(Article published by Stratodesk – May 20, 2020)
There are many benefits to working from home. When it comes to working from home, you might be surprised to learn that it isn’t as new of a concept as you might think. In fact, working from home is very much a return to old ways of doing things. You could even say it is a more natural way of getting work done. In fact, before the industrial age, it was commonplace to work from your residence.
That changed, of course, when the industrial revolution occurred. Suddenly, workers had to be present in factories in order to aide production. You could even tie the beginning of commuting to this time period.
Following World War II, a new, burgeoning economy in America led to bigger corporate office spaces and cubicles. But this was not destined to be the way work gets done forever. The internet and computers would soon yet again revolutionize the way we think of work.
Today, there are many reasons why professionals might want to work from home. Already, due to the pandemic, half of the American workers are currently working from home. Many of those workers will not ever go back to the office. Many are considering making the change permanent.
And why not? After all, the benefits of remote work extend to employers, too.
Thanks to modern technology and intelligent solutions, workers are truly able to get their best work done from anywhere.
Remote Workers Are Happier
Despite criticism implying remote work leads to unhappiness and isolation, a study done of over one thousand workers found that the majority of remote workers are happier than their office dwelling counterparts. Who knew having control over one’s own schedule and work environment would result in a bump in happiness?
This isn’t just the result of breaking out of the workplace. When employees are able to work from home, they have more time. All of a sudden, getting in that extra workout, or spending time with loved ones, becomes an everyday possibility.
Accidental remote workers sent home due to the panic have taken notice of these benefits. In fact, a recent Gallup poll revealed that as many as 3 in 5 workers would prefer to remain working from home after the pandemic ends.
This leaves a big question for society to answer – what will work look like post-pandemic?
Remote Workers are More Loyal
With the demand for top-notch talent outstripping the supply, every organization today is concerned with attracting and maintaining employees. Also, retaining employees saves money. On average, a company with 0-500 people spends upwards of $7,000 on hiring each new employee. On average, companies in the US spend $4000 on hiring per employee. This is made worse by the average 52 days of lost productivity where the job remains vacant.
How can employers solve this? Offering remote work might be the answer. Partly due to the fact that remote employees report greater happiness, they also are more loyal to their company on average than on-site workers.
Work From Home Employees Work More Hours
People who work from home just want to slack off, right? On the contrary, remote employees actually work longer hours. One study found that remote employees work a full day-and-a-half more per month than do on-site workers. At scale, that’s a lot of extra work getting done!
The reason for this likely is due to the other benefits on this list. With less time taken away from distraction or eaten up by morning commutes, remote workers are free to put in the time they need to get the job done right.
Remote Workers Are Actually Less Distracted
Coworkers – the gift (or curse) inherent to working in an office. Along with the happy hours, the mid-day lunches, and shenanigans, coworkers also can cause a lot of distraction. In fact, the vast majority of workers (80%) now working remotely say they can better deal with disruptions caused by coworkers.
Sure, working from home does afford its own challenges in regard to staying focused. But remote workers are getting creative, leveraging various techniques to stay on task.
Working From Home Increases Productivity
Lastly, it doesn’t really matter how many hours you work if all you are doing is staring blankly at a computer screen. What really matters is productivity. With so many people now working remotely however, workers are finding that they are actually more productive. Having the flexibility to work on your own schedule, it turns out, ends up bolstering effectiveness on the job.
This could be due partly to the fact that remote workers are actually better rested. Unfortunately, a mere 27% of workers in America get the recommended hours of sleep each night. The impact lack of proper sleep can have on the workplace is hard to overstate. When sleep is limited, errors are increased, memory is impacted, and judgment impaired. The end result of employee sleep deprivation is a major hit to business revenue.
Employers, as well as employees, have the incentive to enable more flexible hours so workers get the rest they need to do their jobs.
Flexible Work Saves Money
Not only does enabling flexible work save money thanks to better-rested employees, but it also saves on overhead costs. Want to cut hardware investment this year? Allow workers to use their personal devices. Advancements in technology make this both easy and secure! Many industry-leading companies embrace remote work and save on office space. Flexible work conditions also help employees save. On average, Americans spend $5,000 on commuting costs each year. And that’s just the American average – it’s likely to be much higher in areas with high commutes.
It’s Better for the Environment
Working from home means ditching the morning commute. Ditching the morning commute means less gas being used. Less gas being used means a better, healthier environment. Enterprises use Stratodesk software, for example, to enable remote work and cut commute times. What’s more, by leveraging effective technology solutions, the environment benefits from less waste in regards to computer hardware.
Working from Home is Better for your Health
Remote workers are happier, which shows working from home is better for your mental health. But it’s also better for your physical health. Remote workers have more time to get the sleep they need, the exercise they need, and the ability to cook healthier, home-made meals, instead of takeout. In fact, people who eat at home for lunch and avoid takeout weigh 5 pounds less on average.
Enabling Remote Work Improves Standard of Living
Lastly, many employees are looking for ways to save money and increase their standard of living. This is causing an unprecedented flight from cities. Heading to rural areas enables professionals to have more for less, while remote work enables them to live where they want, not where their job dictates. To compete for top-notch talent, enterprises are going to feel the pressure to enable secure remote work.
The bottom line: working remotely is a great way to ensure your workforce’s safety during a health crisis. But it’s also a great way to ensure healthier, happier workers all the time.