Upon their first encounters with remote work, many working professionals nationwide suspected these cubicle hiatuses to be a temporary clot for the wounds inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As employees nationwide hunkered down and established makeshift home offices, few would have guessed that couch-bound Zoom meetings and sweatpant uniforms would be our new norm.
Despite initial impressions, the COVID-19 pandemic has virtually redefined the workforce of the 2020s, especially those affiliated with permanently remote companies. Today, business owners are cashing in on improved work-life balance and boosted employee productivity in rapid succession.
With so many technological advances at our disposal (i.e., Zoom, Slack, Dropbox, etc.), reasons to deviate from the remote work model are few and far between. While distractions, such as binge-worthy Netflix series and elementary schoolers on summer vacation and lowered employee visibility can plant seeds of doubt in the minds of business owners, the remote workforce movement is on the up-and-up, despite its downfalls.
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1. Reducing costly expenses
With the immediate shift to remote work, business owners were granted an inside look into what works and what doesn’t. For starters, captains of industry were able to see how remote work benefits the environment, with fewer vehicles on the road and office spaces using fewer resources.
Besides reducing morning-commute-induced pollution, organizations were able to downsize their physical offices or stop using them altogether. With rent out of the monthly budget, companies could nurture their bottom lines. Businesses could also save money by hiring gig workers rather than hiring full-time employees. With these eco-friendly benefits and other cost-saving reasons, remote work can expect a long lifespan.
Note that employers aren’t the only ones who benefitted from reduced expenses. Remote workers do not have to pay for gas to drive to work, go out for costly lunches, or invest in work-appropriate clothing. That said, remote work advocates will likely assemble in protest against back-to-office initiatives.
2. More available talent
When workers can connect from home, employers can hire people from all over the globe. Before COVID forced remote working, employers could only take a dip in local talent pools or cross their fingers star candidates were willing to relocate. With the talent pool evolving from a splash pad to a wading pool, recruiters can connect with any qualified worker who has a reliable internet connection.
3. More flexibility
With remote working gaining traction, employers and employees can work non-traditional, flexible schedules. Besides reporting unprecedented workplace satisfaction, productivity increased across many industries.
How has remote work turned the frowns of disgruntled and burnt-out employees upside down? For starters, remote workers can now care for their children or elder parents—without having to take time off. By deviating from the 9-to-5 time clock, frazzled employees can attain a long-sought-after work-life balance.
4. Prioritizing time
With remote work gaining momentum, the burdensome daily commute has burrowed its way out of the public eye. Now, rather than spending precious time in traffic, employees could spend that time with their families and pets. Employees can also repurpose those hours to make meals, exercise, play with their children, and nurture budding hobbies.
Once the dreaded morning commute finally evaporates, it will be easy to see how much time is consumed by bumper-to-bumper traffic.
5. Improved wellness
When offices aren’t stocked with runny-nosed employees anxious about missing work, the staff as a whole will enjoy better health. Consider how many people spread the common cold to each other while trudging through their day-to-responsibilities and conserving precious PTO. Remember, healthy employees, are more productive employees.
Because office rules and regulations make it difficult for employees to take days off for sickness, many employees drag their aching bodies to the office, despite their spiking fevers and worsening coughs. As a result, their can-do attitudes and perfect-attendance record may result in infected colleagues. By contrast, with remote work, people can still complete their job responsibilities without exposing their coworkers to a productivity-inhibiting case of the flu.
6. Fewer interruptions
Workers in an office are constantly interrupted by phone calls and other employees. When working from home, daily interruptions drop dramatically while productivity improves.
Yes, remote workers might have to stop and feed their pets or interact with their family members. Still, those interruptions typically pale in comparison to those inflicted by pestering employees a cubicle away.
Wrapping it up
With so many benefits in mind, remote work is here to stay. With productivity and wellness taking a turn in the right direction, reverting to traditional office setups could be a major setback.