We’ve covered a large amount of remote working benefits across multiple articles, and yet, there are still benefits you may not know about! When thinking about the benefits of remote work, work from home, and flexible work, people think of the same generic reasons: the amazing flexibility, no commute time, a relaxed personal atmosphere, increased happiness among employees, and saving money from both the business and the employee’s standpoint.
The working world is at a point where remote work is no longer an employee perk, but becoming a make it or break it option for employers. Unified communications and cloud software are more widespread and more affordable than ever, while office space costs keep climbing everyday. For small and medium-sized business owners especially, the decision to embrace a remote workforce can be the difference between survival and business bankruptcy.
The Environmental Impact
Working remotely, even part time, can positively effect the environment. We already know that telecommuting reduces the number of cars on the road, thereby reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel consumption, and energy usage. It also helps to reduce environmental and human health impacts as a result of decreased air pollution.
Aside from not driving, employees tend to act less environmentally conscious at the office than they do at home. For example, one study shows that employees are less motivated to conserve energy at work because they have no financial incentive to do so. At home, however, conserving energy saves them money personally, which motivates households to turn lights off and power down computers at the end of the day.
Office buildings consume much more energy than the average home. One study by Sun Microsystems found that home energy use is roughly half that of office energy use. Though employees may keep computers and other equipment turned on more during the day, the cost savings for not commuting to work are more than $1,700 per year. Thus, remote workers save excess commuting and office costs on gas, car maintenance, parking fees, coffee cups, lunches, and other expenses, while employers reap savings in employee overhead. To sum up their total findings, “average employee saves 2.5 workweeks per year in commute time, more than $1,700 in gas and wear and tear on vehicle, and 5,400 kilowatt hours/year working flexibly.”
Especially in recent years, we’ve seen that the younger generations care about the environment a lot, and are very frequently making decisions based on their environmental impact or making decisions to positively interact with the environment. Being a environmentally conscious company can draw in the younger generations of workers – millennials in particular are a purpose-driven generation. Making a conscious decision to improve the environment and be a socially responsible workplace can yield incredible results, both for your hiring pipeline and for your sales.
When your team works remotely, it means that your hiring pool is no longer limited to the best of your area – it’s opened up to the best anywhere. Having a larger and more inclusive hiring pool means that you can hire the perfect person for the job, regardless of location. This is incredibly helpful especially for companies that have highly specialized roles and may not have a large hiring pool otherwise.
We’ve already discussed how having a flexible workplace makes employees happier, and we know that happy employees are less likely to leave their job, this combination means that offering remote work will help you to keep employees longer – also meaning that the hiring stage is worth it. Happy employees are also more likely to refer others for positions at their company, further opening up your hiring pool.
Especially recently, people have been taking more and more of a liking to remote work opportunities. It continues to be an extremely attractive hiring perk. In a recent study of remote work, 54% of employees say they would change jobs for one that offered them more flexibility. Furthermore, 98% of surveyed employees in the 2020 State of Remote Work Survey said they would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their career.
Preparedness for Anything
Another thing that we have learned in recent events is that it is extremely important to have the capability to work remotely. Disaster can strike at anytime, whether we’re referring to a global pandemic, or something smaller such as a power outage, or a broken down car. No matter what the world throws at remote employees, they are so much more prepared than in-office only workers. Having to change locations because of a sickness or evacuating due to a flood or hurricane doesn’t have to mean missing a lot of work and putting your career and company in jeopardy. Remote workers can simply take their office wherever is needs to be. Remote work can and does lessen the burden of recovery.
For employees, knowing they have flexibility in case anything extreme happens is a very reassuring thing. This also counts for employees with families, who know that sick kids, school closings, and last minute babysitter scrambles can be a very real issue. Not having to choose between providing for their family, and being there for their family makes an employee appreciate their company even more than they already do.
Remote Work Sells Itself
As if you didn’t already know enough perks about remote work and flexible work options, we just laid out some less talked about ones for you. Flexibility with remote work brings out better productivity, a better environmental impact, and more hours worked. Along with that, you benefit from higher employee engagement and happiness, and a way to both retain and attract better and more diverse employees. You’ll be much more prepared to keep your business running, no matter what disaster might be headed your way.
If you haven’t already embraced remote work, it’s time to start considering it. CallHarbor can help you get there.