Sometimes, it’s nice to take a look at the positive side of life and today, we’re going to look at the biggest benefits of remote work to both employers and employees.
The benefits of remote work include productivity, reduced costs, better recruitment, improved retention, higher morale, streamlined management, no commuting, no office attire, better lifestyle choices, no distractions, focusing on important things, improved happiness, it’s good for the environment, local businesses and the travel sector too.
The Benefits of Remote Work for Employers
Let’s take a quick rundown of the benefits of remote work from an employer’s perspective:
- Higher levels of productivity. When your staff work remotely, they don’t commute, they don’t attend pointless meetings and evidence shows that they tend to work harder because they’re worried you will think they’re slacking off. This leads to a big boost in productivity. A study by Ctrip in China found that this is equivalent to a day a month of extra work for the employer. Nice, right?
- Lower costs. There’s no need to pay for desks and heating and lighting. In fact, many remote workers also supply their own equipment such as laptops and software too. This adds up to a serious cost saving for most remote work employers. However, it’s worth noting that most remote employers do pay their employees a consideration for these things at their chose place of work, instead – it’s just not as much as they once paid in overheads.
- It improves recruitment. When you recruit remote workers, you are essentially opening up the talent pool to the widest extent. If the perfect candidate lives in Mongolia, what do you care? All you need to do is ensure they get the work done and stay up to date with your business and the industry. The rest is up to them. It is worth noting, however, that not everyone is suited to remote work – you still need to vet candidates carefully.
- It improves staff retention. As you might expect the competition for remote work is fierce and when staff land a job they love, they don’t want to leave. Another unforeseen benefit related to this is that staff also tend to take fewer sick days when they don’t work in an office (this is probably because when you work from home – you don’t tend to pick up the flu from your colleagues). Ctrip found that their staff took 50% fewer sick days over a period of 2 years when working remotely!
- It improves morale. It’s an understated business benefit because it’s hard to quantify the effects on the bottom line but there are clear morale boosts from staff gaining more control over their day-to-day lives. This, in theory, should lead to better work-life balance (thus more happiness and greater health) and better engagement (and thus an increase in productivity). Given that these outputs can be observed in remote workers – it’s likely that increased morale plays a part in this.
- It streamlines management. In an office, a manager will spend much of their time being sucked into office politics much of which doesn’t revolve around the work but rather the individual personalities. When remote work is effectively managed much of this wasted time disappears. When Ken doesn’t eat his sandwiches in front of Susan every day, she can’t complain about the smell and he can’t complain about her constant complaining. Everyone is a winner.
The Benefits of Remote Work for Employees
Now, let’s flip the coin over and consider the benefits of remote work from an employee’s perspective:
- No commute. This is an amazing benefit. You can work from home (wherever that may be) and cut your commute down to 0 hours. Given that commuters can spend up to 4 hours each day going back and forth to work this is a huge benefit.
- No need for office attire. You can work in your dressing gown or even au naturelle if you’re working from home (though we recommend that you do get dressed if you’re going to be on video calls – nobody needs to see you slobbing around the place either).
- You can exercise and eat well. Yes, some people say they turn into the Goodyear Blimp as soon as they start working from home but that’s not the nature of the work, that’s the nature of the individual at play. You have more time, get out and take a long walk each day at the very least and cook your own meals with an eye on the quality of them.
- No distractions. It was the hardest thing about working in an office for me, an endless queue of people to talk to, meetings for every unimportant thing, etc. when you work remotely all that stuff goes away. When you’ve really got important stuff to do – you can turn off notifications on your devices so that you are entirely distraction-free.
- Better work-life balance. Some people dream of it but the smart remote worker lives it. You’re in control and that means if you take charge of your life, it becomes much easier to separate work and life. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to work 24 hours a day to prove you deserve to be remote working – do look at your output and think “I’m getting more done than ever before; I deserve to finish at 5 p.m.”
- More time to work on what matters. When all those crappy meetings disappear, you get more time to spend on things that you enjoy doing and which add real value to the bottom line of your business. This is what dream jobs are made of.
- You’ll be happier. All of this stuff, when taken together, means that you’re going to feel happier than you ever did before. You’re the one in charge of your life on a day-to-day basis, you’re more productive, you work on things that matter, you’re working less, you’re eating better and exercising, this is a recipe for health and happiness. This is why remote work is the best future of work for millions of people.
Other Benefits Of Remote Work
There are other benefits of remote work too that are more holistic than employer and employee benefits.
- It’s good for the environment. No commute? No office to heat including all those public areas which are rarely used? It all adds up to substantive benefits to the environment. Also, you tend to find that remote work is absolutely paperless – there’s no need to print and file when there’s nobody else around that needs the material – you can just keep it on your hard drive. Remote working is green working.
- It’s good for local businesses. It’s not as pronounced a benefit as the environmental side of things but people who work from home tend to support their local business community more than those working miles away. They eat in local cafes and restaurants. Buy their office supplies nearby. That kind of thing. Money spent in the community makes a community a safer, nicer place to be – it’s almost a moral imperative to work remotely.
- It’s good for the travel industry. Remote workers often become digital nomads and even those who don’t will often sneak away for a work-cation once or twice a year. That means spending money on travel and who doesn’t love the travel industry and nice places to be? However, we’d note that too much flying around will definitely wipe out those environmental benefits that we talked about earlier.
There are many benefits to remote working, and they exist for the employer, the employee, and the wider world. Digital nomads already know how much sense it makes to be able to work from anywhere but if you’re having trouble convincing other people, you might want to walk them through this list of benefits.