One of the few silver linings of the Covid-19 pandemic is that the mass shift to remote working didn’t hit productivity in the way employers had feared.
A recent Twitter feed reminded us that, in fact, not a single organisation collapsed as a result of needing to switch to remote work. On the contrary, countless organisations have reported that remote working has actually helped staff become more productive - making them feel empowered, in control of their work and motivated to achieve more.
For their part, many employees have been glad to ditch the grind of the daily commute, and some have even taken the opportunity to relocate – realising that their jobs can be done successfully from nearly anywhere in the world.
All the evidence suggests that the remote working revolution is here to stay. The vast majority of employees now expect the chance to work remotely at least part of the time. And if they don’t get what they want, they’re prepared to turn in their resignation and move to a more accommodating employer.
So in case your organisation is unsure about whether to return to the office, or you’re worried about falling victim to ‘The Great Resignation’, let’s remind ourselves of the main advantages of a remote-first future – for both employers and employees.
Here are the top five benefits of remote working.
1. Working from home improves employee wellbeing
Benefits to employees: With no commute and no long hours in the office, working remotely can improve the health and wellness of employees – allowing them to spend more time with family and friends and significantly improving their work/life balance. Many will find that they’re less stressed when able to work in a quieter and more personalised environment, and perhaps even find more time to dedicate to health and wellbeing activities.
Benefits to employers: Happy and healthy employees are likely to be more productive and loyal. It’s a competitive world we live in, but people are still very much motivated by, and eager to stay with, companies that treat them well and offer flexibility. So, along with enabling remote working for all, remember to prioritise wellbeing initiatives designed to support employees when they are away from the office, and where it’s perhaps less easy to grab time with a manager to express concerns or raise issues.
2. Remote staff can work from anywhere, without having to move company
Benefits to employees: Millions of employees are realising that their jobs can be carried out remotely from anywhere, opening up new possibilities about where they work – such as moving overseas to their dream location, or returning to their home country to be closer to loved ones. This freedom can be a game-changer for employees who now don’t have to leave their jobs to work from a new location.
Benefits to employers: Being open to remote working for existing and future employees means that companies can access an unlimited talent pool. There is no shortage of technology, collaborative tools or advice on how to make remote work work. Of course, employing staff across borders isn’t simple – from understanding the law in the country where your employee is relocating to making pay fair across territories, there’s plenty to consider. But by partnering with a trusted Employer of Record, you can help your employees relocate anywhere without having to wave goodbye to them. Learn more in this recent blog post, or get in touch to see how Boundless can help make the transition smooth and successful.
3. Save costs with a remote-first strategy
Benefits to employees: Commuting to an office can be pretty pricey – you’ve got to contend with travel costs, parking, lunches, clothes for work… the list can seem endless. Remote working saves on all of these expenses, leaving more disposable income available for other things. Much needed right now!
Benefits to employers: As employees increasingly work from home, we’ve seen many employers cutting right back on expensive office space. You might want to keep some office space for teams to hot-desk, catch up regularly or host meetings (not to mention housing centralised IT equipment), but scaling back on real-estate investment is a cost-saving exercise that could really benefit you in the long run.
4. Productivity and performance gains
Benefits to employees: A report by Forbes found that remote staff are typically 35-40% more productive than their office counterparts. Many people find they’re less distracted at home, and able to concentrate better on the task at hand, improving their performance and the speed with which they can get through their to-do list – meaning less risk of working long hours. That is also aided by the feeling of being in charge of one’s time and the ability to have a personal commitment during what are typical office hours.
Benefits to employers: This is an obvious one. More productive staff get more done, perform better – and ultimately help your business succeed. It’s perhaps no surprise that shoring up productivity is amongst the top priorities for employers in the months and years ahead, and if remote working helps that, then so much the better.
5. Employers who offer remote working are more likely to experience staff loyalty
Employee benefits: The much-discussed ‘great resignation’ we’re experiencing right now comes primarily as a result of Covid-19 spurring people to rethink what they do, and who they work for. But employees are more likely to remain loyal to companies that offer them the ability to work in the way they want – and from the location they choose. If employers are meeting their needs, there’s no need for staff to grapple with the upheaval of leaving a job and starting afresh.
Employer benefits: A Forbes report shows that more than half of employees would change jobs for one that offered them more flexibility. Consequently, the research suggests that employers can see a 12% turnover reduction simply by extending remote work agreements to their staff. Given the high cost of recruitment and the time and effort required to train up new employees, offering remote-first working is a surefire way to boost staff loyalty and reduce churn.
Help is at handto avail of the benefits of remote working
Over the past few years, remote working has become a way of life for millions of professionals, providing plenty of benefits – from productivity gains to boosting well-being and happiness.
Indeed, at Boundless we think that companies in nearly all industries should get behind the “remote working revolution” to help attract and retain staff, as well as simply to do better business.
Of course, a remote-first company can still have a presence with an office – and some businesses are adopting what they call a ‘hyflex option’, where some work is completed at home and some from the office. But the reality is that employees are increasingly insisting on remote-first working, and there’s a wealth of data to show that employers will benefit from this approach even in the post-pandemic world.
Historically, what prevented companies from embracing work from anywhere for more employees was the admin headaches that come with international employment. It’s why companies such as Boundless exist, which act as the operating system for international teams, taking care of contracts, payroll, taxes, benefits and many other employment matters so you can focus on making your remote working strategy a reality. Get in touch to learn more and get started.
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Written by Irina Dzhambazova
Irina Dzhambazova is the editor of this publication and leads many of the marketing efforts behind Boundless. Previously she crafted stories at SaaStock and Dublin Globe and travelled the world capturing case studies of companies using the Kanban Method. Throughout this experience, she was almost always "the remote worker" and knows a thing or two about the potential and challenges of this way of working.
Update: Since publication, we have put all three articles on UK benefits in a downloadable ebook and have added the full stories of four companies we spoke to about how they approach their benefits program. Grab it here. A constant question on every employer’s mind is “What benefits should I be offering to attract and […]
An extensive guide on how benefits in kind tax works around the world, when employees are exempted from it, how companies can offset it, and how to file benefit in kind taxes accurately for your employees.
Update: Since publication, we have put all three articles on UK benefits in a downloadable ebook and have added the full stories of four companies we spoke to about how they approach their benefits program. Grab it here. As we pointed out in the first part of this guide to benefits in the UK, the […]
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