In 2019, remote work can no longer be considered a fad. With an overwhelming majority of the workforce seeking partial or full-time remote work advantages for the length of their careers, businesses can no longer ignore remote work opportunities in their benefits packages.
Similar to any other new policy that businesses enact, remote work benefits require careful planning from leadership and HR teams to be developed and implemented properly. You might find that your company needs to change its employee handbook, office technology, time tracking, company culture and more to make remote options possible.
Here are a few factors that your business should consider before migrating to more flexible work accommodations:
Remote employees are happier and more productive
It makes sense that greater control over your work life will result in higher levels of happiness at work, but just how much more may surprise you. One study, which surveyed remote workers around the globe, reported that 29% of remote workers are happier than in-office employees. 71% of the same remote workers have said they are pleased in their current position, while only 55 per cent of those working in the office could say the same thing.
Several factors play into these numbers, but perhaps the most significant is that remote work offers employees greater control over their time, both inside and outside the workplace. In the United States, the average time spent commuting to work is 26.1 minutes, rising to longer periods in metropolitan areas. For most employees, commuting is stressful, time-consuming, and time spent on their work where no real work is being done. Remote work eliminates the tribulations of day-to-day commuting, which allows today’s workers to start and end on a positive note.
Employers who offer remote opportunities benefit too
Contrary to popular belief, remote work is not only advantageous to workers—those that employ them also experience a wealth of benefits that can make business production more efficient.
Although certain technology and tools for off-site accessibility may come with an upfront cost, remote workforces will more than pay for themselves in higher productivity and lower overhead costs. As an example, you can reduce your monthly rent by moving to smaller office space, as a full-time remote will not require a cubicle or desk to perform the work.
When it comes to finding new talent, remote work benefits offer recruiters the flexibility they need to find the best candidate for a job, regardless of the proximity of that person to the workplace. Hiring for remote work allows even the smallest companies to compete in the recruiting game to employ the most productive and committed professionals in your sector.
Communication is the greatest challenge
No matter the company size, industry or position that you’re currently in, communication in the workplace is a challenge. Remote work exacerbates obstacles in communication because your team members will rarely have the opportunity to speak face-to-face, which is the most effective method for understanding each other.
So how will your business ensure that off-site teams collaborate effectively? One option is to adopt new technology practices into your current business strategy. When deciding which tools to invest in for your remote teams, you should focus on technology that connects to the internet. This is because internet- or cloud-powered devices sync and integrate across your company’s computers, tablets, smartphones and more to ensure that everyone on your team stays on the same page.
Take unified communications platforms as just one example of Internet connectivity for remote teams. Powered by secure online networks, these dialogue tools link personnel, wherever they work, to a more reliable remote business presence. An online employee recognition system is another remote-friendly tool that many organisations have adopted. Because remote workers are not visibly present in offices, these types of tools offer a way to recognize all the great work your employees accomplish.
Remote work benefits are the future of business
It’s true that certain industries and positions may be limited in their ability to convert to remote work opportunities, but the rest of the world is moving toward greater autonomy when it comes to when, how and where people get their work done. According to the Global Remote Working Data & Statistics, flexible working arrangements has become the norm across many countries and industries around the world.
In order for businesses to remain relevant when seeking new talent and retaining their current workforce, your organization might need to consider remote work and other flexible work accommodations.
If you’re looking for inspiration on how to implement remote work benefits into your company, here are a few companies that have revamped their benefits packages to include work outside of the office:
- VIPKID, an online education leader for kindergarten through twelfth grade, offers flexibility far beyond most traditional jobs in education. On top of the ability to work remotely, teachers hired through this service create their own schedule to work as much or as little as they please.
- Headquartered in Australia, Appen finds their way onto many polls and surveys on the best flex work environments to work at. This company encourages their employees to fit their work hours around personal commitments and hires talent from around the world.
- On top of other great benefits like healthcare and a 401(k) plan, Williams-Sonoma offer both part- and full-time gigs that you can do from the comfort of your home office. Remote jobs for this kitchen accessories franchise include positions such as customer service aids and sales representatives.
What are your thoughts about providing remote work benefits to employees? Be sure to share below, and check out our popular tools to help your employees to work remotely.