The COVID-19 outbreak has made remote work the new way of working for millions of people around the world. Due to the pandemic, many businesses and organizations slowly shifted to working from home for the first time. Lockdown and safety measures led to many employees working from home with several organizations having to go fully remote in a matter of days.
Having a choice of environment and location are the important factors many job hunters consider when searching for a better work-life balance and evaluating new career opportunities. Name it whatever you like: remote work, work from home, or telecommunication — this type of working model is not going away any time soon. As many businesses adapt to the new normal and gradually return to the workplace, organizations need to evaluate the effectiveness of their work-from-home experiments through the lens of both leaders and employees.
Increased Demand for Remote Working
The demand for flexibility and how people work has been building for the past few years. Even before the pandemic, surveys repeatedly showed that 80% of employees wanted to work from home for at least some time. In a survey by Buffer, 98% of respondents said they prefer working from home for the rest of their careers. While the experience of working from home may not be ideal for most families staying in one place, it also gave people a taste of what the future could be.
Read more about 5 Work From Home Challenges and How to Overcome Them.
Remote Employee Productivity Outperforms On-site Productivity
According to a study by the ADP Research Institute, remote workers found their team more supportive and productive than those working with peers on-site. The survey showed that 66% of remote workers felt leadership teams were more collaborative and open to accepting fresh ideas and solutions. In addition, FlexJob’s survey of more than 2,100 remote workers during the pandemic found that 51% answered that they are more productive working from home, while 95% reported that productivity has been higher or the same while working remotely. Fewer interruptions, a more comfortable workspace, focused time, and avoiding office politics were some of the reasons why remote workers felt more productive.
Remote Work Increased Employee’s Work Happiness
Employee happiness and the success of any business come hand-in-hand. Besides offering benefits like compensation, allowances, and health insurance, perks like workplace flexibility are important for many employees. As the trend of remote work increased during the pandemic, a study from TinyPulse stated that employees reporting increased happiness and productivity had risen as well. The study found that companies realized that physically being at the office full-time wasn’t necessary to produce great results.
Remote Work Leads to Lower Stress Levels
Work environment and mental health are intertwined. Workplaces that promote good mental health and reduce stress not only improve mental and physical health but also refine work performance and productivity. A study conducted by FlexJobs in partnership with Mental Health America found that over 80% of participants reported that more work flexibility allowed them to take care of their mental health even more. Moreover, 66% of the participants answered that they prefer to work remotely full-time even after the pandemic ends, and 33% would like to work in a hybrid setup. Participants agreed that workplace stress affects their mental health, leading to anxiety or depression. Therefore, when they have more time to tend to their personal lives, they can work more effectively.
Read this for 6 Things You Can Do to Prevent Work From Home Burnout.
Remote Work Improves Employee Retention
Recruitment can be one of the biggest challenges for many businesses, especially if the best team members decide to leave. Remote workers who are parents get more flexible schedules with their children while other employees can enjoy an enhanced work-life balance that can help businesses improve their employee loyalty. According to a study by Gartner, organizations that embrace work-from-home arrangements will likely increase their employee retention rate by 10%.
See this for 7 Ways You Can Keep Your Remote Teams Engaged.
Remote Work is Here to Stay
Overall, as years pass by, the statistics on remote work increasingly show the fact that remote work is beneficial for both employees and employers. Although it’s too early to tell the long-term effects of remote work on the global workforce, research shows remote work is here to stay — and if you haven’t considered remote working for the future, now is the best time to leap and make a change. Keep in mind that today’s technology has made it easier to make this transition.