The Benefits of Remote Work for Companies and Employees | The last year was a watershed moment for the world of remote work. Before 2020, working from afar was a unique perk offered in very specific situations. When the pandemic began, it became the status quo overnight.
While in-person and hybrid work situations are returning, many employees continue to work remotely. In fact, in May of 2021, it was reported that 70% of white-collar workers in the U.S. were still working from home.
One of the reasons the remote work movement has continued to gain steam, pandemic or not, is due to the benefits that come along with it, particularly in the areas of mental health and productivity.
Employee Benefits of Remote Work
Let’s start on the employee side of things. Simply put, employees benefit from remote work in a lot of different ways, from flexible work schedules to working in pajamas and much more. The list could get very long here, but let’s focus on three areas, in particular: cost of living, work environment, and mental health.
A Lower Cost of Living
Relocating for a job is a huge decision. It often begs a lot of additional questions, like:
- Will this impact others, such as parents or a spouse and children?
- Will others in your household need to change jobs to come along with you?
- What are the expenses associated with the move?
That last question is particularly relevant here. The cost of living that comes with dwelling near a job can be exorbitant at times. Silicon Valley, for instance, may have a lot of high-paying jobs, but living in the district will leave precious little cash left over to put in savings.
Remote work has the special bonus that it allows employees to work from practically anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter if they’re living in Boston or Bangladesh. If they have a good computer, a quiet space, and a strong internet connection, they’re good to go.
Proximity to work is one aspect of the “remote” part of remote work. But one’s work environment is another worthy consideration.
If you work in a physical office, you may find yourself in an isolated cubicle or a rowdy bullpen. If you’re in the city, stepping outside for some fresh air likely isn’t an option, either.
Working remotely opens up the door for individuals to move away from the cityscape and find some open spaces. This isn’t just a nice perk, either. It can also have a profound impact on their physical health.
Doctors are literally prescribing outdoor exercise (as in, actually writing it down on a prescription pad) in increasing numbers. The ability to get up and go for a bike ride or take a walk is a great remote work perk that shouldn’t be ignored.
Better Mental Health
Mental health has been a major concern for entrepreneurs and employees alike in the modern era. While community-wide solutions are being developed to help with mental health, there are also many ways that employees, in particular, can take matters into their own hands.
One of the simplest of these is opting for a remote work position. The ability to withdraw from the constant pressures of the workplace can work wonders on the mind and soul. And, of course, the absence of long, stressful commutes is also a welcome reprieve.
Employer Benefits of Remote Work
On the other side of the equation, we have employers. While employers are often the ones spearheading the push to return to the office, there are actually quite a few benefits that come from running a lean and mean remote workforce, too.
Remote work is often more productive than the in-office equivalent. It’s as simple as that. In fact, one study reported that, when asked, 10,000 employees said they were just as productive at home as at the office, with 30% of the respondents even claiming they were more productive and engaged when laboring on the homefront.
The factors that impact this can vary from one employee to the next. And there are certainly cases where an employee is less productive at home. But, by and large, the average remote worker tends to be equally if not more productive when working remotely.
One of the easiest pros that companies can point to in the area of remote work is the savings. In much the same way that employees can save money by moving to an area with a lower cost of living, employers can also downsize workspaces when they aren’t housing a massive workforce.
This ability to reduce office space and lower rental costs can be profound. According to Square Foot, the average employee uses around 100-150 square feet of space. This can add up to as much as $150,000 or more per employee per year if a business is located in a high-cost area like New York or San Francisco.
Larger Talent Pool
When a business opens itself up to the remote work option, it also creates the opportunity to access a larger talent pool. Traditionally, a business has been restricted to one of two options. Either they had to recruit from local talent or they had to find employees who were willing to relocate.
Now businesses can tap talent from around the country and even the world. This can come with some complications, like setting up international payroll. However, it’s well worth the hassle if you can find the perfect candidate for a position.
Thriving Through Remote Work
The world has changed a lot in the past year. Remote work is one area where the change has certainly been for the better. From mental health to costs, talent acquisition to work environment, there are many reasons remote work will remain the option for many employees and employers alike moving forward.