In hindsight: The benefits of remote work
After nearly two years of remote working, we’re reflecting on the benefits it holds for both employees and employers.
Over the past two years, working from home has gone from being the norm for the minority of professionals to becoming commonplace for the majority. Whether you love or hate it, many of us have faced the reality of being crammed onto our dining room tables or in the corner of the spare bedroom with only a desktop for company.
In our previous Future of Work blog, we discussed the negative impacts working from home may have on both employees and employers. But it’s not all bad – research from Hibob has found that over half of surveyed participants prefer to work from home, with 64% preferring remote working.
As our FMC offices are now welcoming more staff back through the doors, we’re reflecting on the benefits remote working has presented us with over the past 18 months and going forward, how we, and other businesses, could look to incorporate some of them into our futures.
Here are just some of the positives of remote working we’ve discovered:
Arguably the biggest benefit of working from home is the lack of commute to the office. Missing the hustle and bustle of public transport or avoiding queuing in traffic not only saves you time and avoids stress from day to day, but also leaves more money in your pocket at the end of each month.
When combining this with smaller savings such as not having the temptation of joining colleagues for lunch or a post-shift pint, and not spending money on swanky new office wear, working from home really does see the pennies pile up. Not only do employees save on cash, but employers can too through reductions in office supplies, utility bills and other facilities.
On a similar note, things such as the lack of commute help to promote a positive work/life balance – from having extra time in bed each morning to the ability to switch off as soon as your working day ends. Logging out and instantly being able to get on with your evening undeniably leaves you with more ‘me’ time to spend how you please and in turn, improving employee wellbeing and morale.
Whilst it does run the risk of burn out if you allow yourself to overwork, the autonomous element of remote working can be beneficial to both employees and employers. With people having the opportunity to create a routine that suits them, they’re often more likely to be happy within their professional lives – leading to happier and higher performing employees.
Looking ahead, employers may need to consider implementing policies that continue to foster a positive work/life balance. Whether it’s implementing a reduced working week, offering a hybrid working arrangement, or more tailored responses, remote working has certainly put this at the forefront of the minds of both organisations and employees. Keep an eye out for future blogs on these topics!
From letting the dog out to catching up on household chores, remote working arguably holds a whole host of distractions that may impact productivity. However, research has found quite the opposite – with only 28% of remote employees surveyed by Hibob saying they are not able to perform their role well when working from home.
Giving employees the opportunity to create a working environment they’re comfortable in, alongside not having in-office distractions such as colleagues on the phone, companies are likely to see a more productive workforce, albeit often at the detriment of collaboration.
Singapore-based travel company, Ctrip, ran a experiment where a selection of employees were offered the opportunity to work from home. They found that from a reduction in sick days and the number of calls per minute due to the convenience of being at home, productivity amongst remote employees rose by 13%.
With some companies now offering fully remote contracts, the world of work is more accessible than ever before. Declining a job due to distance is now a thing of the past for many – with arriving at work being as easy as a click of a button. This opens far more opportunities, allowing employees to work in a role they really want compared to one they settled for a closer to home but less satisfying position.
Not only does recruiting from a wider geographical area advantage staff, but employers who offer flexible working options benefit from access to a wider talent pool. In turn, candidates with more relevant experiences are likely to apply for positions and companies can diversify their workforce.
As a recruitment company, we’ve found in some instances remote working has helped companies to attract new suitable talent. Offering the option to work from home has led to an increase in candidates applying for positions as they’re able to perform the role without relocating.
Looking to the future
The argument of whether working from home or heading into the office is always going to be subjective – what works for one may not for another.
But what we can take from the past two years is how we can develop a working model that suits all. Moving forward, companies can adopt the benefits of remote working – whether this be a hybrid approach, new office policies or a cemented development strategy.
The FMC Future of Work series aims to explore what the future holds for our professional lives. Over the next few months, we’ll be providing weekly updates where we’ll be discussing different aspects of how, where and when we work.
We’ll also be undertaking some research into what the future of work may look like for us all, and will be sharing our findings with you. There’ll be an opportunity for you to take part in a survey on what you think the future of work will look like, so keep an eye out on the FMC Blog for more information in the coming weeks.