January 8, 2024
Should You Provide a Work From Home Stipend? [Guide for Businesses in 2024]
Do you provide a work from home stipend for your remote employees? If not, perhaps you should. Between 2005 a...
If you can get over some of the initial challenges of managing employees who work away from the office, offering remote work can reduce costs and make you more adaptable to an ever-changing world.
Remote workers also tend to be happier and more productive, and offering the opportunity for remote working in your business may help your employee retention rate.
In this article, we’ll expand on the top benefits of remote work, both for the business and the employee, and let you know why working remotely is fast becoming one of the most sought-after employee benefits.
Let’s get into it.
The remote work trend is here to stay. At the peak of the COVID-19, two-thirds of the US workforce went remote.
Although that number has dropped since restrictions have been easing, remote work is expected to grow over the coming years.
By 2025, 36.2 million people are projected to work away from the office, either full or part-time.
As a business, it will benefit you to hop on to this trend. Businesses allowing employees to go remote are going to have access to a range of benefits over non-remote teams.
Here are some of the biggest benefits to the business when employees work from home.
Remote employees know when and where they work best. So, when they do their work for you, it is likely that they will be more productive than if they were forced to report to the office at 9 AM.
Despite all the coffee in the world, not everyone can magically switch on their “focused and productive” hat early in the morning.
Employees that work from home have the freedom to set up their workspace, and often their working schedule as well, in line with how they work best.
Along with this, there are fewer little interruptions than in the office, so it’s generally easier for remote workers to focus on uninterrupted periods of deep work.
If most of your team is working from home, you’re not going to need as much office space, which means significant savings on rent and office equipment.
Businesses that are remote part of the time may be able to afford to rent a smaller, cheaper office. While fully remote companies can ditch the office altogether.
The apps you’re going to use for communication, project management, vacation tracking, etc., will become your team’s virtual office space, which will be cheaper by orders of magnitude.
You can take some of the rent savings to pay for fun and memorable company retreats that will build meaningful connections between team members and reduce turnover costs for you.
When everyone has to be physically present in the office, the talent pool you can recruit from is limited to the physical distance of a reasonable commute.
But when you transition to remote work, nothing stops you from hiring the best people from around the country or even the world.
Just the fact that you offer remote work will make your company more attractive to the best employees worldwide. More and more people in the job market today aren’t just looking for a job – they’re looking for a remote job.
As time goes on, a business that supports remote workers will have a much easier time hiring employees than the next one.
On top of this, recruiting remotely will increase your team’s diversity, bring in different perspectives, skill sets, and add immense value both internally and to your clients/customers.
As we briefly touched on above, offering remote work and/or a flexible work schedule can do wonders for employee retention.
According to Employee Benefits News, the cost of losing an employee and replacing them can be up to 33-percent of their salary.
With remote work being one of the most sought-after perks for employees today, your chances of holding on to your employees increase markedly when your team are offered remote work privileges.
Keep employees happy, and they’re unlikely to change jobs and seek another opportunity somewhere else.
One of the biggest lessons we learned from COVID-19 is that the world is unpredictable.
Things beyond our control, which aren’t even on our radar, can drastically impact our lives, livelihoods, and ability to work and run businesses.
The more adaptable and agile you are as a business, the less susceptible you are to getting derailed by events that come out of the left field.
By being fully remote, or at least compatible with remote working, a business will face fewer disruptions as a result of future lockdowns, social distancing mandates, or whatever the next crisis is that comes along.
Another of the advantages of remote work is a reduction in harm we do to the environment.
Cutting out the need for hundreds of employees to commute to work five days a week will provide a huge reduction in a greenhouse gases, and a company’s carbon footprint. Even better if they’re able to move away from the office altogether.
The benefits for the environment of shifting to a remote workforce should not be understated, and are more important now than ever before.
Remote working can do wonders for an employee’s well-being and morale. And happy, healthy, and motivated employees are a company’s greatest asset.
Remote jobs offer greater freedom, less stress, cost savings, and invariably lead to a better personal life for the worker.
Here are some of the top benefits of remote working for employees.
Better Work/Life Balance
If you ask employees why they want to work remotely, they’ll often say it’s because they want a better work/life balance.
The term work/life balance can mean different things depending on the person, but it comes down to having greater flexibility to design one’s life.
For an employee that is a fitness buff, it can mean setting up a home gym and cranking out some pull-ups between Zoom meetings.
For others, a greater work/life balance can mean that they get to be close to their family all day long, and they don’t have to choose between advancing their careers and being there for their kids.
Whatever it means to an individual employee, remote work affords them the time and freedom to maintain a positive home life, without sacrificing performance at work. That’s why the highest performing companies and workers in the future are all going to be remote-first.
At the time of writing this article, rising gas prices is a major topic in the USA. A commute can drain employees in many ways, one of which is on their wallets.
This is especially true if you have team members who live in the suburbs and need to drive to the city for work or vice versa.
Employees spend a ton of money (not to mention time) on this daily commute. Cutting this cost out completely is reason enough on its own for many people to leave the office and look for a remote job.
There’s also the potential savings on food costs when you don’t need to come into the office. A lot of employees end up eating at restaurants every day, which gets expensive, fast.
They can end up making poor food choices based on convenience, leading to them becoming sluggish and tired mid-afternoon.
Working from home allows employees to make better, cheaper food choices. The savings you get from being able to prepare meals in your own kitchen every day, instead of eating at a restaurant, can end up feeling like a pay raise all on its own.
We mentioned the cost of commuting to work every day, as well as briefly mentioning the time it takes.
But it’s worth expanding on this, as there are many ways that not having to commute becomes a huge benefit for a remote employee.
There is probably a no bigger drain on energy, mood, and productivity than sitting in traffic for an hour twice a day.
If you’ve ever done the suburb-to-city commute stuck on the freeway in your car, you know very well there aren’t too many happy campers to be found in those circumstances.
Add on top of that weather conditions in the middle of winter, and we’re talking a straight-up nightmare.
In big cities, it can be a little better if there’s a robust public transport system. At least you can plug in your earphones and listen to a podcast or audiobook as you cram into the subway train. But it’s still a time-sink, and often stressful when you’ve got to catch a train during rush hour.
Location independence affords remote employees the freedom to cut out the time and stress of commuting completely.
Whether you log in and work from home, or take a short walk to a neighborhood coffee shop, eliminating the commute is huge.
Remote workers can use the time saved to get a little more sleep, work on personal projects outside working hours, or simply get more face time with the ones they love.
Most people value a few core things. Having more choices, freedom, and control over their own lives usually comes in at or near the top of that list.
This is why flexible work is one of the most desired perks for job seekers, according to multiple surveys.
The ability to work remotely allows an employee to regain control over their lives. They get to choose where they work from, when they work, what they wear to work, etc.
Remote workers don’t feel like their job is something they’re being forced to do every day under duress.
They can optimize their schedule around what’s best for their family, social lives, and health.
Working remotely can also allow more freedom to travel. Instead of waiting for your vacation days, you may be able to see different parts of the world while still performing your regular duties at work, remotely.
There’s even a huge community of people who use their status as a remote worker to travel the world, known as digital nomads.
All of the factors listed above, like greater savings, no commute, more flexibility, etc., ultimately leads to lower stress.
Chronic stress is widespread in today’s society. Not only is it bad for mental health, but it can also be detrimental to physical health, increasing inflammation in the body and raising the risk of diseases like diabetes.
The traditional office is a huge driver of stress levels in today’s employees. Whether it’s the commute, sitting in a monotone cubicle the whole day, office politics, or a mix of all, removing the office can go some way towards solving the stress epidemic as well.
Stressed employees become burnt out, which leads to health issues, absenteeism, higher employee turnover and a negative impact on company culture.
Remote work is here to stay. And as we’ve outlined here, the benefits can be immense for both the employees and the business.
Employees working remotely are happier, display increased productivity, and have the time and freedom to build a positive and fulfilling life outside of work.
This benefits both the employer and employee – as does eliminating the need for a long, costly and environmentally detrimental commute.
All the benefits of remote working discussed in this article show just why freedom to choose your preferred working environment is fast becoming a non-negotiable for the modern workforce.
There are, of course, challenges adapting to a remote, modern workplace, which can result in issues if not handled right. Be sure to check out our article on the challenges of remote work and how to avoid them.
Flamingo makes managing your team’s paid time off a breeze.