According to the recent State of the Remote Job Marketplace report from FlexJobs, there are now 3.9 million Americans or 2.9% of the total US workforce who work from home at least half the time. In the UK, remote workers now account for nearly 14% of the UK workforce. As employees demand more flexible working options and employers look for ways to increase workforce satisfaction, remote work options are gaining in popularity. The most successful organizations recognize the benefits of offering remote working options as a way to save money, increase productivity, and win the war for talent. Learn five benefits of working from home and how to keep remote workers happy and engaged.
What is remote work?
Remote work, also known as work from home, telework, and telecommuting, is any work that is done outside the traditional office and doesn’t require commuting. Some workers are 100% remote and others work from home just one or two days per week. Research shows that remote workers are more productive than their in-office peers since they deal with fewer distractions. A recent study focused on the inherent flexibility of remote work and its impact on working parents’ performance. The study confirmed that the flexibility of remote work increased gratitude, elevated job satisfaction, and decreased stress.
Five benefits of working remotely
Remote work opportunities provide numerous benefits to both employees and employers. The most successful organizations have even removed location as a prerequisite for hiring, in order to build a workforce with the best talent. Here are five reasons why more organizations are offering remote work options:
1. Employees save time and money.
One of the biggest advantages of working from home for employees is the elimination of commuting time and costs. The average remote worker saves hundreds of dollars in gas, bus/train tickets, parking, and meals. Additionally, working parents are often able to save on childcare costs.
2. Employers cut operating costs.
According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, a typical business could save $11,000 per person per year with telecommuting programs. Organizations can reduce the number of desks in the office and offer hoteling options or adopt co-working strategies. For example, such options allowed IBM to cut real estate costs by $50 million.
3. Reduce employee turnover.
In a recent survey, 40% of remote employees said a flexible schedule is the biggest benefit to remote work. It allows employees to juggle work with hobbies, errands, appointments, and spending time with friends and family—which helps maintain a positive work-life balance and reduces turnover.
4. Attract top talent.
Millennials and other tech-savvy workers want flexibility and the option to work remotely. To compete for top talent, leading organizations are offering remote work options as part of an overall focus on helping employees achieve their wellness goals.
5. Build a more agile, modern workforce
The popularity of remote work is here to stay. An agile workforce is one that can quickly adapt to ever-changing needs—whether it’s customer requirements, marketplace demands, or the way work gets done. Remote work options help organizations attract and retain the best talent, enabling your workforce to better adapt to growth and change.
How to keep remote workers happy and engaged
In order to fully realize the benefits of remote work, the most successful organizations implement a defined telework policy and set clear guidelines on communication requirements. To combat feelings of isolation and loneliness for remote employees, many leading businesses are beginning to include “in the office” days as an important component of a successful and productive relationship.
Support for your agile workforce
Remote work options support both employee flexibility and cost efficiency. Take steps now to implement a clear telework policy and encourage remote employees to spend some time in the office to keep them connected and engaged. Organizations that invest in flexible workspace options will reap the benefits of a more productive and engaged workforce. Asure Software can be a strong partner in supporting your organization’s mobile, agile workforce.