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5 Proven Benefits of Remote Work for Businesses and Employees

byNick Rubright | 2023-04-30
A woman sitting at a kitchen table with a laptop. She is smiling at the computer screen.

Let’s look at 5 benefits of remote work for businesses and employees. 

1. Lower Operating Costs 

Depending on the size of your business, the reduced need for a dedicated office space can cut costs significantly. 

Companies like Sun Microsystems and IBM, for example, saved over $50 million in real estate costs when they opted to go virtual. Other cost cuts include energy savings, annual commuting costs, and reduced spending on office supplies.

Data gathered by Global Workplace Analytics found that employees would rather have the option to work remotely than receiving a pay raise, supporting the idea that employees are happier in virtual workplaces.

For small businesses, these savings can be monumental, allowing them to spend more money on areas like email marketing and innovation, that can boost profits. 

2. Increased Productivity

While remote work has its own set of challenges, working from home allows employees to avoid workplace drama, traffic while commuting, dressing to impress, taking breaks with coworkers, and other office-related slowdowns. Working from home can save employees time to focus on important tasks, boosting productivity.

Research conducted by Owl Labs found that 62% of workers feel more productive when working remotely.

While there may be less need for face-to-face conversations, engagement and productivity continue to depend on employee feedback. Consider utilizing survey questions for remote workers to keep tabs on employee opinion and satisfaction so your business can continue to evolve.

Remote work has many benefits. However, there are still some challenges. It’s important to continue to focus on keeping teams happy and productive by developing innovative tactics that continue to boost engagement and teamwork.

Rewarding and recognizing remote employee successes is an important part of maintaining engagement and productivity just as it is for in-person employees. Look into employee recognition platforms to help team members stay engaged and create a culture of appreciation.

3. Improved Retention Rates

There are many reasons why you want your employees to be happy at work. In fact, U.S. businesses lose up to $550 billion each year due to disengaged employees.

According to The Engagement Institute, job engagement and satisfaction are vital to keeping talent and saving companies money. Replacing an employee who resigns can cost 6 to 9 months of the employee's salary. Improving employee happiness increases retention rates and reduces expensive turnover.

Remote work has proven to reduce turnover rates by 25%, allowing workers to have a more balanced work life, a healthier lifestyle, and less stress.

While remote work has proven to improve retention rates, virtual workplaces alone are not enough to maintain engagement and job satisfaction. Businesses need to continue to invest in their employees, helping them grow and continue to learn.

Employees are more engaged and happier at work when they have a clear idea of their career path. Providing training seminars, mentorship programs, and a good onboarding experience can help employees stay focused and happy in a virtual environment. 

4. Broader Talent Pool

No longer being restricted by geography gives companies the power to choose from a wider talent pool. Connecting online has made the world smaller in many ways, including creating unique company cultures where team members reside throughout the world, possibly never meeting in person.

Businesses are no longer limited to recruiting candidates located within commuting distance, letting them focus on finding more qualified candidates for roles regardless of where they live. 

This flexibility to hire outside the region has helped create an equal playing field for smaller companies that have been competing with larger organizations for talent in the same area. 

While many companies decide to go virtual, more products and services become available worldwide. Welcoming and including new perspectives and nationalities into your corporate culture can be advantageous and help your organization to find success in broader areas of the world.

5. Happier and Healthier Employees 

Working remotely not only eliminates the stress that comes with a daily commute but gives employees more freedom in how and where they work. This freedom helps employees be healthier, happier, and more productive.

A 2022 survey by Cisco found that 78% of full-time employees worldwide believe a remote and hybrid schedule improved their overall well-being.

Having a flexible workplace allows employees to take regular short breaks, helping them avoid burnout and increase productivity. The overall attitude of a workplace can greatly impact the happiness of an individual. Working from home reduces stress levels and improves relationships with family and close friends.

The Benefits Outweigh the Costs 

Just because there are benefits to working remotely doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with its own set of challenges. There are pros and cons to every style of work.

Communication gaps, lack of social interaction, and challenges managing teams can be negative impacts of a virtual workplace. However, every year there are new tools to combat the unattractive aspects of remote work.

First, consider whether or not going virtual is practical for your business and ask employees for their feedback and opinions regarding hybrid and virtual work schedules before moving forward.

If remote work is right for your team, the resources saved due to lower operating costs can be put toward reunions and gatherings where you and your team members can truly bond with each other. Even if your office is virtual, you can gather to celebrate achievements and holidays and do other activities that can strengthen your bond as a team.

For teams that are too spread out geographically to meet in person, the resources you’ve saved can go toward gift cards, lunch deliveries, and other gifts and perks that will help your employees feel recognized and know they’re valuable members of the team. A virtual lunch or coffee hour together, sponsored by the company and made possible by the reduced operating costs, can be a great way to build camaraderie and strengthen interpersonal bonds.

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