Remote work used to be for travelers, writers, online tutors, transcribers, virtual assistants, and the like. However, as the COVID-19 cases continue to surge, businesses had to adapt the work-from-home setup to keep up their operations. The sudden shift may have given some companies a hard time since they must provide the needed equipment, stable connection, and a suitable workspace.
But once everyone finally settled in, it came to light that remote workers can run businesses from wherever they are.
1. Eliminated Commute Stress
Based on the U.S. Census Bureau, the average one-way commute time in the United States rose to 27.6 minutes in 2019. This accounts for almost an hour of a worker’s life or about 240 hours in a year. (Rush hour and traffic excluded.) Aside from the wasted time during a commute, a commuting worker can also face many challenges such as bad weather, traffic, pollution, and other factors that add stress. Before an employee gets to the workplace, he had already gone through many things that could affect his performance.
On the flip side, there is joy in having to wake up and take a few steps, and you’re already in your workspace. The time saved can be allotted to more valuable things such as breakfast with family, getting more sleep, doing a workout, or reading a great book.
2. Cost saving
Going to the office every day can be pretty expensive if you look at the accumulated expenses. The travel expenses—be it the train or bus fares or gasoline plus parking plus maintenance—can be a burden through time. Add in the costs that come with having to deal with your co-workers and company meetings: lunch outs, snacks, coffee, birthday presents/cakes, and office wardrobe. With remote work, those spendings are quickly eliminated and can be allotted to more important things such as real estate or other investments. People who work from home can actually save up to $4,000 annually.
And the savings aren’t limited to employees. Businesses can also cut down company spendings such as office rental, maintenance, electricity, water, and other day-to-day operating costs.
3. Flexibility and independence
Since employees work from home, they can control their workspace, which rarely happens in the office. Employees can work near the window, alongside their cup of coffee, with their cat or dog on their laps. Or they can go out and work in a coffee shop, restaurant, hotel, or practically everywhere where there’s WiFi. Not being location bound can positively impact employees because they can decide to move from one city or state to another while keeping their treasured jobs.
4. Increased productivity
Since employees are left to themselves, they can create their routine. With such autonomy, they can schedule the most difficult tasks at times they are the most productive. They can also customize their workspace that inspires creativity and is conducive to the kind of work. Also, there would be no more general buzz from the office, and they can attain their desired peace and silence.
Since remote work eliminated the commute time and everyday costs, employees can focus on improving their performance and submitting quality outputs. Based on a study, teleworkers are about 38% more productive than their office counterparts. They have also witnessed a 4.4% increase in output.
5. Employee Retention
One of the top reasons why employees quit is the tipping of the work-life scale towards work. When this happens, employees often feel trapped. This can prompt them to find a greener grass that could give them the right balance they desire.
Companies can also save by reducing the turnover rate. Some companies also provide a monthly stipend for internet connection, health care, insurance, and other convenient employee benefits to keep their staff engaged and deliver the required output from wherever they are.
Working within the comforts of one’s home can give a sense of control to employees since they need not care about rushing to the office, being micromanaged, and stressful office politics. Instead, they can have more time playing musical instruments, preparing healthy meals, and other things that make them who they are.
Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress and CEO of Automattic, looks at remote work as a distributed workforce. He sees this as an opportunity to tap into global talent and provide the work-life balance and autonomy workers need to perform well. Indeed, the pandemic has been the catalyst for telework for people around the globe. Due to the possibility and efficacy, this can be the best way for companies to move forward.