Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, many people have been wondering whether remote work is safe. While some companies have strict rules about working from home during the pandemic, others are more flexible.
Flexibility in remote work gives employees a choice of where and when to do their jobs. Whether they prefer to work at home or in their favorite coffee shop, the flexibility of remote work allows them to feel part of a team.
In a world where people are constantly struggling to balance work and life, the ability to work from home or coworking spaces allows them to have a more balanced schedule. This flexibility helps them to focus on the tasks at hand, which results in higher productivity.
Whether it’s to attend the kids’ sports practice, help with elderly parents or just to get to know their community better, remote workers can work in ways that fit their lives and give them more control over their time. This makes them happier and more productive.
When companies offer remote working as an option for all employees, they create a culture of trust and equality that fosters a healthy work-life balance and promotes job satisfaction. In addition, it increases the diversity of the workplace and can even make the company more competitive in the global marketplace.
Some people may not be ready for a fully remote working model, especially if they have never done it before. Some will need to be monitored more closely than others, but if the manager sets clear metrics for when they expect their staff to be working and what they should be accomplishing during that timeframe, it is possible for everyone to succeed.
For example, some teams use a hybrid model where employees have the option to work remotely for most of the week but are expected to come into the office for in-person meetings one day a week. This allows them to live in communities where they are more comfortable and provides opportunities for employment, which can reduce rural depopulation. This has a positive economic impact on the region and also helps the company to meet its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals.
2. Reduced Stress
For many employees, the daily grind of an office job can be a major stressor. The commotion of the office environment can be overwhelming for those who struggle with sensory processing disorders or those who simply can’t focus in the middle of a constant flow of ringing phones and chatter from coworkers. Working remotely provides a calmer work environment which reduces the chance of sensory overload and the associated stress that comes with it.
In addition, working from home allows employees to control their own schedule. They can get up and start working early if they prefer to work in the quiet of the morning or stay on task well into the night if that’s what helps them produce the best results. This flexibility also allows employees to avoid unnecessary stressors that come from a typical 9-to-5 office environment, such as a long commute or the pressure to stay on top of an ever-growing pile of work while they’re on vacation.
The lack of a commute also helps cut down on environmental pollution, as well as saves people money on gas and car maintenance. In fact, in the 2019 Owl Labs State of Remote Work Report, 78% of respondents cited that avoiding a commute was one of their main reasons for choosing to work remotely.
Of course, there’s still a lot to consider before deciding whether or not a full-time remote role is right for you. You’ll want to take a thorough look at your professional and personal goals, as well as have in-depth conversations with your manager about what you might need to do to make this a successful transition for you both. But if it’s a path you’re willing to explore, the benefits of remote work can be a powerful incentive to help you reach your career goals.
3. More Time for Family
More workers are prioritizing work-life balance, and remote work gives employees the opportunity to spend more time with their loved ones. Without the daily commute, they can make dinner with their spouse or kids, help them with homework, and even go on a walk with their dog. Additionally, if they care for an elderly parent or have children who need after-school activities, working from home gives them the flexibility to schedule meetings around their obligations.
Teleworkers are also able to take advantage of lower-cost living areas and optimize for amenities like superior air quality, better schools, or lower housing costs. For example, fully remote workers can live anywhere in the world as long as they have reliable internet and a workspace. These digital nomads can travel between cities or countries and still clock in from their employer’s office, allowing them to experience new cultures while continuing to advance their career.
Another advantage of remote work is that it teaches self-sufficiency. Since remote teams rely on asynchronous communication and can often work in different time zones, they learn to solve problems themselves instead of waiting for someone else to come online and fix them. This helps them develop a strong sense of autonomy, which can benefit them at their current job or in other positions down the road.
While there are several benefits of remote work, it’s important for employees to understand that a home office set-up will still require them to put in the same amount of effort as a traditional office. They must be disciplined enough to focus on their tasks and not get distracted by chores at home or other responsibilities, as well as be proactive about meeting deadlines. Fortunately, modern videoconferencing software can provide a powerful virtual collaboration platform and allow employees to stay productive even when they aren’t in the same physical location as their colleagues.
4. Better Health
Working from home or another location outside of the corporate office is often associated with better health. For employees, this means avoiding a commute and the associated stressors, as well as allowing them to work in a comfortable environment that supports their physical or mental health needs. It also allows them to spend more time with family, pursue personal hobbies and interests, and focus on healthy eating and exercise.
Companies can reap the benefits of remote workers by saving on overhead costs. Instead of needing office space for 20 in-house employees, they can have 10 telecommuters and save on expenses, as well as the cost of utilities (such as heating and cooling).
In addition to saving money, remote workers help reduce carbon emissions and other forms of driving pollution. They also reduce the need for public transportation, which is better for our environment and communities. Some fully-remote workers choose to work as digital nomads, traveling and working from different locales to take advantage of a variety of benefits, such as cheaper living expenses, superior air quality, and better medical facilities.
A benefit that’s often overlooked is how remote work can improve socialization and reduce loneliness. Some people struggle with the isolation that comes with working remotely, especially if they don’t have a good work-life balance or set aside a dedicated workspace for work. They can combat this by intentionally separating their work from their daily lives, setting aside a dedicated workspace at home, or joining coworking spaces to meet with colleagues.
In summary, working remotely is becoming increasingly popular and offers many benefits for both employers and employees. With the right digital workplace technologies, such as collaboration suites, team messaging apps, video conferencing, and a secure intranet platform, remote workers can be effective in any location.
5. Higher Productivity
Remote work allows professionals to excel on their own terms. They can meet and exceed project deadlines and goals without the distractions of a busy office. The flexibility to manage their day-to-day needs means they can better balance work and personal life – a key factor in the well-being of employees and their families.
In fact, a recent study found that working from home results in higher productivity than those who go into the office every day. It also helps companies reduce turnover and save on overhead costs. For a company to be successful, it’s essential to provide the right tools to make remote work possible. That includes strong, reliable connectivity and collaboration tools like chat, videoconferencing, and file sharing. It also requires a culture of trust and teamwork that prioritizes results over hours spent in the office, along with supportive management that believes in the benefits of remote work.
For some people, though, it takes time to build team cohesion in a remote environment, especially when there’s no face-to-face interaction. Especially for extraverts, who draw energy from social contact, it can feel isolating to be isolated from other teammates on a regular basis. To overcome this, some teams implement processes to promote team-building, such as offsite team retreats, group workouts or bonding exercises, and casual online meetings.
Other positive impacts of remote work include eliminating the commute, which can save over $4,500 a year in fuel and auto maintenance costs. It also reduces stress and emissions from traffic congestion, helping to protect the environment. In addition, remote work can increase the diversity of a workforce by giving employees who live far from commuting routes the chance to apply their skills in a role they may not have had an opportunity to pursue at a traditional company.