Building a world-class company requires creating a culture that fosters collaboration and productivity, no matter where your people work. Remote work (or telecommuting) is one way to achieve this goal.
Some jobs are 100% remote, while others allow employees to choose between working onsite and remotely. Both options have benefits for businesses and employees alike.
Remote work offers more flexibility than traditional office work. Employees have more control over their schedule, and can work when they feel most productive instead of being confined to a 9-5 day. They can also avoid stressful commutes and the need to be available in person for meetings. This reduces stress and increases morale.
Many employees are able to find work outside their local area, and have the opportunity to live in communities with lower costs of living. This can provide a financial benefit and allow them to be closer to family. It can also improve the quality of life for those who are working with children or caring for elderly parents.
While the flexibility offered by remote work can increase productivity, it requires a level of trust and autonomy that can take some time to develop. As long as managers are transparent and collaborative, however, remote work can be highly effective.
The freedom to choose when and where to work gives some employees a sense of control over their own lives, which can lead to increased motivation and loyalty. In addition, it helps workers balance their personal life with the demands of work more easily, which can lead to reduced absenteeism.
As more and more companies move toward a fully remote workplace, the benefits can outweigh the challenges. To succeed, remote teams must be well-equipped with the tools and resources they need to be successful. Using online meeting and collaboration software like Slack, QuizBreaker, and PulseMate allows employees to work together even when they are not in the same location or time zone. As a result, remote teams often have strong relationships that extend beyond the workplace.
2. Flexibility in Time
The freedom to work from home offers employees the opportunity to remove distractions and focus on tasks at hand, resulting in improved productivity. For teams that allow remote work, this flexibility also allows employees to work outside of the office at times when they are most productive—such as during night shifts or after a long weekend.
The flexibility of remote work extends to the schedule itself, making it possible for employees to choose when they work and to select a time that fits their life situation (such as a morning shift with kids). Flexible working hours can be a boon for those with children, those who are night owls, and those who live in rural areas where the cost of living is higher.
Employees who work flexibly are happier and healthier. Professionals put a lot of effort into their jobs each day, and the option to work from home gives them more time and energy to devote to health and wellness activities. They can spend more time exercising, preparing healthy meals, and getting adequate sleep.
A company that hires a completely remote team can save a significant amount of money on overhead costs like rent, equipment, and supplies. Additionally, a reduction in commute-related expenses reduces greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming and contribute to climate change.
The ability to work remotely opens up opportunities for people who otherwise wouldn’t have a job in the traditional workplace. These include individuals with disabilities, caregiving responsibilities, or who have to raise kids at home. Some remote workers are also members of minorities, those from rural communities, and those with limited commuting options due to their geography or income levels.
3. Flexibility in Place
In addition to allowing employees to work from home, remote work allows them to choose their own workplace. Whether it’s a coworking space, a coffee shop or even another country, remote employees have the freedom to work where they feel most productive and happy. In turn, this can lead to higher levels of engagement and performance.
Having the ability to choose their working environment can also open up new career possibilities for individuals. For example, people who may not be able to live in a desirable location can now move there and work remotely, which could allow them to pursue other passions or achieve financial independence.
This flexibility can benefit both employers and employees by lowering operating costs. Employees save on commute time and expenses, while businesses can reduce rent for office space, parking spaces and other overhead costs.
Companies that have a remote work policy also attract and retain a more diverse pool of talent, as they don’t limit their hiring options to candidates within commuting distance. This can help organizations hire the best person for the job and create dream teams that would be difficult to do in a physical office.
However, it is important to note that not everyone thrives in a remote work environment. Some people are prone to distractions, such as television or other devices, which can affect their work productivity and morale. Others struggle with a lack of face-to-face interaction and may require coaching or training to improve their remote working experience. The type of individual who will react well to a flexible work environment depends on their personal needs and characteristics, which are influenced by their motivations for accomplishment, growth and autonomy as described in the Adaptive Structural Theory.
4. Flexibility in Pay
The pandemic’s rapid shift to remote work has led some companies to rethink their policies and implement flexible workplace initiatives. It’s a trend that’s likely to continue in the future, as more and more people desire the ability to manage their schedules and work where they want.
The flexibility of working from home or another location allows employees to choose their work environment according to their personal needs and productivity style. For example, some employees prefer to remove distractions like unimportant meetings and office gossip, while others need quiet, isolated environments. In addition, workers can usually adjust their hours to better align with their biological rhythm, such as when they’re most productive.
As a result, many remote employees experience higher levels of productivity and are more engaged in their jobs. In contrast, those who don’t have the option of working flexibly tend to be less productive and are at a higher risk of attrition (which can cost an organization up to $10,000 per employee in lost productivity and hiring costs).
In addition to increased productivity, remote work offers many financial benefits for both employees and organizations. For employees, the freedom to work wherever they want means they can save on things like transportation and office supplies. For businesses, it reduces overhead and allows them to rent smaller offices or even transition to a cloud-based operation completely, saving on utility bills and space.
Additionally, the flexible nature of working remotely has given rise to a variety of new career opportunities for workers who might not have been able to secure traditional positions. Engineers, customer service representatives and salespeople all over the world are now finding jobs with companies who offer flexible work.
5. Flexibility in Relationships
One of the biggest perks of remote work is the ability to tailor your workspace and schedule to suit your needs. Whether that means working from home, a coworking space in town, or a cafe on the other side of the country, employees have the freedom to work where they feel most productive. That also gives them the flexibility to run errands or take care of midday appointments without having to worry about disrupting their workflow or losing out on important meetings.
While working remotely can be beneficial for both individuals and companies, it’s not always easy to make it work for couples or families. Often, it takes a while to adjust to the new way of communicating and interacting, especially for couples that have lived together prior to going remote. This may cause a lot of tension at first, but with time and communication, these problems can be resolved.
Ultimately, remote work has become the new normal and is here to stay. With increased competition for top talent, it’s in businesses’ best interests to offer flexible work options to keep them competitive and retain their workforce. Rather than forcing workers to relocate, or settling for a job in a nearby city just because it’s the only available position, companies that allow their employees to work flexibly can build dream teams of experts from across the globe. Check out Upwork’s resource center for all things remote to learn more about how to successfully implement and manage this work trend.