Someone typing on a laptop

For years, remote working has been a question for employers. Is it worth the time and investment? Will it alter productivity? With the ongoing pandemic, the pressure is on employers to decide if remote working is right for their company.  

Remote-ly Serious Changes

June 23, 2020

For years, remote working has been a question for employers. Is it worth the time and investment? Will it alter productivity? With the ongoing pandemic, the pressure is on employers to decide if remote working is right for their company.

OfficeOne of the more significant outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic has been the move to remote working. While for many employers it was necessitated by stay-at-home orders, the shift to remote working has been on the horizon for years.

With the majority of the country now entering reopening stages, companies must determine how to return to the workplace safely. At worksites, social-distancing rules still must be enforced. That means dedicating more square footage per employee. Staggered shifts can be implemented to maintain those rules while still allowing employees to return to worksites, but working remotely will remain a necessary option for most employees for the foreseeable future.

For companies new to remote working, there are valid concerns about the efficiency, productivity, and success of such an undertaking. But many companies who offer remote options report substantial benefits including increased productivity and performance, higher retention rates, and increased savings per remote employee (an average of $11,000 per year, according to Forbes).

Before deciding to go remote, companies should consider the obstacles along with the benefits that come with having a remote workforce.
 

Three Primary Obstacles

  • Providing the tools and technology resources needed to be efficient remotely
  • Providing the infrastructure and security to keep customer data safe remotely
  • Ensuring that employees have a strong work/life balance[i]

These obstacles take many forms, but the time and financial investment to implement remote work are the biggest deterrents to companies. However, those investments on the front end lead to long term, sustainable savings, whether directly by reducing office footprints, or indirectly by increasing employee satisfaction.

A pie chart showing what percentage of workers found each listed benefit of working remotely as the biggest benefit.

Seven Primary Benefits

  • Stronger flexibility for work/life balance
  • 98% of people who work remotely would like to have the option for the rest of their careers[ii]
  • Increased Productivity
  • Teleworkers are an average of 35-40% more productive than their office counterparts, and have measured an output increase of at least 4.4%[iii]
  • Increased Performance
  • With stronger autonomy via location independence, workers produce results with 40% fewer quality defects[iii]
  • Increased Profitability
  • Organizations save an average of $11,000 per year per part-time telecommuter, or 21% higher profitability.[iii]
  • Positive environmental impact
  • Remote workers could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons every year, and that's just if people worked out of the office for only half of the work week.[iv]
  • A happier work life
  • 78% of remote employees say working remotely decreases their stress.[v]
  • Better health
  • Working remotely allows employees to have more time to have physical activity, eat healthily, and recover from illness at home rather than push themselves to get back to work[vi]

The research supporting the benefits of remote work may lead more companies to consider the option as more than just a temporary solution to coronavirus safety. For those workplaces that are reopening, read tips on coronavirus prevention and cleaning from EBI’s Certified Industrial Hygienists or contact us to learn how we are assisting companies to keep their properties safe.

 


Sources

[i] https://www.ey.com/en_be/covid-19/why-remote-working-will-be-the-new-normal-even-after-covid-19

[ii] https://lp.buffer.com/state-of-remote-work-2020

[iii] https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurelfarrer/2020/02/12/top-5-benefits-of-remote-work-for-companies

[iv] https://www.greenchildmagazine.com/environmental-benefits-of-remote-work/

[v] https://www.owllabs.com/state-of-remote-work/2019

[vi] https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/benefits-of-remote-work/