For over two years, companies have adjusted to the pandemic by opting for virtual offices occupied by remote employees. Meanwhile, the argument between those favoring a return to offices and those pushing for permanent remote work continues to rage. Before companies begin to settle back into old routines, consider these four core benefits of remote work.
In the United States, it’s estimated that the average one-way commute reached a new high of 27.6 minutes in 2019, resulting in the average worker losing around an hour of their time each work day. Even those who prefer buses, trains, or bikes sacrifice a certain amount of time getting to and from work. And studies show that longer commutes lead to decreased job satisfaction and increased risk of mental health issues, while shorter commutes have had the opposite effect. But what about no commute at all?
Give the hour back and you’ll see employees become more productive and are more likely to work longer hours. There’s also the added benefit of reducing road traffic for companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Embracing a work-from-home solution can have an immediate impact on expenses, for both the employee and employer. If your business has the ability to serve clients remotely, or adapt existing products or services to do so, eliminating the need for office buildings will save on rent, utilities, and other related costs. For the employee, not only does removing the commute benefit mental health, it will save on expenses like car fuel and maintenance, or subway and train passes.
Depending on where the headquarters are located, remote work may also save money on rent for the employee, who has the ability to turn away from the rising cost of living in major cities across the country.
With the recent rise of a remote work culture, studies showed flexible work environments are fostering a better work-life balance for employees. Employees without these accommodations are nearly two times more likely to have poor or very poor mental health. Fortunately, there’s nothing as flexible as remote work when it comes to prioritizing wellness.
Part of this restored well-being comes from families being closer together. One in three workers have children under 18, and a quarter of those who do have children younger than six. The ability for parents to be there in a moment’s notice in case of emergency is a peace of mind that non-flexible work options can’t provide.
The talent pool deepens tremendously without the restrictions of location-specific hiring. Remote work merges the urban, suburban, and rural together into one potential workforce. An employee can live anywhere in the country and still contribute to the company. The talent opportunities aren’t limited to a single city, or multiple cities, and potential high-profile employees won’t have to be persuaded to move from one location to the other, which could cause them a good amount of stress.
It’s all about staying competitive in the field and retaining top talent. Remote work accommodates the employer and the employee by saving time, prioritizing health and happiness, and reducing costs for both parties. Together it’s a recipe for the perfect work-life balance, one that reduces work-related stress and allows for the flexibility to maintain top-level production from the team.