The future of work has become a hot topic in recent years. With the rise of the gig economy, an increase in available freelance job platforms and advancements in artificial intelligence, the way we define work is quickly changing. One of the key questions being asked by employers and employees today is: do we actually need to be in an office from 9-5, 5 days a week?
In short, no, we really don’t.
The combination of online communication tools, and an increasingly digital workforce has created an environment that both supports and encourages remote work. Allowing employees to work remotely has also shown to have to have positive effects on overall productivity and work-life satisfaction. Companies that promote remote work are setting a new standard for what both employees and employers have come to expect from their professional relationships.
- Room for innovation
Companies that allow their employees to work remotely are heading in the right direction when it comes to being more innovative. Non-traditional approaches to work invite flexibility and creativity. Having a remote workforce introduces teams to a diverse playing field of professionals they wouldn’t have access to otherwise when limited to a single office space. Remote employees who spend time coworking spaces have contact with a large community freelancers and other remote workers from various backgrounds. For employers who are taking on new projects, or on the lookout for a highly skilled freelancer to join their team, access to a global workforce is priceless.
In addition to growing and diversifying networks, remote work also leaves a lot more room for both employers and employees to share their thoughts and ideas freely without the usual beaurucracy present in the most traditional workplace setups. The more traditional methods of engaging in meetings and filling out reports are not only time consuming but tend to hamper creativity in the workplace.
- Increase in productivity
Believing that to ensure productivity you have to keep your employees in the same place, under close watch, 5 days a week has proven to be false, time and time again. Even if we love our jobs, it’s been shown that we tend to love them a little bit less when feeling forced to go to an office every day. In fact, employees who were asked if being allowed to work remotely helped them to be more productive gave a resounding “yes!”.
Rather than being limited to an office that is chock full of potential distractions like being interrupted by co-workers, or having to attend mandatory (often unnecessary meetings) remote workers can identify what works best for them. Whether that means working 8 hours straight or taking a break every 15 minutes. As long as the job gets done, anything goes.
- Autonomy is key
Companies that allow their employees to work remotely understand that we have other things to do besides work. This doesn’t mean remote workers won’t dedicate time to their jobs, it just means they have the flexibility to incorporate personal tasks into their daily lives. Overall, remote work gives employees more choice, resulting in a better work-life balance. Employees that have more autonomy are happier overall when compared to their 9-5 counterparts.
An increase in flexibility in the working day also plays a major role in helping working parents stay in the workforce. Allowing parents to stay at home, or join a communal workspace that provides childcare gives more working mothers and fathers the chance to continue working, thus decreasing their chances of falling out of the workforce.
4.Better use of your time (and money!)
Businesses that are considering to make the shift from traditional work formats to more flexible ones, will be pleased to know that they should expect to save a few dollars. Even if employees are permitted to work remotely part time, their employers would still save by reducing overhead costs like rent and utility payments. While having a fully remote staff might be a bit more complicated at first, it would certainly slash costs dramatically.
In fact, remote work saves everyone a bit of cash for both parties involved. For employees, working remotely slashes commuter costs and the money spent on daily lunch and coffee breaks, which can sneak up on you. For the companies, it does not only help save on the usual office costs which could be incurred with employees present in the workplace.
Also, by allowing employees to work remotely, companies are likely to see much more productive and motivated employees who are no longer confined in their cubicles. As more and more companies are looking to embrace this setup, it is important to help employees transition through this process by providing them the support and guidelines required to make their remote setup work.