More employees than ever before are now working remotely. But while it’s easy to understand why remote work attracts employees, many companies still aren’t convinced. With almost 40% of our workforce working remotely, here at Timely we’re huge fans of the new work model. In case you’re also considering taking the plunge, here are the top six advantages of hiring remote workers to think about.
1. Remote employees are more productive
It might sound counterintuitive, but research shows that remote workers are significantly more productive than employees working in offices. Countless studies support this; Global Workplace Analytics found that teleworkers were 20-25% more productive than office-based employees, and a study by TINYpulse showed that remote workers felt an astonishing 91% more productive when they worked remotely.
Why? The reasons are threefold:
- Employees are less distracted. You don’t get sidetracked by chat from co-workers, or bombarded with meeting requests. You can just focus on your own work without interruption.
- Employees can work to their strengths. We’re all different –not everyone is at their most productive between 9am to 5pm. Remote working lets you take intelligent control of your own schedule, boosting your productive output as a happy result.
- Employees feel valued and in control. Working remotely can be very empowering. It offers employees more freedom and flexibility, helping them achieve a better work-life balance.
2. You access a wider talent pool
When you need to hire employees from a set location, you limit your talent pool. In contrast, remote work lets you access the very best talent across the globe – especially when the flexibility remote working brings is becoming expected by employees.
Consider how the “millennial effect” is shaping the rise in remote working. Younger people are used to communicating quickly and easily across the globe, and they want – and expect – the same opportunities in their careers. Flexibility in the workplace is one of the most important factors for millennials, and in order to attract young, highly skilled talent, working remotely is a major bonus.
3. It reduces business costs
Hiring remote workers can result in huge business savings:
It reduces office costs. Studies suggest that companies with remote workers save $10,000 per employee each year in real estate costs. You scale back the office costs of furniture, bills, cleaners and office supplies, and tend to see fewer sick, which can cost $1,800 per employee annually.
It reduces wasted time. Research suggests that on average, employees could be wasting over eight hours per week on non-work related acitivites; that’s 20 percent of the time they’re on the clock, wasted! With remote workers, billable hours are only the hours spent working on projects.
4. It reduces costs for employees
Hiring remote workers doesn’t just benefit employers financially – it also reduces costs for workers. The financial (and emotional!) drag of commuting is completely removed, which surveys suggest saves remote workers about $5,000 per year. And that’s without factoring in the cost of regularly buying lunch out!
Just ensure that your remote employees don’t have to shoulder the running costs of having a home office. Electricity, gas, phone bills and equipment tied to work should all be reimbursed – either as expenses or via their salary.
5. It increases employee retention
The cost of replacing an employee can be colossal. Recruiting and training new employees involves a ton of time and resources, so you want to be sure that new employees will actually stick around.
Remote work goes a huge way to improve this – research reveals that 95% of companies report that remote working has a big positive effect on employee retention – not surprising when you consider that two-thirds of workers say they’d take a new job if it had a better commute!
6. It’s greener
We live in an age of heightened environmental awareness, and businesses are increasingly called upon to introduce greener strategies into their operations. With that in mind, it’s important to consider the environmental benefits of working remotely.
Research suggests that if employees with remote-compatible jobs worked from home even half the time, annually we could save:
- $20 million in gas;
- 54 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions (comparable to taking 10 million cars off the road);
- 640 million barrels of oil (at a saving of $64 billion);
- 119 billion miles of highway driving.