You’ve probably read tons of articles about the advantages of working from home. You’ve seen how remote workers benefit from the ultimate comfort and flexibility, wear what they want and lead practically carefree lives. And we certainly hope you’re not bored of reading them – because, in an increasingly technological world, to say online jobs are here to stay can hardly classify as a sweeping statement anymore. Four million people in the United Kingdom have a remote job as their main occupation and, if past trends are any indication, this number is only expected to rise in the coming years. More and more employees are opting out of the nine-to-five rat race in favour of commute-free existences, instead choosing a world where productivity is measured by how much and what you do rather than where and when you do it.
Contrary to popular belief, though, remote working is not only beneficial to the worker. In recent years, sociologists are leaning towards the model of a more symbiotic relationship between remote worker and employer. In other words, it’s not only the employee who gains from working remotely – it’s great for companies, too. And here’s why:
It’s better for the environment
If you have a job, you have to travel to get to it. And, whether you have to catch the train, the bus, get a taxi or drive, your commute is polluting the environment. Four million remote workers in the UK alone are that many less who are leaving a carbon footprint and harming the planet. As the awareness of protecting the environment increases, modern companies are facing enormous pressures to employ sustainable practises. What cleaner, more sustainable or cheaper way is there than to completely eliminate the morning (and evening!) commute?
It’s less costly
One of the ways that companies make money is to reduce their expenses so their profit margin will be greater. Company costs in fact can run up to huge amounts. Think physical spaces, for example. A small business with 20 employees will have to rent or buy a space big enough to fit them, invest in office furniture, ensure safety levels are adequate and provide all the necessary technological equipment. A bigger business with 50 employees will need to go even further, for example procuring land for parking space as well as a multitude of other unforeseen expenses.
A company with a remote workforce need not worry about any of this. It can afford to rent or buy smaller premises without compromising on employee comfort. A handful of computers will suffice and the need for office furniture will be rendered practically moot. Saving so much money will enable that company to put its money where its mouth is: it will be able to employ more staff without worrying about where to put them, offer better salaries and invest in some seriously good marketing.
It reduces employee turnover
Keep a worker happy, and you will win their loyalty for a lifetime. Employee turnover can prove a real headache for companies looking to find – and keep – skilled staff. Companies with a high percentage of employee turnover find themselves facing additional costs that have to invested into training new employees. Furthermore, constantly replacing staff gives companies a bad reputation – if their own employees are not happy, then why should consumers expect to enjoy good service or products from the same company?
In a survey conducted last year in the United Kingdom, 90% of remote workers said they have no plans of quitting their jobs in the near future, naming flexibility and extra family time as the biggest benefits of working remotely. In other words, the employee turnover for a company with a predominantly remote workforce will probably be much lower.
Older generations can stay in the workforce for longer
In the world of work, experience is always an asset. Which is why keeping older employees for longer is good for your company. Experienced employees need minimal guidance, which will free up a lot of time for the company. They can also be used to mentor newer workers and potentially save you money.
Remote workers tend to stay in the workforce for longer since they don’t have to face long commutes that will become even more tiring as they grow older. Working from home is also fantastic for retired individuals who don’t fancy leaving the workforce altogether and prefer to keep their senses sharpened by engaging in a less taxing job.
Less stress = Greater worker productivity
Us telecommuters are a laid-back folk – and with good reason. Totally eliminating the office environment has a positive effect on most of us. A study by PGI (a leading software provider) says that 82% of their own remote workers report lower stress levels, which in turn boosts their morale, helping them focus better, utilise better the time available to them and ultimately be more productive – which highly benefits the company itself!
Workers take less sick days
All employees are entitled to sick leave – and that includes remote workers. The comfort of working from home must also be beneficial for the health, though, because, according to an infographic by Softchoice, 57% of telecommuters not only take fewer sick days, but they are also able to work online while they are sick. This has the advantage of boosting worker productivity as well as saving the company a substantial amount of money that would otherwise have to be forked out for paid sick leave.
Two words – talent pooling
Taking your pick from practically all of the countries in the whole world increases your chances of discovering new and exciting talent. Forward-thinking companies can create multi-disciplinary teams who can pool their talents and come up with something amazing. The best thing is, they don’t even have to meet in person. Video conferencing and other means of telecommunication save a lot of time and money for the company who is employing remote workers.
The world is your oyster
How many times have potentially great employees had to opt out of a job because of its location? Long commutes are one of the top reasons that working professionals quit their jobs or settle for perhaps a lower-paid option that is more geographically desirable. And, given that the average commute for American workers is around 90 minutes long, we can clearly see why! Undergoing a long trying journey every day takes up more of your free time and is a prime factor for stress and frustration.
Modern companies today no longer have to consider location when hiring their staff. They can hire anyone they want, no matter where they live. This means that their options have got a lot more wider, and the company can grow as much as it wants.
There are limited distractions
Anyone who’s worked in a busy office for any length of time will tell you there’s always a lot of stuff going on. Chatty colleagues, lunches, office gossip and the general clamour of the workplace can ultimately result in plenty of time wasting, which is definitely bad news for the company who is paying by the hour.
Business employing telecommuters will find that their staff actually clocks up longer productive hours and take fewer, shorter breaks. This may partly due to working in the home environment.
Employees make less claims
Whether it’s transport, uniforms or a fractured wrist, there’s always a new, expensive claim that a company has to cover unexpectedly. Employing telecommuting staff eliminates these costs entirely. Remote workers do not have to fork out any additional costs in order to keep their jobs. They can wear what they want, they don’t need to travel at all, they’re exempt from office birthdays and occasions, and have little to no chance of having an accident at work – because they’re at home! Related claims are thus dramatically reduced and both company and employees can reap the benefits.
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