The pandemic that took the world by storm in 2020 resulted in a redefinition of the workplace that is here to stay. With remote working been widely accepted by companies in most industries, more employees than ever are working remotely. Adopting a remote work benefits scheme for new and existing employees is fundamental in future.
Working from home has become the norm for more than 40% of the US labour force in 2020, and employers need to think about what is going to happen beyond 2021.
Making remote working a positive benefit of job offers might become the norm in the near future, not only because of the stay-at-home restrictions, but also because more than 75% of employees in the US and Canada believed that they are more productive when they work from home.
Offering Employees the Chance to Work Remotely Increases Employee Retention
The obvious benefits of remote working are well known — little to no commuting time and expenses, lower operating costs, and increase productivity — but allowing employees to work remotely has other implications, with the most important of them being the increased competition for top talent.
Because employees now have the option to work remotely for companies across the country in the world, they are no longer forced to take a job near their homes. This translates into numerous opportunities for talented individuals, so companies needs to make sure that they maintain a strong employer brand to be able to compete in the race for hiring top talent.
One of the best ways to encourage current employees to remain with the organization and also to make the company attractive to prospective employees is to introduce remote working as one of the benefits of the employee package. With more and more individuals looking for flexible work schedules, organizations that don’t offer their employees the possibility to work remotely stand to lose when it comes to attracting top talent.
Remote Work Benefits Are Extra Important for Parents
Approximately 23 million parents with young children across the U.S. do not have a caregiver in the family as they work from home, which means that it is important to take their personal situation into account and offered them remote working as a part of the employee package to retain them in the organization or as an incentive for a new job.
More and more companies are offering flexible hours the parents who have been forced by the pandemic to juggle childcare and work from home. In fact, according to research by Zenefits, 77% of workers mentioned that flexible work arrangements are a major consideration in their job searches. Moreover, an International Workplace Group report found that no less than 80% of US workers say that they would turn down a job if it didn’t offer any kind of flexible working.
Other Benefits of Including Remote Working in an Employee Package
Besides improved employee retention, remote working has other benefits for organizations, with increased productivity being one of the most valuable. Over the past decade, there has been lots of debating on the question of remote employees productivity, but the recent coronavirus pandemic showed that there is no decrease in productivity for workers who switch from a traditional office environment to working from home.
In many cases, remote employees are more productive because even though they may have to juggle work with their kids jumping around them, eliminating the stress of commuting and improving the work-life balance results in better performance.
By giving your employees the chance to work remotely, you allow them to operate in the best way that suits their lifestyle. Office environments force everyone to adapt to the same modus operandi, but when employees work from home, they have much more control.
Most people are quite particular about how they like to work, with some of them needing to create a serene, spotless environment, whereas others do their best work late at night or curled up on the sofa. Even though there are certain rules in place even when working from home, the team will still have the freedom to create a schedule and environment that allows them to be most productive.
Flexible scheduling reduces absenteeism in the workplace due to two main reasons. First, the ability to work from home allows employees to fit in their personal obligations around their work. This means that they won’t need to take one or more days off to take care of personal issues.
Additionally, studies such as those conducted by the University of Minnesota have found that employees with flexible scheduling are healthier than those who work set hours. Working from home enables workers to get better sleep, which is essential for their well-being. Moreover, when employees get sick, they bounce back to health quicker if they have a flexible schedule and don’t have to spend hours of their day on their commute.
Finally, adding remote working as an option for existing and new employees saves organizations money on resources such as electricity, water, cleaning services, etc. In some cases, it helps with cutting real estate costs as businesses won’t need large, costly offices anymore. And because flexible working facilitates employee retention as shown above it will also help save hiring costs.
Allowing remote work even after the pandemic and including it as a benefit in employees packages will save an organization money by lowering recruitment costs and time to hire.
Embracing flexible working practices allows business owners and employees defined the most productive solution, which generally implies splitting time between home and the workplace. Flexible work is on the rise among organizations of all sizes and employers that use it wisely are bound to reap both long and short-term benefits.