Remote work is quickly becoming the new norm. A study has shown that remote work increased by 159% between 2005 and 2017.
There are currently 4.7 million people who telecommute in the United States alone, an increase of 800,000 from 2015.
This number continues to grow dramatically. More companies are recognizing the benefits of integrating remote work into their business.
Sara Sutton, founder, and CEO of FlexJobs stated,
“With improvements to technology and increasing demands from employees in a tight labor market, we fully expect to see the momentum around this important workplace continue to grow.”
As an employer, you may have already seen some of the benefits of implementing remote work. Can you attest to some of these?
Benefits of Including Remote Work in Your Business
1. Reduced Time and Cost of Commuting
Remote work reduces the amount of time and money employees spend traveling.
According to Brett Shockley, the average American commuter spends one week in traffic every year.
With the use of technology and communication, this is time that could be better spent working from home.
2. Lower Costs of Rent & Equipment
Costs of real estate and utilities are estimated at an average of $10,000 per employee annually. By implementing remote work, there is more space available for office workers. Or, you may be able to downsize the space you require for your business operations.
Organizations can create more collaborative areas and reassign the extra space more efficiently.
3. Access to a Wider Talent Pool
According to Jessica Greenwalt, Founder of Pixelkeet and Co-Founder of CrowdMed, their organization has been able to attract and recruit talented employees who want full-time jobs, yet the freedom that comes with the freelance lifestyle.
It also gives businesses access to talent across the globe without geographic restrictions.
“Pixelkeet has been able to attract very talented designers and developers who want to live the freelance lifestyle without having to fish for work on their own. It’s also been easy for us to work with clients from around the globe because we have a team member in a timezone convenient for communicating with most clients.”
4. Increased Productivity
In a 2019 study by the International Workplace Group, 85% of employers who have implemented a flexible work environment attest to increased productivity.
Over 40% of businesses report a 37% increase in productivity as a result of a flexible workplace policy.
5. More Autonomous Employees
Working from home means employees have control of how they spend their time. They can operate as it suits them.
Some may enjoy working in a tidy, home office environment, while others prefer to work on the sofa or late at night.
By creating their perfect work environment, employees can produce their best work.
6. Employee Retention
You will be able to keep good employees for longer by promoting remote work. One way it helps retain employees is that they can still work for you even if they move to a new city or even country.
Pregnant women and early mothers will also be able to keep working with small children to care for.
Another factor to consider is the need millenials have for flexible work hours. This will attract young, talented employees.
Top Tips to Improving Productivity of Remote Workers
There is always room for improvement and organizations are looking for ways to increase productivity.
Your employees could be full-time remote workers, or you might run a hybrid office with some part-time remote workers.
How do you ensure that your business reaps the benefits of encouraging remote work?
These 5 simple tips will help you manage them more efficiently.
The end result? Increased productivity and a boost to your output and profits.
“$4.5 Trillion – The financial boost that the US could experience from increased flexible working” – The International Workplace Group Global Workspace Survey
1. Provide the Right Tools
Whether an employee works from home or in an office, they need the right tools to be effective in their roles. The main tools are those used for collaboration and communication.
Collaboration tools allow team members to share notes on projects. One such app is Evernote Work Chat.
Employees can see the bigger picture in a workspace when working on projects such as the 10,000ft app.
Communication is key when working remotely and can often be the biggest challenge. This is easy to overcome with the multitude of tools available for communication.
One such app is Slack. It works like online headquarters for ideas to be shared or casual conversations. For ‘digital face-to-face’ communication, Zoom is appropriate for video conferencing and daily meetings.
2. Avoid Micromanagement
The benefits of creating a more autonomous work environment include increased productivity, better performance and lower employee turnover.
Experts say that more autonomous employees are also happier in the workplace.
This can be applied to office workers by letting them set their work schedules. By allowing them to decide how they do their work makes them responsible and accountable.
3. Recognize Achievements
Keep workers engaged by recognizing their achievements. This can be in the form of bonuses, time off or gifts.
Peer recognition is useful for encouraging employees to keep achieving the company goals.
By establishing a ‘digital watercooler’, employees can ‘pat each other on the back’ when successful.
4. Communicate Clear Goals With Rewards
Managing office work involves defining the ultimate goals. You also need to set timelines for when to achieve them.
It is important to regularly review these goals and communicate them effectively.
Formalize these goals to measure performance for both remote and office employees.
5. Establish Daily Check-Ins
They can also consult with their employers and raise any concerns they may have. If you work with a highly collaborative team, a conference call may be more effective.
6. Offer Job Training & Development
Human capital makes the difference between great and average organizations. It is often the biggest expense and investment.
Keeping your employees up-to-date with technological or job-specific skills is crucial. Because they can perform their duties more effectively, they are more productive.
For remote workers, online courses are the most obvious choice for skill development. Office workers can attend monitored in-house training sessions.
Taking the Next Step
So you have these few pointers on how to increase the productivity of your remote & office workers.
Sometimes, it works to treat both types of employees the same but managers need to recognize the unique challenges remote workers face.
By combining these tips, you may see a noted increase in overall productivity. Although this list is not comprehensive, we hope it goes a little way in helping your business. Use it to achieve greater success along with a more motivated workforce.