps in customer satisfaction, which can also increase profits. Part of this may be due to having customer service agents in more time zones, which could mean more customers are able to access support on their own terms. It could also stem from having happier employees who are more eager to help customers in a pleasant manner. It could also have to do with the savings that employers make when they employ a remote workforce, which allows them to reinvest in customer experience upgrades like a better website or more personalized marketing.
7. Make the most of company time
Employees who don’t need to commute to work can spend more time actually working. In fact, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) found that cutting out a commute by working remotely saves employees 72 minutes each day on average, and employees gave 40% of that time back to their employer. Outside of time savings from a commute, employees can also save time by not having to move from meeting room to meeting room throughout the day. They’re also prone to fewer interruptions from other colleagues or office-related distractions, although they may need to watch out for personal distractions. You can also employ workers from around the world, which can open your business up to round-the-clock staffing.
8. Futureproof your operations
One of the takeaways from the COVID-19 pandemic was that companies already prepared for remote work fared better than companies that weren’t when the lockdowns started. While many businesses are trying to enforce full return-to-office policies now, there may be days ahead when offices may need to shut down again. Preparing your business to be more flexible and nimble now can only benefit your organization in the future.
9. Increase profitability
This should be easy math: increased productivity + better customer satisfaction + decreased costs = more profit. But you don’t have to trust our math. Forbes reports that companies that have even part-time remote employees are 21% more profitable than fully in-person companies, saving an average of $11,000 per employee per year.
Get the full benefits of a remote workforce with ActivTrak
Every organization is different, and not everyone can successfully implement remote work policies for their employees. But with the right tools, your organization can start seeing the benefits of remote work almost immediately.
Find ways to support your remote workers with ActivTrak. Our platform allows you to gain insight into how, when and where employees work their best, plus a quick understanding of what processes or technologies may be holding you back. Help build trust between managers and employees by getting objective data on employee productivity and fuel better performance review discussions.
Get a free demo of ActivTrak today to see how it can help your organization get the most out of a remote work environment.