The last few years have brought to light many significant changes to the way we view health and safety, socialization, as well as the way we work. One of the most notable changes in the corporate arena is remote work.
Prior to the pandemic, working from home was still a relatively new, and seemingly foreign concept to many businesses. However, it has become the new normal for most companies, providing positive benefits to employees, employers, and the bottom line.
The most popular benefit is the increased flexibility remote work offers to employees. Without the constraints of being tied to an office, employees can work from anywhere, at any time.
This can be especially valuable to those who want to work, but have other obligations, such as caring for children, or elderly relatives.
For businesses that provide remote work opportunities, either full- or part-time, can attract, and retain high-quality talent from a global pool, increase employee loyalty, improve morale, and reduce turnover rates.
Additionally, remote work has been shown to increase productivity of individual employees by reducing the distractions and interruptions of a traditional workspace. Furthermore, those who work remotely have complete control over their environment, which can lead to improved focus, concentration and efficiency.
Work Life Balance
A good work-life balance is what we all strive for essentially. Remote work allows individuals to tackle their daily tasks at home, as well as “at the office”. Without spending hours preparing for, and traveling to and from the office, employees are less stressed, save money, and statistically provide higher quality performance at work. Employees can also elect to live wherever they choose – gone are the days when people need to live nearby the office.
This can lead to cost savings for employers, as well. Business owners will save on overhead expenditures associated with maintaining a brick-and-mortar building, rent, and in-office consumables.
As mentioned briefly above, providing a remote work option allows employers to seek out talent from a global stage – promoting culture, inclusion, and aptitude from the best and brightest around the world. This can lead to a more inclusive workplace and a workforce that better reflects the communities in which businesses operate.
Moreover, remote work may allow for greater collaboration across teams that are geographically dispersed, leading to increased innovation and improved problem-solving.
Studies have shown that remote work employees often experience lower levels of stress and burnout, which can lead to improved mental health and overall job satisfaction. By offering these options, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to their employee’s health, which promotes career fulfillment and employee retention.
Remote work has been revealed to improve communication between team members. For example, for those in different time zones, or countries, effective communication is required to ensure that the project goes smoothly, and everyone understands their part. It also allows for more inclusive communication, allowing detailed discussions via group messaging, email, and the like.
Allowing employees to access ‘the office’ anytime day or night is another benefit to both employee and employer. If a deadline is approaching, an employee can log on from morning to night ensuring the deadline is met.
The opportunity to work from home also reduces an individual’s carbon footprint. By eliminating commuting time and reducing the need for employees to be physically present in an office, remote work can reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality. This can have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of those living in surrounding communities as well.
Despite the many benefits, some employers may be hesitant to embrace these changes on a large-scale, or in full-time operation. Many of the reasons for this include concerns about communication, teamwork, and productivity.
But for the businesses looking to grow and adapt with the times, utilizing the right technology can make all the difference. Video conferencing, instant messaging, email, and project management software are just a few examples of how utilizing different systems can facilitate adequate communication among team members.
It may also be more difficult to create and manage and “company culture”.
Providing an opportunity to work remotely has numerous positive benefits for businesses and employees alike. From increased flexibility and productivity, cost savings, environmental benefits, and attracting farther reaching talent pools, more and more organizations are seeking ways to incorporate remote work into their operations.
With the proper technology, outside teams can be just as productive and collaborative as in-office teams, leading to better communication among staff, less stress, and a more positive work environment.
As the world continues to learn and grow from the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual work opportunities are likely to remain an important tool for businesses seeking to grow, adapt, and thrive in an ever-changing, digital landscape.