The Popularity of Remote Working - What Are the Benefits?
Remote working has been an option for a while now, though mostly in the IT sector, as many of its job processes simply make it easier for people to maintain productivity and efficiency without coming to the office every day. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions imposed on everyone to stop the spread of the disease have forced businesses across various other industries to look for ways for their employees to work safely - hence the growing popularity of remote work.
The pandemic has only accelerated what many people already knew was coming. Due to the widespread digitalization of work processes, more and more companies have been moving online. It was only a matter of time for people to see the benefits that remote working brings to both employees and employers.
While it is still an ongoing process, as not everything can be performed efficiently remotely, there's undeniably a surge in the number of remote workers. Below, you will find the most important reasons why working from home can benefit both the companies and their workers.
The Benefits of Remote Work for Employees
It Provides Flexibility and Supports Work-Life Balance
Provided you're not working in customer service or any other kind of job that requires you to be available between specific hours, you can be way more flexible while working remotely. Most supervisors and your colleagues won't get into details about when and how you work as long as you deliver results and meet all the deadlines. This way, your daily schedule can become way less hectic - you're more in control, which can only benefit your personal life and help you balance other responsibilities. Do you have a medical appointment this Wednesday? Or maybe your child needs your assistance at school? When you work remotely, it will be way easier to make it all possible!
Not to mention that you don't waste time stressing and commuting every morning and afternoon. According to statistics, an average worker spends around 100 hours commuting and over 40 hours stuck in traffic per year - think about what you can do with all that saved time. And it's not the only reason why commuting can be harmful - as little as 10 miles a day can even lead to a higher level of cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, or an increased risk of depression. So, as you can see, remote work can also keep you healthier.
It Improves Productivity and Satisfaction
Since remote work might provide more flexible hours, employees can decide for themselves when they want to work. Thus, if you're not a morning person, there's no point struggling in front of a computer in the early hours if you can get some sleep and work later when you are at your best. Your productivity will not only help the company grow - you will feel good about getting your job done, and a sense of achievement will positively influence your mental health.
When you work remotely, you're not surrounded by your colleagues who might be distracting at times. Moreover, you don't attend that many unproductive meetings - those conducted on Zoom tend to be more concise in general; however, many remote workers prefer to send an email if an issue doesn't require a brainstorm or discussion. If you arrange your home office correctly, it will also be way quieter and peaceful than your actual office space.
Remote work means more time for you, which has proven to improve personal relationships and your general mental well-being; you will also have time to prepare healthy meals or exercise, even when you work full-time.
It Provides Possibilities
Remote employees are not limited by their location. As long as you speak a needed language, you can work for a company on the other side of the world. It's a significant advantage, especially for those living in small towns or rural areas or simply specializing in a very narrow field that might not be very popular in their current place of residence.
Moreover, remote workers can travel the world without quitting their job or even going on leave. All you need is a computer and a relatively stable internet connection, and you can be working from a beach in Spain or from a couch in front of a fireplace in a lodge in Vermont. This type of living and remote working has become so popular over the recent years that people choosing this lifestyle were even given a name - digital nomads.
Furthermore, when you work from home, you don't have to organize your life around your job. You can buy that dream cottage in the countryside or simply rent a place in the suburbs where it might be cheaper. Since you don't have to commute every day, it doesn't matter if your office isn't that close to your home. For the same reason, remote work might be perfect for people in a relationship with a person whose job requires a lot of travelling, like diplomacy or the military.
It Promotes Inclusivity
Since remote work doesn't require mobility, it opens many doors to workers with various disabilities (or their caretakers who can't work regular hours) or from different socio-economic backgrounds. For many reasons, people might be unable to travel, commute, or simply can't (or won't) move to a more densely populated area that provides more job opportunities. Remote work eliminates these obstacles, plus offers flexibility for workers in more difficult life situations.
It Helps Save Money
You might think that, while working from home, you pay for the electricity you use for the job, so you will soon see the difference in your bills. However, not leaving your house every morning can actually save you money in the long run. First of all, remote working will eliminate transportation costs; if you usually take a bus or a train, you will save on the fares, and if you have a car, you will pay less for gas, parking fees, and car maintenance.
Furthermore, remote work will reduce the need for numerous business attires or lunches to go, as well as save you from being tempted to get that Starbucks coffee on your way to the office.
These might not seem like a lot at first, but in fact, people who work remotely even a few days a week can easily save up to $6,500 a year.
It Promotes Sustainability
If you are environmentally conscious, you will be happy to hear that you can make a difference, as remote employees are more eco-friendly. First, you will reduce your carbon footprint by rarely using your car or commuting. Additionally, you will be in charge of your workspace, which means that you can control the heating or air-conditioning, the use of paper or electricity, making more responsible choices. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has already positively impacted the air quality all around the world, we could try to keep it that way - or even get better.
It Is Comfortable
Remote employees can arrange their home working space however they want, which is not possible in an office, as everyone has their own preferences. If you feel at your best in the minimalistic surroundings, you can arrange it that way. Do you enjoy having numerous plants around? Feel free to create a little jungle around you! Maybe you can only be creative while listening to music, but you don't like wearing headphones for many hours? It's no longer an issue!
This way, you are able to work in the most optimal environment where you feel 100% at ease.
It is especially advantageous in the case of introverts and people suffering from social anxiety - remote working offers them peace of mind and a possibility to fulfill their potential.
The Benefits of Remote Work for Employers
It Helps Reduce Costs
Having people work remotely helps companies reduce the costs of maintaining the office space - or eliminate these expenses altogether. While many businesses still provide their remote workers with equipment, it is still cheaper than furnishing a complete working space, which also includes kitchens and toilets. Apart from that, there are also costs of utilities - electricity, internet connection, water, overall office maintenance, and so on.
Global Workplace Analytics estimated that an employer could save $11,000 annually on average per single remote worker. So, even if a company has only 10-15 workers, it still equals significant savings that can be invested in their business's growth.
It Increases Efficiency
While working remotely, people are in charge of their time management and work organization. It's true that it can be confusing and challenging at first, especially if one doesn't live alone, but once a person finds their own perfect routine, they can be at their best. Fewer workplace distractions and a more flexible schedule provide much-needed autonomy that many people need to keep the right work-life balance. They can find the perfect time when they are most productive and take breaks whenever they need them - which actually makes people more efficient.
It Helps Reach More Potential Candidates
Once you're no longer limited by your business's location, you have a much broader applicant pool to choose from. It can be incredibly beneficial, especially in the case of highly specialized companies. Enabling remote work means access to the most qualified professionals from all around the world. Not to mention that it will result in a more diverse professional environment, which can bring further benefits to your business.
It Keeps Employees Happy (and Productive)
Remote workers have it easier to maintain the proper work-life balance, as they are in charge of their own time and space, plus, they don't need to commute. In fact, an online survey has shown that over 40% of workers would accept a pay cut in exchange for the possibility to work remotely - for some people, professional flexibility is worth even 10% of their salary. And since this remote work opportunity increases employee satisfaction, it also positively influences their productivity and makes it less likely that they will soon start looking for a new job.
It's More Eco-Friendly
Having your employees work remotely can reduce your company's carbon footprint, as it eliminates the need for them to commute daily and for you to maintain the office. As such, remote work is an excellent option for companies that want to be more environmentally conscious and responsible. It will not only contribute to the state of our planet, but it can also be an important aspect of your brand image. In fact, more and more customers start paying attention to companies' actions and are even willing to pay more and support more eco-friendly businesses.
It Ensures Preparedness
As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, the majority of companies all over the world were not prepared for such a situation. Sadly, we can't say with certainty that something like this will never happen again. On the contrary, all kinds of emergencies, natural disasters, or illnesses outbreaks are bound to occur rather sooner than later. If your company starts preparing a remote working contingency plan now, you won't ever be surprised by such circumstances, at least professionally.
It Reduces Absenteeism
Remote employees can simply work more. Of course, no one can take their right to sick leave or vacation (nor they should, as both are crucial for preventing burnout). However, frequently, an employee simply feels a little weak when being sick, and while they shouldn't come to the office and spread germs, they can comfortably keep working from home.
Remote work will also reduce the number of single days that workers take off. Due to increased flexibility, they will be more likely to rearrange their day to attend a meeting or go to a doctor rather than take a whole day off.
Is Remote Work the Future?
Evidently, like everything else, the remote working style surely has its downsides too. However, most of them result from the fact that many employees simply aren't used to this type of work. Furthermore, not all remote solutions (in terms of technology) are equally efficient and beneficial (yet).
However, it's probably not a stretch to say that remote work is the future. The technology will only develop more improvements, enabling people to provide the best work from outside the office. Remote employees can already have effective communication within their teams and with the management. More and more types of services can be easily provided online thanks to the wonders of virtual technology.
Considering the numerous benefits remote work already brings, both employees and their employers are sure to be convinced - if they aren't already.