Working From Home: The Business Benefits
In our last two blogs, we have focused on the benefits of remote working for employees. Some of these were applicable to businesses, with increased productivity being at the forefront of the perks. But the benefits don’t stop there. A distributed or flexible workstyle is just as beneficial for your business, not just for employees.
Benefit 1: Lowered Business Expense
Remote-enabled companies can save money on some of the costs associated with onsite business operations such as heat and electricity, including office space, equipment, and travel reimbursement.
Depending on the size of your business, this could equal significant savings without radically changing your company structure or completely forgoing brick-and-mortar business activities.
Benefit 2: Higher Productivity
As we established last week, nearly 37% of respondents indicated that their productivity working remotely during COVID-19 is about the same as normal, and 30% report that their productivity working remotely is higher than normal.
If your employees are finding they are more productive with the support of a remote working option, that’s a win-win for your business.
Benefit 3: Greater Access To Applicants
Removing geographic obstacles separating employers from the best applicants for their vacancies, remote working eliminates hiring borders and leads to more diverse workplaces. From posting job openings to receiving job applications and conducting interviews, hiring managers can select, screen, and evaluate candidates in an entirely virtual environment.
This recruiting approach prioritizes aptitude, widens the hiring net, and allows employers to mitigate skills gaps, like multi-language fluency, that may be present in their immediate area.
Benefit 4: Employee Availability
The traditional 9-5 workstyle has become more flexible in recent years but most companies still function based on these hours. Of course, depending on the industry you are in, these can vary – including businesses that offer services 24/7.
By accommodating access anywhere, anytime, companies have found that employees can be more responsive and available when needed. The ‘wait until I am back in the office’ scenario is removed. That’s not to say flexible access = constant employee engagement, work-life balance is still a priority. But think instead of having no need for a scenario where an employee needs to stay in the office until the task is done.
With flexible and secure access to files and data, picking up at home to finish something off has never been easier.
Benefit 5: Employee Satisfaction and Retention
83% of survey participants in the National Survey Report on Remote Working indicated that they would like to work remotely after the crisis. For those who want to work remotely post-COVID-19, the following are the key challenges reported in order of most cited:
- Their organisation will not support it (33%)
- Inadequate equipment and/or resources (18%)
- Their manager will not support it (17%)
As a business, employee satisfaction is the key to retention. If the majority of your employees are looking for a flexible work style and your business is unable to meet their needs in comparison to others in your industry, people will choose the company that most supports their working requirements.
Benefit 6: Business Continuity and Disaster Ready
Something we have experienced in the last few months is remote working in the face of an emergency.
If your business wasn’t prepared before COVID-19 and a permanent telecommuting arrangement is not on your radar, formulating a remote work contingency plan in the event of a natural disaster, local or national emergency, or an outbreak of a community-spread illness is a wise choice.
During a crisis, staff non-essential to onsite operations could work from home, or another flexible worksite, while utilizing collaborative applications like online meeting software and instant messaging. A temporary telework action plan will help ensure your workers are protected and that your business operations remain stable.
Benefit 7: Reduced Carbon Footprint
Your IT strategy is one of the most common and fundamental ways to positively impact your company’s carbon footprint.
Remote work is good for the environment and, in turn, good for business. Incorporating remote work policies into your business plan will demonstrate to potential customers that you are a responsible, environmentally conscious entrepreneur.
As a European country, Ireland is part of a European push to reduce overall carbon emissions, with the final agreement setting a target of 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (compared to 2005 levels) by 2030 for Ireland. This will be Ireland’s contribution to the overall EU objective to reduce its emissions in the non-ETS sectors by 30% by 2030 compared to 2005 (ref).
According to a sustainability report created by Citrix, transportation is responsible for 14% of annual greenhouse gas emissions. Enabling remote work to reduce commutes is literal blue sky thinking. Allowing 1,000 employees to work from home just two days per week would reduce annual commuting mileage by over 1 million miles, reducing the CO2e generated by staff commuting by 40%. (ref)
More than a mere workplace trend, the concept of working from anywhere at any time is the future state of work. Technology is going to become more advanced and bring us all virtually ever closer together. It will continue to connect us as employees and businesses across time zones and continents.
We all may not be physically in the same room, but work can be just as effective, if not more so, than the traditional working model. And this has been tried & tested with the last few months of COVID working. It’s time for businesses to embrace the new world of work and to consider the benefits of working remotely going forward.
The business benefits of remote working are infinite but hopefully, you have more of an understanding after reading this blog on some of the ways a flexible workstyle for your employees will actually benefit your business at the same time.
As Sales Manager, Niamh’s passion for facilitating flexible workstyles stems from the importance of work-life balance to her personally. Working daily with companies that are looking to embrace a digital transformation gives Niamh invaluable insights on what can be achieved though embracing market leading technologies.