With the daily changes COVID-19 seems to bring, one of the biggest is hundreds of companies and businesses are providing ways for their employees to work from home. While this is a temporary measure for most, done out of desperation, it shines a light on a small but rapidly growing work style that has been long overlooked. Why is that? With the technological advances we’ve adapted over the past decade working remotely is more viable and attainable than ever before – and something the majority of employees say that they want as an option for their career. This unprecedented situation has proven that more businesses have the capability to offer that benefit than they may have been previously willing to admit.
Old school work culture believes working from home is cheating or not really working which seems like an odd mindset with the onslaught of technology and the availability to take our work with us anywhere and everywhere like never before. The data actually proves that working from home has substantial benefits not just for employees, but for businesses as well.
“Two-thirds of managers who offer telecommuting flexibility report that employees who work from home are overall more productive.” * When employees have more control over their schedule they aren’t simply “running out the clock”. With less distractions, office politics, and side conversations going on employees can hone in on their work. Having the ability to create a comfortable work space away from the glare of fluorescent light doesn’t hurt either.
LESS Sick Time / Time Off –
“69% of telecommuters reported lower absenteeism.” * A combination of less exposure to germs and having a flexible schedule to take care of oneself leads to significantly less absences, whether they are actual sicknesses or the type of “sick” needed to get your engine checked or have the repairman come by. When remote workers are feeling a little under the weather they are more likely to report to work anyway since they don’t have to leave the comfort of their home or worry about infecting others.
“In a Stanford University study, employers who offered a work from home option had employee turnover rates fall by over 50%.” ** Offering the ability to work remotely is a highly coveted benefit and has been proven to increase an employee’s loyalty to a company and reduce turnover.
Happier & More Loyal Employees
“82% of telecommuters reported lower stress levels. And less stress comes with happier, more engaged employees, data shows. 80% of telecommuters report a higher morale.”** Stress is the number one killer of creativity and innovation. Creating a working environment that leaves employees feeling empowered, comfortable, and independent leads to greater inspiration and ingenuity.
Less cars on the road = less pollution. Also, businesses themselves can invest in smaller office spaces, use less electricity, disposable products etc when their employees don’t need to report to a physical location.
Widens The Hiring Pool
While our team’s base is in West Palm Beach, we have a team member in Michigan and one in Atlanta (me). When we need to grow our team we can open the opportunity to anyone in the United States, let alone the world. If one of us needs to move for some reason, we don’t need to lose them either.
And lastly, it’s a mode of work that’s here to stay. “99% [of remote workers] said they would like to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers.” *** There’s a growing workforce of highly skilled, talented, self-motivated individuals who will be looking for remote work opportunities and will be unlikely to settle for less. As an environmentally friendly option, that saves office resources, opens up the candidate pool and encourages happier, more committed employees – Why wouldn’t this option continue to grow and expand?
It’s time for employers to start treating their team like responsible adults. If you don’t trust the people you hired that’s a different problem, a problem that won’t be solved by location. If you’ve invested in hiring the right people for the job, that love the work and understand what’s expected of them – don’t you want to invest in those relationships and create a basis for longevity? Your employees invest a 1/4 of their year into your company – isn’t it fair to invest in them as well? Stop treating people like their lives outside of the office are a hindrance. That’s it’s unprofessional to want to go to the doctor or dentist. That it’s not respectable to want to pick your child up from school or go out to lunch with your spouse. That needing to go for a walk to clear your head or sleeping in once in a while somehow makes you lazy or not dedicated to what you do. I do all of those things while still working a very full 30 – 40 hours a week. Sometimes my day goes from 10am – 6pm and others 7am – 3pm – But the beauty of it is that I have the autonomy to choose. I am empowered to still get to have a life that coincides with my work, but isn’t controlled by it.
Of course, there are pros to office culture and a lot of jobs need in person interaction, but hopefully after we make it through the worst of the isolation and lockdowns, we’re able to see that working from home is a viable and valuable option for many people and would not only improve their work, but the quality of their lives. Let’s continue to strive to create a world where we lift each other up, empower others, and realize that caring for people and making a profit can coincide, we don’t have to choose.