The Benefits of Working Remotely: Lessons From the Work from Home Beta-Test
I don’t know if anyone would disagree that these past few weeks have been quite surreal. The entire city of Chicago has nearly ceased to operate and we are living in a period of history that will never be forgotten.
As all of this transpired, the Framework IT executive team had to make a swift agreement to enact the work from home policy; and similarly to the rest of the world – we didn’t exactly have an entirely executable plan.
Our team rallied to adapt and grow our business to remote status amidst the unfortunate circumstances. As we adjust to our current situation, it is becoming more obvious that the way we work may never be the same. Suggested or even mandatory quarantines have sprung the ultimate autonomy test onto employees, causing many businesses to hold their breaths and dive into the work from home game headfirst.
Working from home (WFH) certainly isn’t a new idea. In fact, during the past decade, remote work has grown 91%. Amid the uncertainty of the situation, we are here to offer more actionable data that will offer some optimism.
Working from home offers a multitude of benefits that a traditional office could never allow. Let's discuss the benefits so you can see if an increase in remote working would be the best solution for your organization.
The productivity increase alone is one of the top reasons working from home is massively beneficial to businesses and employees alike.
We live in a world full of distraction and the need to be constantly stimulated, and working from the comfort of your own home comes with an extra level of emotional support and ease.
A two-year-long study performed at Stanford University concluded that those who work remotely will produce an extra day’s worth of work every week versus those who commute. Consider how much your business could gain from that extra productivity.
Cleverly titled, Does Working From Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment, the experiment conducted in collaboration with the NASDAQ-listed Chinese travel agency, Ctrip. Volunteers were randomly selected to either work from home or in the office for nine months.
The study determined that “The overall impact of WFH was striking. The firm improved total factor productivity by between 20% to 30% and saved about $2,000 a year per employee.” Considering that businesses lose $600 billion every year due to workplace distractions like bathroom breaks, chatty co-workers, and fire alarms, these numbers are promising.
There are lots of distractions in the workplace that are reduced when working from home is an option. On average, 23% of your employee’s day is spent checking emails. It will also take an average of 25 minutes to return and focus on the original task after a workplace disruption. When working remotely these distractions will be greatly reduced.
Comfort, paired with the most appropriate technology platforms, will yield productivity and growth for the entire company.
Financial relief is also a very big perk of the work from home revolution, as there is a mutual, financial benefit between employee and employer.
A Global Workplace Analytics even found that over 1 in 3 employees would choose the ability to telecommute over getting a raise.
If you don’t have to live in close proximity to work, you can live in a more affordable space. Living in a metropolitan area like Chicago, we commonly see workers doing the “reverse commute” from the suburbs into the city to save money – as 4.7% of Chicago’s workforce is currently remote.
Commuting lengthy distances to work is exhausting mentally and financially. When compared with office employees, a survey by Airtasker of over 1,000 employees determined that remote workers saved $4,523.04 on fuel each year. This cost savings was also closely tied to increased morale.
Surprisingly enough, when an employee saves on gas, so does their employer. Another Global Workplace Analytics study concluded that employers can actually save over $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year. This is because the need for more real estate is greatly reduced. Overhead costs such as office supplies, phones, coffee, etc are also lessened.
Positive Work-life Balance
There is a reasonable difference in stress levels when being able to work remotely.
People struggle to find enough time in the day to manage normal life matters and working from home can provide that flexibility. It is next to impossible to do chores and errands when working a 9-5, full-time position.
The morale boost employees get when working from home is because they suddenly can catch up on life.
Errands can be done during lunch, and the dog will always be taken care of. Weekends can finally be dedicated to relaxation and recreation.
Many people feel that they waste time and energy in morning traffic when they can wake up, brew coffee and get to work faster than it would have taken to get to the office and settle in.
The average full-time commute is 30 minutes long – meaning Americans are wasting 250 work hours (Nearly a full month of work) in the car on the way to and from work.
To no surprise, Slive.com reports that “30% of workers said they had considered quitting their jobs as a result of their daily commute, with 62% saying they would not apply for certain jobs based on the length of the commute.”
Framework IT can help.
COVID-19 may be forcing the world to adjust to the trying times, but it is incredible the rate at which our country can come together to make important decisions.
Many businesses will eventually return to their status quo, but there will also be others who view this as a trial period for the future of business.
Framework IT can help ensure your company’s remote technology is functioning smoothly so each of your employees are prepared for every outcome.