You can probably come up with plenty of reasons why employees enjoy working from home. But why should companies go remote? What are the benefits of remote work for employers?
The following article shows the most significant advantages a virtual team has for companies. It also explains the most popular reasons why employees like working from home.
Table of Contents
Benefits of Remote Work for Employers
Let’s start with the most significant reasons why companies should go remote:
1. Remote Work Increases Productivity
Many employers are scared that their employees don’t get much done when they work from home. However, it’s quite the opposite.
Employees face fewer involuntary distractions in comparison to working in an office. They also have to deal with fewer office politics and a quieter noise level.
On top of that, employees can work whenever they feel most productive. Some are morning people; others can focus best in the evening.
That not only results in more efficient meetings but also increases productivity, as a study found out:
- Astonishingly 90% of all questioned managers report that their employees are more productive when they can choose where and when to work.
- 45% of remote workers support this statement by saying that they work smarter from home and get more done in less time.
There are also plenty of remote work productivity methods employees can implement in case they are new to the concept.
2. A Remote Team Cuts Down Costs
The more remote employees in a company, the cheaper it gets.
- Companies can reduce their office space and thus save on rent if more people work remotely.
- They also save a lot of overhead costs such as heating, cooling, or lighting.
- Costs for free catering a company provides in the office, e.g. free tea, coffee, or water, are also reduced.
- Additionally, companies can save on office furniture and technical devices, as well as the maintenance of these.
And yes, it’s great if a company provides employees with the necessary technical equipment if they work remotely, e.g. a laptop or headset. However, this is usually still much cheaper than paying for office space in a central location.
According to PGi, a company can on average save USD 10,000 per employee per year in real estate only, when people work remotely full-time.
3. There are Fewer Sick Days
Remote work also decreases employee sick days and time off. Especially during the cold and flu seasons, offices are a true paradise for germs. People spread them from one to another and it seems like it’s everyone’s turn to get sick sooner or later.
But it is not just contagious diseases that cause people to get sick. Commuting length has been found to be correlated with higher blood pressure and is also associated with a negative mood in the workplace. So the longer the commute the more negative side effects for your health.
In a FlexJobs questionnaire, 86% of the respondents stated that they would be less stressed if they had a flexible job. A PGi Report confirms this by saying that 82% of remote workers experience lower stress levels.
According to Global Workplace research, these unscheduled absence days cost U.S. companies more than USD 300 billion every year. That is USD 1,800 for each employee!
When working remotely, people are less likely to get infected. It’s no surprise that companies, that offer remote work options, report 63% less absence due to sick days.
4. Working Morale Improves
Remote work is known to improve happiness and working morale. That’s not very surprising. After all, remote employees get to skip the often stressful commute and busy office environment. Instead, they can spend more time with their families and enjoy a greater work/life balance.
That results in increased personal well-being. A study found that 73% of U.S. remote workers, therefore, report higher job satisfaction. And a happy employee is more motivated and has higher working morale.
As Carol Cochran from FlexJobs states:
“Trusting in and empowering your employees to work in a responsible and professional way, while allowing them the freedom and flexibility to handle all the big and little things that life throws at us, creates a high level of morale, pride, and loyalty.”
5. Turnover Gets Reduced
All these positive effects of remote work result in another benefit for employers: Reduced turnover.
If employees are allowed to work remotely they feel like they are being trusted. This increases confidence in your team and thus creates a higher level of loyalty.
According to the before-mentioned Global Workplace study, 95% of employers confirm that remote work has a highly positive impact on employee retention.
That means that employees, who are given the chance to work remotely, are far more likely to stay with the company in the long run. This, in turn, reduces costs again for recruitment and training.
6. Wider Recruitment Options
Remote work allows companies to access a wider pool of talent. They can attract skilled workers even if they live at the other end of the country or even the world. Hiring employees is no longer limited to a geographical area.
Now companies can focus more on talent and skills, rather than who is available in their location. This gives them many more potential employees.
7. It Increases Workforce Diversity
When companies can recruit their employees from anywhere in the world, it also increases their workforce diversity. They can go for any talented worker, no matter what geographic location, ethnicity, race or gender identity.
On top of that, companies can also employ people with certain physical or mental disabilities. Maybe they are not able to come to the office or they need a certain work environment that the office can’t provide.
With remote work, companies can benefit from their talent while these people can work in a way that works best for their special needs. Win-win.
8. Better Emergency Management
If employees are trained and familiar with working remotely, it is much easier to adjust in case of an emergency.
Just think of the beginning of 2020 when many people couldn’t go to the office anymore and had to work from home.
But that’s not all. Imagine a fire breaks out in your office building and the refurbishment takes several weeks. If employees are not allowed or trained to work remotely, this can, in the worst case, mean that they can’t get any work done for several weeks. Or maybe a pipe burst.
There are quite a few reasons why people all of a sudden can’t work from the office building anymore. Remote work prepares for those scenarios and ensures that employees can work from anywhere and thus reduce downtime.
9. Positive Environmental Impact
This might not be an immediate advantage for a company but it is still important and many companies might even address climate aspects on their list of goals. When employees work remotely, they use less paper and can control their heating, air conditioning, and lighting, which results in more optimized usage.
Apart from that, 3 million greenhouse gases are avoided by those who currently work from home at least part-time because there are 7.8 billion fewer vehicle miles traveled, according to the State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce.
There are several other positive environmental impacts of remote work. Check out the linked blog post to learn more
10. Remote Work is the Future
Remote work is the future. As studies show, it has grown over 91% in the last 10 years and over 159% in the last 12 years. The State of Remote Work report shows that 99% of all questioned employees want to work from home at least some of the time.
Forbes Magazine confirms this by saying that remote work is now “standard operating procedure” for 50% of US-Americans.
The trend is very clear. That’s why employers need to start offering remote work options sooner or later or else they lose employees.
Benefits of Remote Work for Employees
There are also plenty of benefits of remote work for employees. Since I’ve already talked about it in detail in the linked post, I’ll now only list three of the most popular ones:
1. Better Work-Life Balance
Being able to work remotely also often means having the opportunity to create your own schedule. Employees can work whenever they feel most productive and motivated, may it be in the morning or the evening.
Since remote workers don’t have to commute anymore, they also often get to spend more time with their family and friends. They can also use the time to do more sports and can fit in private appointments, such as doctor’s visits, more easily.
This results in reduced stress and much happier and more balanced employees.
2. Money Savings
Working remotely means people can save money on public transport tickets or gas bills. Maybe some don’t need a car at all when they get the chance to work from home.
But that’s not all. Employees can also save on expensive business attire and food. They don’t have to go for oftentimes pricy meals in staff canteens or other local eateries. Instead, they can prepare their meals at home for much less money.
There are several calculations out there on how much money each person can save when working from home in comparison to working from an office. The linked article gives you the numbers of the calculations that I did.
Spoiler: One person saves an average of USD 5,200 per year when working from home.
3. Healthier Lifestyle
Studies have shown that remote workers don’t get sick as often as their in-office colleagues. Not only because they live healthier, but also because they are not exposed to countless germs you can often find in a closed office environment.
No more daily commutes and a reduced level of stress can result in more and better sleep.
Also, people will eat healthier because they can prepare fresh meals when working from home.
Since they have more time, they tend to exercise more than when working in an office. This is also because they sit at home most of the day and thus naturally have a higher urge to move their bodies more.
The increased work/life balance makes people happier and more satisfied than ever before. Of course, they will be healthier!
That’s Why Companies Should Go Remote!
As you can see there are plenty of reasons why companies should go remote.
- Contrary to what many people believe, working remotely actually increases productivity.
- The company can save a lot of costs on office rent and overhead costs.
- There are fewer sick days because employees are not exposed to so many germs in the office and they eat healthier and often work out more.
- Having more flexibility and autonomy and being trusted more by their supervisors, working morale in general increases.
- Happier and healthier employees result in a much lower turnover, which, again, saves costs and time for recruiting and training.
- Recruitment is not bound to a certain location anymore and talent can be recruited from anywhere in the world.
- Workforce diversity will increase no matter of geographical location, race, ethnicity, gender identity, or physical or mental disabilities.
- Companies are better prepared for emergencies, like sudden diseases or issues with the office building, e.g. a fire.
- Remote work has a positive environmental impact by avoiding millions of tons of greenhouse gases every year.
- The demand for flexible work is huge and statistics prove that remote work is here to stay. Soon, there will be no way around it anymore.
As if these 10 reasons aren’t enough for companies to embrace remote work, there is also a significant number of benefits for employees. Just to mention some of the most popular ones:
- Remote workers enjoy a greater work-life balance due to their more flexible working days.
- When working from home, employees can save a lot of money that they would usually spend on public transport or gas, food, and business attire.
- Remote workers often get better and more sleep, eat healthier, and workout more. They feel less stressed and are happier with their life which causes better health.
Well, I think those are more than enough reasons to seriously consider remote work and to prepare your employees for this new working style.
If you are still unsure or afraid of how everything will work out, make a slow transition. Take your time with planning and training your employees. You could also let them work remotely for only a few days a week in the beginning.
See what works best for your situation. Just make sure that you aren’t missing out on all the great benefits remote work has to offer.