Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, many corporate offices have been working from home. I have found it shocking that some of the most traditional companies on the planet have seen many of the benefits and are planning to be mostly remote even when we return to “normal times.”
Recent studies have discovered that working from home will increase productivity and reduce stress significantly. This study has encouraged companies to support work-from-home protocol for their employees.
I remember working on 5th Avenue in New York City and certainly don’t miss the daily grind of a two-hour, door-to-door commute. The extra time I now have allows me to focus on my clients and the industry.
We will focus here on the benefits of working from home, even though we know there are many challenges.
Key working from home statistics
Remote work for companies
The transition from remote work during the pandemic has become necessary for office-based companies, especially since they are looking to maintain operations.
According to a Gartner survey, 80% of company leaders plan for their employees to work remotely at least part-time even after the pandemic. In comparison, 47% will allow employees to work from home full-time.
In another survey by PwC, 78% agreed that remote working is here to stay.
Businesses have been found to lose $600 billion a year because of workplace distractions. This makes remote workers 40% more productive than their onsite counterparts.
Another performance-based remote work statistics in 2020 discovered that 67% of employees became productive from working from home.
Despite the whirlwind that occurred in 2020, remote employees have been more satisfied with their jobs than office-based employees.
It was found that 51% of employees are found to be more productive when they started working from home. Most of this can be attributed to:
- Fewer interruptions;
- Quiet work environment; and
- Focused time.
For instance, the productivity of working parents was found to increase since they started working from home. In the Boston study, 75% of employees experienced productivity in both their individual and collaborative tasks.
Hence it is only essential to further discover the benefits of working from home.
Remote work has tons of advantages to employees and employers alike. Some of its importance are:
1. Better work-life balance
With remote jobs, employees can now have flexible schedules. This will allow workers to choose any time of the day to start working as long as it brings healthy outcomes. With this control, the employee can attend to other issues and at times take on other jobs. Hence, you can do it all seamlessly, whether you are balancing other errands or attending a new class.
2. Location independence.
Another benefit of remote work is the access it gives to you to other job opportunities. As a full remote worker, employees can become digital nomads and make a meaningful career.
Unlike traditional working styles that can be limited by the pandemic and other restrictions, remote employees can access all kinds of jobs from their homes. Additionally, remote working is also a great way to prevent high-rent areas, causing them to save money.
3. Less commute stress.
On average, one-way commuting time in the U.S. is about 30 minutes, which means most people spend an hour on transit to and from work. Hence, this would amount to 100 hours or more spent in a year.
Some extreme commuters spend more time. However, by working from home, all of this time is spent on productive things other than transit.
Aside from spending this time on productive things, these long hours of transit time could cause health issues such as:
- Elevated blood sugar;
- High cholesterol;
- Increased risk of depression;
- Other mental and physical health.
4. Improved inconclusiveness.
Companies that practice remote working will embrace inclusion and diversity by hiring people from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
This practice can be challenging to practice with the traditional working style as HR professionals may be limited by location or values. However, hiring employees who can work from home will make more people comfortable with that company since they have chosen to support diversity and family.
Remote work also will allow more people who may find it hard to get to an onsite professional to get easy access to automotive directives from professionals.
5. Remote working saves money.
With a traditional working style, employees are forced to cover a lot of expenses on minimal remuneration.
They are saddled with the burden to provide for payments, gas, parking fees, professional wardrobe, car maintenance and more for business owners. All of this money can be saved and used for other productive aspects of the business.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, businesses save about $11,000 annually for every employee who occasionally chooses to work from home.
In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S employers were found to have saved more than $30 billion daily by allowing their employees to engage in remote work. The benefit of this to the economy is long-term.
6. Impact on sustainability.
Another benefit of remote working is its effect on sustainability initiatives. This includes economic growth, climate change, responsible consumption, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and more.
The cheapest way for employers and employees to reduce their carbon footprint is by reducing commuter travel. If most employees work from home, there would be a significant reduction in pollution, traffic congestion and several other negative influences on the environment.
7. Positive impact on the environment.
According to the State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce report, if 3.9 million employees are working from home, it can reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly. This means working from home signifies a healthier environment for everyone as the consumption of little things like paper, heating, gas will reduce the impact on the world’s air quality.
8. Effective performance and increased productivity.
Remote working means less office politics, fewer and effective meetings, quiet noise levels and fewer interruptions. When remote workers focus on the job at hand, it will cause fewer distractions, which is a significant benefit for employers and employees.
When remote working is done, the right employees and companies can focus on what really matters. In a Gallup report, 60% of U.S. workers who worked from home during the pandemic got more interested in working remotely.
9. Employees can enjoy healthier work life.
Remote workers tend to live happier lives and remain more loyal to their employers than those who don’t work at home. This is not far-fetched as working from home means less stress, more time for employees to explore their interests, and improved personal relationships.
Companies that offer remote working in their work options have been reported to record a high impact on employee retention.
All this said, of course there are many challenges from the work- from-home perspective.
For example, training new employees generally can be a challenge for some types of roles. Building a company culture, team morale, and office chatter are all difficult to replace in a virtual world.
Mike Cioffi is the founder of TireTalent.com, a boutique recruiting firm that focuses on the tire industry.