Once an occasional employee perk or a way for employers to source top talent from the global pool, remote work is fast becoming the new standard of work culture. Of course, even without the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, we're under, experts have predicted the movement for many years. They just didn't expect the future to arrive so quickly!
We've all had to pivot in some way. For companies who were already promoting a remote work culture, it wasn't much of a shift, but most had at least an expectation of things returning to normal at some point. Now it looks like remote work is here to stay.
Is remote work working?
Results thus far state the benefits of going 100 percent remote overwhelmingly favor operational improvement. And while we're still working out the long-term impacts, there are indeed many things to love about it. Let's take a deeper dive to find out why.
The benefits of remote working for employers
In light of current stay-at-home recommendations, many employers are moving to remote work culture. Here are some of the benefits they've discovered as a result:
Reduced real estate burden
While a reduced need for office real estate might not be great news for landlords and building owners, it shifts many overhead costs back to the bottom line. The in-house office workforce has dwindled considerably in recent years, forcing companies to reduce dedicated office space in favor of shared workspaces and co-working arrangements.
As a result, the move to 100 percent remote is just another step in that direction. Without the expense of a traditional office lease, companies are free to channel those funds into business growth and technology to support remote work.
Reducing office space demand could have many other positive outcomes, including reimagining office buildings into affordable housing.
Per-employee cost reduction
Onboarding new employees is costly and time-consuming. Assigning desks, office equipment, work stations, allocating space, adding phone lines, and allocating parking spaces are just a few of the expenses involved. Moving to a 100 percent remote work environment eliminates many of these costs.
By some estimates, employers save about $11,000 a year for every remote employee—and that adds up pretty quickly!
Attract talent wherever it lives
If your company is remote work-ready, you're able to draw from a larger pool of global talent. These days, highly skilled technical talent is in high demand, and local shortages are the norm. Having to compete for these individuals is time-consuming, costly, and often ineffective.
A remote work environment supports bringing on new talent no matter where they live in the world. In many cases, this reduces costs even further, as salary expectations are often much lower in countries outside the United States.
From an employee's standpoint, the ability to work remotely is quite attractive. According to a study released in 2019, more than seven out of 10 workers stated they would favor an employment offer that allowed them to work remotely.
There are a host of reasons why remote workers are more productive. There's no commute, no distractions from coworkers, and once they settle in, remote employees are much more motivated to complete tasks. According to Gallup's State of the American Workplace Report, remote workers understand their roles better and often feel greater responsibility for their overall performance.
Plus, employers worry less about lost productivity due to tardiness and sick days. In one study, the findings indicate that many remote employees feel compelled to go above and beyond, possibly because they think that the situation might change or out of gratitude for the opportunity. The same study suggested that work performance improved for employees who didn't initially have a good relationship with their boss, possibly for the same reason. In either case, the employee didn't want to lose this special privilege, so they worked extra hard to ensure they continued to have this job perk.
The benefits of remote work for employees
So, what does remote work do for employees? As it turns out, quite a lot. Before work-from-home (WFH) became mainstream, it was a highly sought-after benefit of working for some of the world's top companies. Here's why:
Employees working from home can choose when, where, and how they work. They can take breaks, get up and walk around, choose different work environments to change things up a bit, and cut a lot of time out of their workday by not having to commute, sit in useless meetings, or get distracted by their coworkers.
We're all experiencing a shift in how we go about our day. A flexible WFH schedule gives you a lot more leeway for things like childcare, wellness, fitness, and recreation. Whereas you might have had to get up extra early to attend a fitness class and still get to work on time, now you can do your session online and on-demand during a break. A little oxygen to the brain and blood does wonders to get the productive juices flowing again, and working from home gives you the bandwidth to do that.
Your commute is killing you—and the planet
Besides being a waste of time, studies show that commutes longer than 30 minutes daily are associated with higher anxiety, stress, depression, increased HDL cholesterol, and elevated blood sugar.
Eliminating stress helps you lower cortisol levels, improves your overall health, and could actually help you lose weight as well—all excellent reasons to prioritize stress reduction, and ditching the commute is a great start.
Plus, if you're at all concerned with your carbon footprint, cutting out the commute is a great way to do your part. By working remotely, each worker saves us from 379.2 kg of CO2 emissions each year.
Making a move to 100 percent remote work isn't the easiest thing to do for some companies. There are still many manual processes to maintain, such as answering the phone, banking, and dealing with postal mail. How will you deal with these tasks when you have no physical office?
Most companies use a VoIP telephone system, so it's easy to redirect and manage calls without being tied to a location. As for postal mail, a virtual mailbox is an excellent solution.
Virtual mailbox and mailroom plans from Earth Class Mail, a LegalZoom company, have helped many leading companies go fully remote. Simply choose your preferred address from our extensive list, and you're up and running in minutes.
Here's how it works: Mail arrives at our facility and is opened and scanned by our trained technicians. Scans are uploaded to your account in searchable PDF format, after which you can download them to your connected cloud account, forward them to the appropriate recipient, or archive them into your system. You direct us as to what you want to be done with your physical mail. Every virtual mailbox plan includes secure shredding, ensuring your data never falls into the wrong hands.
We'll even help you with your banking too! Our add-on features include check deposit through your preferred accounting software, helping you maintain cash flow without a second thought.
To learn more about Earth Class Mail's offerings, go here.
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