Contrary to popular belief, remote work isn’t a recent trend. It’s been around since 2010 and, judging by the recent events caused by the global pandemic, it’s here to stay. 56% of global companies allow remote work., and around 16% have been reported as fully remote companies. Plus, remote workers claim to be, believe it or not, 29% happier than on-site workers.
Source: Owl Labs
Although remote work does have its own set of challenges, the majority are just myths fueled by misinformation and skepticism. So, not only does remote work, well, work; it actually has a few unique advantages that could be highly beneficial for your business.
No office costs
Handling a fully remote team means no office costs. Think about all the resources you could save on a yearly basis by cutting your real-estate costs to zero. This allows you to allocate them somewhere where they’re needed more. Plus, it reduces the amount of unscheduled absences, saving you an additional $1,800 a year.
Faster hiring process
According to Owl Labs, remote companies in the U.S. hire 33% faster than other companies.
Source: Owl Labs
Perks like having access to a worldwide talent pool significantly speeds up the hiring process for remote companies. Having no geographical constraints makes it easier to pinpoint and reach the talent they’re looking for.
Reduced employee costs
Although remote workers have higher household expenses, they are still saving around $5,000 a year just through reduced costs of commuting and buying lunch every single day. Research has also shown that a majority of regular workers are willing to trade in a 10% pay cut for the option to work remotely.
Less wasted time
Studies have shown that actual office work is prone to distractions, ultimately causing employees to lose around 25 minutes before returning to their task. Looking at the worst-case scenario, 3-4 discussions about office politics or the latest kitchen gossip a day could cost you around 4-8 hours/week. Remote workers, on the other hand, are aware that billable hours are reserved for projects only. They see wasting them on anything but tangible work as something that’s just not worth it. Remote work also decreases the number of unnecessary meetings as they require a bit more attention than in-person ones.
Skeptics love this one. They are always the first ones to assume that remote work actually decreases productivity. Too bad there’s an abundance of studies that have shown otherwise. Like this one from Owl Labs that claims 75% of people are the same or more productive during COVID-19 while working from home.
Source: Owl Labs
Other studies claim that remote workers are actually way more productive than in-office workers due to reduced stress, fewer distractions, and flexibility. Flexibility is the key here. Some people are laser-focused in the morning, whereas others get in their zone at night. Remote work allows you to seize the best of both worlds instead of forcing people to adapt to conventions. 9-5 enthusiasts can easily satisfy their needs by hiring a night owl in a different timezone.
If done right, a home office actually decreases the amount of distractions a remote employee has. By being accustomed to their work style, the home office can actually increase the amount of deep, focused work, otherwise known as the flow state. The commodity of their own homes also increases the chance of working overtime.
Increased employee retention
Source: Owl Labs
Although the statistics speak for themselves, it’s important to note that remote employees feel accustomed, happier, and more satisfied. Leaving is the last thing they’re thinking of.
Access to global talent pool
Office employers are always limited to a local talent pool they can choose from. Remote employers, on the other hand, have access to a global talent pool they can hire and adapt it to the needs of their business. A great example of this is customer service, where a 24-hour service can be deployed with zero overtime. All it takes is two employees from different time zones.
Decreased safety concerns
Considering recent events, working from home is a much safer option. Employees’ safety risks pretty much rely on their own decisions, such as going to the store, coffee shop, etc. Besides that, the flexibility offered by remote work allows enough room for personal needs to step in when needed. This particular benefit has led many remote workers to a healthier, well-balanced lifestyle, ultimately decreasing safety concerns.
Remote working is eco-friendly
The household energy consumption rate is two times lower when compared to offices.
On top of that, Sun Microsystems managed to lower CO2 emissions by 32,000 metric tons just by making their workers stay at home. Judging by the outcome of their Open Work Program, it’s easy to see why remote working is also an eco-friendly solution. Not to mention that a 2015 research study suggested that remote-compatible employees working from home only half of the time could lead to annual environmental savings up to:
- $20 million in gas
- 54 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions (comparable to taking 10 million cars off the road)
- 640 million barrels of oil (at a saving of $64 billion)
- 119 billion miles of highway driving
That was six years ago. We can only imagine how the situation evolved up to this point.
Remote work has a lot of benefits, but none of them will be useful without a proper framework in place. Copying someone else’s processes won’t cut it either, as they have to be specifically tailored for your business needs. We’ve done a great job so far with both clients and employees spread across the globe. Although we don’t advise you to copy our approach, we most certainly encourage you to talk to us about your own. We’d be more than happy to help.