Even though it appears that we’re approaching the end of the pandemic and a return to “normal,” remote work, for many employees, is here to stay. Why would a company decide to keep the remote work structure, in some format, even after the offices reopen?
The benefits to the employee have long been touted: they save commuting time and expense; they get much greater flexibility in their work schedules.
But those benefits to companies weren’t always recognized until a worldwide emergency forced companies to create remote work programs. They include: lower overhead (fewer seats in the office are needed); greater employee productivity; and when implemented properly, a more efficient work structure.
Remote working can offer what I call a three-way effect for companies:
First, it adds to employees’ success as individuals.
Second, it helps the company grow in ways it hadn’t envisioned before.
Third, employees will relate their personal growth with the organization that helped them to succeed — increasing retention of skilled workers.
This makes it a win-win situation for both employee and employer. They both benefit when remote work is an option.
How Does Working Remotely Help With Personal Growth?
Employees who have the option of working remotely, either part of their week or all of it, report shorter commute times. That translates to more free time. Why would that help employers? Simple: These employees get more time to rest and recharge after working a full eight-hour day. They’re not sitting in traffic or crammed inside a subway car.
Remote workers who have families get to spend more time with their kids and their spouse. They have more time to build those important relationships, and consequently they report greater satisfaction with their lives overall.
Those who are single also benefit from the extra time they get by not commuting. They may spend that time working out, or building interpersonal relationships with friends. Many opt to further their education with that extra hour or two in the evening.
The end result is a more relaxed, happier, healthier employee. And that means they can bring their best self to work every day, increasing their chance to succeed at their job and build strong careers.
How Does Remote Work Help A Company Grow?
The most immediate effect that remote work has on a company is in improving its bottom line. Fewer workers in the office means less energy expenditure. For companies that commit to making a significant percentage of their employees fully remote, it’s possible to reduce the total floor space they lease — a big cost savings.
How Do These Elements Combine for Overall Success?
The combination of a stronger bottom line and happier workers is the most important element of the three-way effect that remote work creates.
Employee retention is important. Companies spend a significant amount of time and money each year recruiting qualified employees who are the best fit for their culture; losing an employee means having to do it all over again.
When employees feel they have a better work-life balance, they’re happier overall. They do better work. They succeed at their assignments. And they stay with the company, because success breeds success.
The end result: increased employee productivity and a positive return on investment for the employer. Thus, it is a win-win situation: Your employees get the chance to grow and develop, to spend more time with family and friends; your company improves its financial standing overall.