It’s been two years since the world went home to work. So how are we doing?
Overall, companies made the transition to remote work and have learned to make it work. Still, as the corporate world faces a decision – to return to the office or to adopt a remote or hybrid work environment – there are plenty of concerns.
Employers are concerned about productivity. How are their employees going to remain motivated and productive when they’re not in a physical location? Also, technology issues, cybersecurity, ineffective communication, poor time management all keep employers up at night.
Yet while these concerns are certainly real, too many employers are missing some key issues that could impact significantly their remote work experience.
- What Employees Want
What’s missing in the conversation is the employee. Today’s employee, having just spent two years working from home, is not ready or willing to head back to an office and a commute. By January 2022, 59% of employees whose jobs can be done from home are working remotely all or most of the time. Another 61% whose workplaces are reopening are opting not to go back to the office.
A FlexJobs survey conducted in early 2021 revealed that 58% of employees would “absolutely” look for a new job if they could not continue working remotely. In today’s extremely competitive job market, that potential loss could be devastating to a company.
- What Companies Can Save
If the potential loss of key employees is not enough to have employers looking to embrace remote work, this might: A Global Workplace Analytics study shows that the average employer can expect to save approximately $11,000 annually for every employee who works remotely half of the time.
- What Retaining Employees Can Mean
Data from Global Workplace Analytics also points to another key benefit for employers: reduction in the cost of turnover. To replace an employee, employers spend between $10,000 and $30,000. Does remote work actually help with retention, though?
Yes. That same data show that an overwhelming percentage of employers – 95% – say that telework has had a high impact on employee retention.
- What Productivity Now Looks Like
There are other benefits, as well. Several large corporations – Best Buy, British Telecom, Dow Chemical – are reporting 35-40% more productivity from remote workers when compared to in-house results. American Express workers exhibited a 43% increase in productivity than their in-office colleagues.
In fact, employers from nearly all industries are seeing increases in productivity since their workforce headed home to work. An Upwork report revealed that 32.2% of managers said that productivity has increased since employees started working from home in 2020. A Mercer report found that of 800 employers surveyed 94% said that work productivity was the same or higher since employees started working from home.
With employers focusing on the potential issues of remote work, they could be missing the larger picture, which is one that includes plenty of benefits that only happen when adopting a remote workforce environment.
The best approach is to embrace the change and make the changes needed to ensure that your team feels supported, engaged, and productive. Focusing on the benefits and building a plan to capitalize on them can boost your team’s productivity, increase morale, and improve your business results.