Five Benefits of Remote and Hybrid Work ModelsOld habits die hard. When business leaders had little choice but to put remote work arrangements into place in response to the pandemic, a common sentiment was that things would go back to “normal” — meaning returning to an onsite model — as soon as the public health danger had passed. But something unexpected happened once companies went remote: Employees fully embraced the flexibility of working from home and, in many cases, they became more productive, satisfied and loyal to their jobs. The benefits of working from home for employers became clear.
The practice of offering employees flexible work arrangements isn’t new; in fact, it was picking up steam long before the pandemic. Employers who recognized the benefits of working remotely became early adopters. And while it may have begun as an effort to hold onto valued employees whose circumstances required a more flexible model — perhaps they had become parents or moved out of state to accommodate their spouse’s career — it gained momentum as productivity, profitability and retention thrived.
Today, 83% of workers say they prefer a hybrid model, with the ability to work remotely at least one-fourth of the time, and forward-thinking business leaders understand that remote and hybrid work arrangements are here to stay. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons for this change (or evolution) of heart.
1. A happier, healthier workforce
Employee well-being is possibly the single most important benefit of working from home. When employees are empowered to achieve better work-life balance, whether that means being more available to their family or giving themselves time and space to breathe because they don’t have an hour-long commute every morning and evening, they tend to have a better attitude toward work and give it their best effort. It follows that productivity, attendance and, ultimately, profitability all stand to benefit.
With the freedom to work remotely (which for some companies means anywhere), employees have found they can achieve a higher quality of life. Many feel less work-related stress and look at their work responsibilities in a more positive light. Lower stress levels and greater positivity contribute to better health, as does limiting physical exposure to coworkers, particularly during times of high contagion.
For all of these reasons, employees tend to be more satisfied with their jobs when they have remote-work options. In fact, workers’ attitudes toward working from home were so positive in March/April 2021 that 60% of women and 52% of men surveyed by FlexJobs said they would quit their jobs if they weren’t allowed to continue working remotely. What would they look for in a new job? Eight out of 10 women and seven out of 10 men said remote-work options were among their top considerations.
2. Productivity gains
One of the main reasons so many business leaders have resisted a remote or hybrid work model over the years was that they assumed employees would slack off when they weren’t being watched. The past two years have proven that theory wrong. In practice, employees tend to be as or more productive than they were at the office.
Responding to a Mercer survey fielded in July 2020, a whopping 94% of employers reported that productivity had remained the same or improved since their employees began working remotely; 83% said they planned to put more flexible work policies in place after the public health crisis had passed. They had found that giving employees more control over their lives resulted in lower absenteeism, more time on the job and less turnover.
3. Operational savings
After just a few months of work-from-home arrangements, 68% of large-corporate CEOs said they planned to downsize their office space, according to a KPMG study released in August 2020. Once leasing contract obligations have been fulfilled, many companies are expected to take this route, as remote work opens the prospect of using more shared workspaces and eliminating some employees’ office space altogether. Fewer bodies at the office means less office space, so companies are cashing in on reduced costs for office rental, equipment maintenance and repair, and supplies, as well as other office-related expenses.
Another trend to come out of the remote work environment is “bring your own device,” or BYOD. Unless a business has specialized equipment, most employees already have laptop or desktop computers they can use. Giving them the freedom to do their work on their own personal devices can certainly save a company money. Of course, strategic security programs, policies and protocols are essential to protecting company records, customer data and intellectual property as employees access data remotely.
4. Competitive staffing advantages
Remote work options offer businesses a true benefit when it comes to building strong teams. As mentioned above, employees prefer companies that offer work-from-home options, so when they go job-hunting, flexible work arrangements are a top consideration.
Additionally, a remote work model enables employers to attract top talent — the right people with the right skillsets — regardless of location. Once HR directors had to rely on candidates who either lived locally or were willing to relocate; today, businesses that are open to remote workers have the opportunity to build geographically agnostic teams, blending local talent with team members across the country or around the globe.
Beyond widening the talent pool, a geo-agnostic approach offers opportunities to increase workforce diversity and serve customers wherever they may be.
5. A greener planet
Whether a company is concerned with being perceived as a good corporate citizen or just wants to do the right thing for the planet, reducing commutes is a good thing. Fewer vehicles on the road means less pollution and a smaller carbon footprint — a welcome by-product of remote and hybrid workplace models.
This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting or financial advice. Any reliance on the information herein is solely and exclusively at your own risk and you are urged to do your own independent research. To the extent information herein references an outside resource or Internet site, Dollar Bank is not responsible for information, products or services obtained from outside sources and Dollar Bank will not be liable for any damages that may result from your access to outside resources. As always, please consult your own counsel, accountant, or other advisor regarding your specific situation.
Posted: January 21, 2022