The rise in technological development in just the past few years alone has completely transformed the modern workforce.
Fast internet connectivity and better software focused on teamwork and collaboration, for instance, continuously reduces the need for face-to-face interactions.
One of the biggest trends on the rise, however, is the idea of remote work. Remote work—a type of flexible schedule where employees work from their home office either partially or fully during the work week—is already offered by a number of giant industry names such as Amazon and Google, and more and more companies every day are beginning to incorporate this kind of flexibility into their own offerings to employees.
In today’s article, we discuss the benefits of remote work, and how it can lead to happier and more productive employees.
Remote Work = Better Work-Life Balance
The quality of any project is directly dependent on the skills and training of the people assigned to it. As such, big companies like to invest in the well-being and professional development of their employees by offering better financial compensation, advanced healthcare plans, and various training programs.
But work-life balance is also a ‘perk’ that today’s job seeker is seeking, as the rigidity of the office environment isn’t for everyone. By allowing employees to work from home, companies show that they’re invested in creating the best environment for productive work—even if it means managing remote team members.
As it happens, this kind of flexibility has surprising results. According to a report by Ultimate Software, 90% of people who work remotely feel more productive than they did in the office, where they were easily distracted by co-workers, meetings, or other activities.
In addition to feeling productive, these employees also experience better work-life. Not only do they avoid feeling chained to a desk, but they have the freedom to decide when to work, allowing them to experience more autonomy in their work, which is commonly linked with higher job satisfaction.
Access to Qualified Talent
Offering remote work as an option to potential employees allows companies to have access to talent at a global level. Managers can now select candidates from a diverse pool, allows them to improve the overall level of skill and experience within the company.
Furthermore, thanks to online learning platforms, it’s easy and low-cost to offer training to new employees who are not in the office. This way, companies can work with people from all over the world, while making sure they have all the right skills for the job.
A Better Employer Brand
In today’s workforce environment, companies of any size must find ways to attract millennials, who are taking over from the previous generation. But millennials have a different view on life and work and don’t like to feel attached to a company that doesn’t fulfill their mental and emotional needs.
Characteristics of brands that attract millennials in today’s workforce include a friendly work environment, a positive workplace culture, opportunities for growth and development, and an openness toward work flexibility/remote work.
Work-life balance is particularly important to millennial job seekers, and the ability to work from home may just make the difference between their choosing one company over another.
Fully Remote Companies Exist
We now see successful tech companies (Zapier, Fiverr, Toptal, and more) that operate on a completely remote setup. This means there is no going to the office every day (even for the CEOs and mid-managers), but people still function as a team.
While this is a new structure that requires different company processes in terms of communication protocols and access to resources, today’s technology is ready for this phenomenon. If tech giants operate on this premise, it is not very difficult for well-established corporations to integrate remote workers as well.
The secret is to find the right tools for collaboration (such as Slack or Zoom) and make sure everyone is integrated with the team. Of course, companies will also need to shift their focus on goal achievement and be less focused on task management since remote workers are capable of managing their own time as they see fit.
The remote worker is not a passing trend, and the sooner companies understand this, the better. Otherwise, corporations run the risk of losing valuable employees, which could hinder productivity and raise the cost of hiring. In addition, companies that are rigid about working remotely also run the risk of looking inflexible in the eyes of partners and supporters.
Oli Kang is a working mum who has a passion for teaching and all things educational. With a background in marketing, Oli manages the digital channels and content at courses.com.au.