Over the last 12 months, we have seen an explosion of employers offering remote working opportunities for their employees. Letting employees work remotely from a home office, lounge room, library or café is now common practice. Thinking back even just a few years, it was almost unheard of to have a large proportion of workers clocking in and completing tasks from home. But now, it’s considered smart business to enable employees to work wherever they feel most productive.
We’ve delved further into this ever-growing trend and put together five great reasons why letting employees work remotely is a sound decision for your business.
1. Boost productivity
Perhaps the most important benefit of being able to work remotely is that employees can choose an environment where they are most comfortable completing certain tasks, thus boosting their productivity. This is especially true of millennial workers – according to research reported by Think Productive, 59% of millennial employees stated that more flexible work arrangements would improve their output and productivity.
One common thing we hear at GWG is that, above all, people want to be involved in quality work and outcomes – and sometimes, this is best brought about by a change of scenery to your typical office environment. Sometimes, a noisy cubicle or corporate office just isn’t the ideal place to achieve your best work. Take me, for example: I have a lovely office, but I’m writing this article in a café right now. Why? Because it’s more inspiring and there’s delicious food and coffee on tap to fuel my mind. The office is better suited to some tasks, of course, but for others, changing up the work environment can be hugely beneficial for productivity.
2. Reduced travel
An obvious benefit of letting employees work remotely is greatly reduced travel. This also ties in with the increasing trend of people living further from the office due to the property market being so expensive. And let’s face it – public transport isn’t getting any nicer, so employees will jump at the chance to avoid it! The opportunity of working from home also means that more often than not, staff will use the time they would usually have spent commuting to get more work done (there’s that productivity boost again).
The bonus feel-good aspect of providing this employee benefit is that you’re doing your bit to help save the environment! By letting employees work remotely, you’re keeping cars off the road, reducing some of the need for public transport and saving precious energy resources. Imagine how our planet would benefit if this flexible mode of working became the norm.
3. Access more talent
The potential for hiring great staff is unlimited when remote work programs are an option. We are now seeing some companies employing staff in completely different cities and, in some cases, other countries. With today’s cloud-based technologies, meetings, collaborations and other things that were previously only achieved by working together in person can now be carried out super easily online.
Letting employees work remotely can really expand your reach and options, especially in regional areas like ours, where the talent pool for certain in-demand roles can be limited.
4. Reduce office space
Letting employees work remotely is a strategic decision that’s not only advantageous for employees, but for employers and companies as well. One of the tangible benefits is that you may not need as much office space.
Take an open-plan office scenario, for example. Even if your employees only work remotely for part of the week, you can utilise a hot-desking approach to cater for the days people are in the office. This means you can reduce the number of desks and, therefore, the overall office space you need – potentially saving the company some serious cash!
5. Improve work-life balance
There is always so much talk about work-life balance, but what does that really look like these days? Well, we think letting employees work remotely goes a long way towards achieving it.
From an employee’s perspective, there’s nothing better than having at least one day a week where you can stay in your pyjamas, grab a coffee and kick off on the laptop sitting on the lounge in the morning sun. No getting dressed up, no rushing against the clock, no traffic and no interruptions – well, maybe the odd load of washing!
This is what people actually mean when they talk about work-life balance. Employees who have remote working opportunities are simply happier, and the benefits of their balanced approach will translate into increased motivation, productivity and overall job satisfaction.
James Grierson is COO and founder of GWG Partners. You can reach James on 02 4905 0130, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch!