The benefits of remote work for employees is a topic that has been covered extensively, but it is also worth taking the time to understand how the arrangement can benefit businesses too. Research shows that telecommuting can potentially lead to a boost in productivity and attendance. At the same time, there are a number of different ways that employers can reduce costs and improve recruitment too.
Keep reading to learn about 10 ways that companies are benefiting from remote work or visit our home office solutions page for more valuable insights into remote and hybrid work.
The rise of telecommuting has led to a lot of discussion about the various benefits of working from home for employees, but it is worth stressing that this is far from a one-way street. With some careful planning and skilled management, employers also stand to benefit enormously from having remote teams in place (provided those teams have a productive workspace at home).
In this article, we take a closer look at how work from home arrangements can be mutually beneficial for employers and employees by providing 10 specific ways that companies are able to benefit from remote work.
1. Improvements to Productivity
A major way in which businesses are benefiting from remote work is through improvements to productivity. While this flies in the face of what many expected when telecommuting first became viable, the boost can occur for various reasons, including fewer distractions from colleagues, a better work/life balance, more sleep, and improved morale.
One of the main pieces of research on this to date is a two-year Stanford University study, which divided a group of 500 workers into two groups – one working in the office and one working from home. Over the duration of the study, the productivity boost from working at home was equivalent to one full working day extra.
Of course, not every employee will automatically become more productive, but you can take active steps towards improvement by highlighting the various available methods for optimizing productivity in your workforce and ensuring employees are equipped with a productive workspace at home.
2. Reduced Equipment Costs
Providing equipment for a busy work environment can be expensive. After all, you may need to invest in computers, printers, photocopiers, paper, work desks, ergonomic chairs and a huge range of other items. When remote work is on offer, many of these costs can be either eliminated or significantly reduced.
For example, many companies allow employees to use their own computers and smartphones, which greatly reduces associated costs. The drain on resources like paper will decline significantly. Even in situations where desks and chairs need to be provided, they may not need to be bought for everyone because some employees will already have them.
3. Lower Employee Turnover
Another big benefit for businesses is the potential to reduce staff turnover by retaining employees for longer. This can be important because finding a replacement for outgoing staff – and training them to undertake the departing employee’s work – is expensive and brings with it a number of uncertainties.
Remote work helps companies to retain staff for a number of reasons. Many employees appreciate the flexibility and enjoy being able to work away from the office environment. It potentially allows stay-at-home parents to continue working when they may otherwise be forced to stop. Furthermore, physical relocation becomes less of an issue too.
4. Savings on Office Rental
For employers, renting office space can be extremely costly, so anything that can help to reduce these costs is usually going to be welcomed. Remote working opportunities can help to do this by reducing the amount of office space that is required, potentially allowing you to move into much smaller premises.
In some cases, where all work is able to be carried out remotely, it may even be possible to move away from having a single, centralized workplace entirely. Instead, all employees may be able to work remotely, and your company might simply pay to hire meeting rooms or co-working space as and when they are actually needed.
5. Access to a Wider Talent Pool
An often overlooked benefit of remote work is the removal of some of the employment barriers that are typically associated with office-based working arrangements. As a result of this breaking down of barriers, companies have the ability to expand their search for talent and find the most qualified people for each job, regardless of where they live.
Usually, when attendance at a physical workplace is required, recruitment efforts are naturally limited to the nearby area or people willing to relocate. Yet, when the possibility of managing remote teams is present, such restrictions are far less relevant, and you can potentially hire new staff from anywhere in the world.
6. Fewer Staff Absences
Absenteeism within the workplace can be a significant problem for businesses and other employers. After all, if work needs to be done and the person who is required to do it becomes unwell, the work may not be completed, or it may instead be completed by someone who is less qualified or less prepared.
Remote work can help reduce absenteeism; it is significantly easier to switch a computer on from the comfort of your own home than travel into an office, spend all day there, and risk passing on an illness to colleagues. Remote work can also reduce stress, which is another major cause of absences.
7. More Flexible Work Hours
Flexibility is often cited as one of the biggest benefits of working from home for employees, but it can be extremely useful for businesses too. This is because it opens up the possibility of having people working different hours than they may work when they are forced to attend a physical workplace.
Keeping a workplace open on a 24-hour basis can be expensive and may not be logistically feasible, but asking some people to work from home and cover a night shift may be viable. This can help turn a business into a continuous operation, which can be especially beneficial for providing around-the-clock customer service.
8. Improvements to Green Credentials
There is growing evidence that customers want companies to be greener and want products to be more sustainable. They are willing to put their money where their mouth is, too, spending more with companies they believe to be acting in environmentally responsible ways and moving away from companies they view as behaving unethically.
Companies using remote teams can use this to their advantage by highlighting the environmental benefits of reducing or eliminating daily commutes to the workplace. When this is combined with a more comprehensive ‘green’ strategy, it can pay dividends by attracting the most environmentally conscious customers.
9. A Healthier Workforce
Although reducing absenteeism is an important priority, having remote workers and remote teams can also help make a workforce more healthy in general. There are numerous contributing factors here. For instance, when working at home, it is often easier to make a healthy lunch, rather than relying on something quick and convenient.
The elimination of the commute to and from work means more time at home to recuperate, and it could also mean extra time in bed, meaning a better quality of sleep. This can help to optimize mental health and the immune system. Healthier employees tend to be happier, more productive, less likely to require appointments with their doctor, and so on.
10. An International Workforce at any Scale
Finally, for many companies, translation into multiple languages and localization is a major priority. When people are required to work in a single workplace, access to international talent is actually fairly small, especially for some of the less common languages or specific regions in the world, and there may also be issues with relying on non-native speakers.
By contrast, remote working arrangements allow companies to find workers all around the world. This means they may be able to translate text and speech to all of the languages they need as well as providing boots-on-the-ground insights into their region. Companies with remote work options may also be able to hire native speakers of various important languages to provide a more reliable experience for a global customer base.
Working from home can provide a number of important benefits for employees, and these are often the focal point when trying to explain the merits of telecommuting. Nevertheless, it is equally important to highlight that, with some careful planning, the benefits of working from home can extend to the businesses employing those remote teams, too.
If you are considering remote work for either yourself or your company, you may also be interested in this useful guide to choosing a video conferencing monitor for remote employees. You can also find further insights and resources regarding WFH by visiting the ViewSonic work solutions page.