Are you on the fence about allowing employees to continue working from home? Consider these remote work benefits.
Here's what you need to know about allowing employees to WFH:
- It will save you money on office space and equipment
- Many remote employees can better focus on tasks and produce more without the water cooler talks
- With a reduced or eliminated commute, employees can gain spare time to focus on their health — and save money
- Many workers who've worked from home reported an increase in morale and loyalty to their company
Productivity and the number of people working from home have become significant issues in today’s economy. Those with onsite full-time jobs may be less productive than those working from home. According to Apollo Technical, remote workers have reported fewer unproductive minutes per day, worked an extra day per week, and were 47% more productive.
Bringing people back post-pandemic to improve productivity may alienate you from a workforce that has boosted your company amid fear and uncertainty. There are plenty of reasons to let your employees continue working from home.
WFH saves you money
The technological advances of the past decades have made working from home (WFH) a viable option for many people. Rather than being chained to a desk in a stuffy office, people can now work from the comfort of their own homes, thanks to laptops, cell phones, and the internet — making it easier for people to be connected no matter where they are. In addition, allowing employees to continue working from home will save you money on office space and equipment.
But those reductions in costs also help your employees. For example, working from home can save money on daycare, dress codes, and other work-related expenses. In addition, home-based workers can often take more time off for vacation or illness without losing income.
Skip the water cooler talk
The water cooler allows colleagues to get to know each other, build camaraderie, and have a space to socialize. However, many remote employees have found they can better focus on tasks and produce more without it. Because working from home minimizes social interactions, colleagues don’t gossip or dive into sensitive political discussions best left away from the office.
Keeping remote work on the table will offer your employees a refreshing sense of freedom and independence without office life demands or coworkers’ distractions. So tell your employees they can skip the commute, the water cooler, the kombucha bar, the pizza parties, and the ping pong tables, and offer them what many of them want: more time at home.
More free time means healthier employees
Free time weighs heavy on the minds of the American worker. With the pandemic and the transition from in-office to remote or hybrid roles, your employees may have noticed a lot of extra time that they didn’t have before. With a reduced or eliminated commute, employees may have gained hours, days, or even weeks of spare time for self-improvement. Fewer chances to gather ‘round the water cooler meant remote workers used the extra time to exercise — universally known to be good for mental and physical health and a great stress reliever.
In the office space, especially with the threat of COVID on every doorknob, coffee mug, and inadvertent cough, sickness can spread quickly among coworkers. In addition, workers share their germs without knowing it when offices are packed with people. The fact is that employees who continue to work from home won’t be spreading their germs, thereby reducing the likelihood of illness spreading throughout your company.
What’s your biggest 2022 HR challenge that you’d like to resolve
Answer to see the results
Give a hoot, don’t commute
Two words? No commute. Whether it takes 20 minutes to get to work or an hour, that’s less time on the road and more time on projects. Employees can start earlier in the day and finish earlier. Win-win. The average American’s commute is now nearly 30 minutes. That much time on the road means workers spend more money on ever-rising gas prices, maintenance, and repair. Lest we forget the help to the environment in fewer people driving, taking the subway, trains, and buses to get to and from the office.
Still not convinced? Returning to the days of commuting might inspire your employees to think twice about coming back to the office or finding work somewhere that values working from home. But, on the other hand, some workers are willing to give up a lot of things to never have to commute again. So if you’re a stickler about returning to the office, be ready to have some of your employees unwilling to stay with you.
Improve employee productivity, satisfaction, and dedication
All companies, even those without the culture for remote work, have been forced to manage employees from afar. As a result, managers may have been worried about the lack of face-to-face supervision, distractions at home, and social isolation. But, despite these drawbacks, both employees and bosses found productivity stayed the same or improved since the transition to remote or hybrid work.
Many workers who could work from home reported an increase in morale and loyalty to their company. Remote work increased productivity because of a quieter, more comfortable, familiar environment with fewer breaks and fewer sick days. With improved satisfaction came lower attrition rates and increased productivity. Most employees prefer to work alone when productivity is top of mind.
Potential downsides of staying at home
There are benefits to a remote workforce, but also some potential downsides. One example is that it can be easy to get disconnected from the outside world. Without coworkers to chat with or scheduled breaks away from your computer, it’s all too easy to spend hours working without a break. Make sure to be proactive in preventing remote worker burnout.
Feeling connected with each other is also an issue that can arise with remote work. As an employer, consider using video conferencing, virtual phone systems, or other software to keep your employees connected when physical proximity isn’t possible. Why not get your colleagues together once a week so they still feel like a part of the team? Too many online meetings could adversely affect performance, so learn to recognize symptoms of Zoom fatigue and how to combat them.
Working from home makes sense
Working from home has clear benefits for both you and your employees. According to a research by Airtasker, remote workers are better rested, more productive, and happier — which translates directly into a better experience for customers and clients. In the meantime, you’ll save money on rent, equipment, and other office expenses. So why not let them stay home? It’s a win-win for everybody.