Written by: Emily Young // Apr 17, 2020
Last updated: Apr 20, 2020
What if we told you that one simple change to your organization could expand your talent pool, save you thousands of dollars, and make a positive difference for the world? You’d be interested, right? OK, here it is: Let your employees work remotely.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have already switched your staff to remote work. Good for you. But you should consider this as a long-term strategy, not just an emergency measure. Not only can it improve employees’ work-life balance, it offers key benefits for employers, which may explain why more companies are embracing remote employment.
More Companies Are Embracing Remote Employment
Sixty-eight percent of employers “allow workers to telecommute as needed,” according to research cited by The New York Times. A Vox article describes remote options as “a defining feature of the future of work.”
Now that COVID-19 has forced many companies to go completely virtual, a growing trend has suddenly skyrocketed. “Covid-19 could permanently shift working patterns as companies forced to embrace remote working by the pandemic find that their employees do not want to return to the office once the closures are lifted,” explains The Guardian. Employers may also discover the key benefits provided by allowing their employees to work from home.
The Benefits of Remote Work for Employers
Let’s look at the five key benefits to employers.
5. Remote Work Helps Employers Save Money
If you let your employees work from home, it can significantly improve your bottom line. “Allowing a worker to telecommute half the time can save an employer more than $11,000 a year,” according to CNN. Let’s break down some of the financial benefits:
- Employers can reduce the cost of renting and maintaining a facility.
- Cash-strapped employers can offer the benefit of flexible work in place of a raise: Many workers “would prefer the option of telecommuting to a flat pay increase,” explains this Washington Post article.
- Many remote work tools are free, and it’s likely that your company already has the infrastructure, from virtual private networks to SharePoint servers, to go remote.
4. Remote Work Helps Employers Boost Engagement and Productivity
Are you worried that remote employees will be disengaged and disconnected? The opposite is true. According to the Harvard Business Review, remote workers are more engaged, in part because leaders are purposeful with their communication. The Review cites a case study in which “team members who were not in the same location with their leaders were more engaged and committed — and rated the same leader higher — than team members sitting right nearby.”
Employees feel their time is valued, not wasted in meaningless meetings. Free to manage their day without interruptions, remote workers can dive deeply into projects. In fact, “the productivity increase among remote workers is equivalent to an extra day per person per week,” according to a study cited by Gallup.
3. Remote Work Helps Employers Build Their Brand
Remote work is good for the planet. The equation is simple: Less commute time plus reduced facility use equals a smaller footprint. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
cites the combined environmental impact of three companies, Xerox, Dell, and Aetna, which switched a large portion of their employees to telework. In one year, they “saved 95,294 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.”
A commitment to sustainability isn’t just the ethical choice: It’s also good for business.
Dedicate a section of your website to showing the environmental benefits of your remote team. You’ll attract employees who care about partnering with a socially responsible company, and you’ll make customers feel good about their brand loyalty.
2. Remote Work Helps Employers Increase Retention
Employees consider remote work to be a prized benefit, which means it may help you retain your top talent.
According to Gallup research, 54 percent of employees would “change jobs for the choice to work remotely or not.” Conversely, those who already have remote options are more likely to stay with their employer.
Give your workers what they crave: the freedom to choose where they work and live.
1. Remote Work Helps Employers Recruit Talent
You want to find the ideal employee for your position. Why limit yourself to workers within commuting distance? Recruiting remote employees means you can focus on who is the best fit for your position, wherever they live. In other words, it expands your talent pool.
Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress, explains it like this: “In Silicon Valley, you have the big tech companies fishing from essentially the same small pond or bay. By making the company distributed, we can fish from the entire ocean.”
Mullenweg points out an additional benefit of disturbing your workforce across state and international borders: Your employees will “bring a different understanding of that culture and a different lived experience.” Embracing remote employment can increase your team diversity, which in turn leads to greater productivity and profit.
Lead Your Team to Success
We can help you develop the leadership skills for a successful team — whether they work in the office or at home. Explore our professional development programs through USF’s Office of Corporate Training and Professional Education, or contact us at 813-974-0950. Please note that all our courses will be in a live online format during the coronavirus crisis, so you can pursue your career goals while social distancing.