Telecommuting was growing at full speed during the past decade. However, 2020 is the year that increased this growth even more. Companies were forced to implement remote work policies due to the pandemic. Although it was a bit chaotic at the beginning, after a couple of months, many businesses decided to make drastic changes in their working structure. Big tech companies like Google, Twitter, Square, Facebook, among others, realized the benefits that working from home has. And instead of bringing their employees back to the office, they decided to implement flexible arrangements, and in some cases, give their employees the decision to work from home permanently or not.
Remote teams are no longer a thing of the future; they’re now the present. Here are 5 proven benefits of remote work for businesses:
1. Access to Top Talent
Most companies, when opening job positions, struggle to hire the right candidates. This difficulty is even greater when they limit their search to a specific zone. But, when businesses expand their limits by hiring remote employees, they have the whole world to choose from. This not only leads to more potential candidates but as well, to better talent.
They are also more competitive against other businesses because most employees want a flexible job, especially with the COVID-19 situation. So, when they are giving, this opportunity is harder for them to refuse. The Remote Work Report by Zapier showed that 74% of the workforce would quit their current job if they were offered the opportunity of working remotely.
One of the biggest fears companies have when making the transition to remote work is that employees wouldn’t be as productive as they are at the office. However, in most cases, it’s the other way around: Remote work improves productivity and performance. You can also use project management tools, social media tools, etc. to boost the productivity of your remote teams as they save a lot of time by providing a single dashboard to manage all your accounts and tasks.
Stanford professor, Nicholas Bloom, conducted a study for two years in Ctrip, a Chinese travel agency with 16,000 employees. The purpose of the experiment was to learn whether telecommuting increases or decreases productivity. The results? Homeworking led to a 13% performance increase. The study’s success made the agency let their employees choose if they wanted to work from home or not. Almost half of the company chose remote working, increasing their productivity by up to 22%.
3. Engaged Employees
Nowadays, employees are not only looking for high-paying jobs with generous compensation packages. They also prioritize other aspects, such as having a job that helps them have a better work-life balance.
When employees are given the opportunity to work from a remote environment, companies increase their engagement levels. According to The State of Remote Work report by Owl Labs, companies who support remote work experience a 25% lower turnover than companies who don’t support flexible arrangements.
4. Lower Expenses
Remote companies save a lot of money. They not only cut the typical office expenses such as furniture, equipment, or supplies, but they also save money on salaries. When businesses hire remote employees, one of the perks is that they can hire people who live in cities with lower living costs.
Companies can save up to $11,000 per employee only on real estate costs each year by hiring virtual employees.
5. Increase Diversity
Hiring remote opens the door for employees of many different nationalities to make part of your team. But how does this affect business performance? According to McKinsey’s report Delivery Through Diversity, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on the executive teams are 21% more likely to increase their revenue.
Different cultures, personalities, and mindsets are beneficial when thinking of new ways to solve a company’s problems. Diverse teams continuously challenge themselves to bring new approaches, ideas, and solutions.
Remote work is not going anywhere- especially after it proved to companies that it’s possible to thrive even in the middle of a pandemic. At the beginning of the 2000’s the strategy to attract candidates was offering ‘cool’ offices with ping pong tables and relaxing rooms. Currently, the best method to attract and retain employees is by providing flexible arrangements where they can work either in the office or anywhere they want in the world.
The way people work is changing forever, and if companies want to succeed (and survive), they need to adapt and embrace these changes.