By: Ashley Stahl
Remote employment has certainly come under the microscope recently. As companies look to cut costs and younger employees look to gain personal freedom, the prospect of working remotely seems more and more beneficial to both parties.
I’ve heard plenty of stories as a career coach attesting to the fact that an office can be distracting, interruptive, and even reduce productivity. One survey from SurePayroll states that 86% of people prefer to work alone to hit maximum productivity, and that’s no number to scoff at.
Let’s dive in and look at a few more reasons why remote employment can be a benefit to both employee and employer.
It can reduce annoying distractions. While almost every employee is guilty of surfing the internet every now and then on the company’s dime, it’s the annoying distractions that tend to kill productivity. When working in a flow, the same SurePayroll study found that of 2,060 professionals surveyed, 61% agreed that loud colleagues are the biggest office distraction, and 40% consider impromptu meetings from co-workers a major distraction. Working from home not only eliminates these productivity killers, but also yields more time for employees to crush their tasks interruption-free.
It reduces stress. Even if you’re in an office with a boss that gives you ample space to get work done, being confined to an office can be stressful in and of itself. When polled on stress levels, a whopping 82% of workers who telecommute said that they experience less stress. Stress can impact your quality of life well beyond your job, so any opportunity you have to reduce the amount of stress you feel during the day is not only good for you and your employer, but more importantly, your overall health.
It decreases the company overhead. As companies look to cut costs, it becomes abundantly clear that large offices are simply unnecessary. While this isn’t true for all workspaces, in businesses where most communication is done by email and phone, it is a no-brainer. American Express, for example, started their BlueWork program and not only experienced increased employee productivity, but also saved between $10 to $15 million in annual real estate costs.
It prepares companies for the future. As millennials enter the workforce, companies must be willing to adapt to their younger workers’ interests. One study found that 68% of millennial job seekers would have increased interest in a company that offered the ability to work remotely. Also, while having remote teams might have seemed like a fringe movement a few years ago, a recent survey found that 23% of employees reported doing some or all of their work remotely, and that number has only gone up over the years.
The workplace is everchanging, and while some companies may view remote work as counter-productive, the reality is, it’s simply the way of the future. The real problem isn’t remote employees, it’s misplaced or disengaged ones. As the data shows, the good employees working in the right job will do better from home, period. Thanks to advances in technology, your team can stay more connected than ever, and when you pair those abilities with a young, driven workforce, instead of questioning the future, you can get excited at the potential increases in productivity, engagement, and quality of life of both your company and your team.