The 2020 global health crisis caused a wave in business owners recommending remote work for as many employees as feasible. It’s now three years later, and while a portion of the market was eager to return to the office as soon as possible, the other portion happily stayed home. Some people have proven born to work from home. For reasons varying from in-house situation to being highly social by nature, other people have struggled through it, often to the point of their productivity sufferring a loss.
Whatever the results were for your team, we can now see that both the hybrid and fully remote modes of work have become the norm, and it seems unlikely to change in the coming years. So, let’s embrace it and — if you still have doubts — consider the benefits that remote work could have on your company.
Keep the team longer
Personal goals and challenges aside, one of the factors making workers think about changing jobs is the strain of the daily commute and tensions at the office. That’s two things that are not so much a problem when they’re working from home. There’s no traveling to work, and when much of the communication is asynchronous, a lot of the tension between employees can be lifted. Add to it the benefit of time-saving translating to a better work-life balance, and you’re on your way to a higher employee retention percentage.
Much more flexibility
That would be the other side of the higher employee loyalty coin. Both sides of the work-from-home scenario can stay less tied to one another. Since the employee is not dedicating time to get to the office each day, they are free to take on a second gig a few hours a week, either to help with their income or with skills and experience gaining. On the other hand, the employer could contract the worker for fewer hours a week if 40 hours are not required. The ability to hire someone for just a few hours a week — or month — can be of great value when the company experiences interchangeable periods of growth and stagnation.
Employee location bears no meaning
Clearly, instead of being limited to the best candidates in the city the company has an office in, you can take your pick from all of the candidates out there. That can also mean that companies situated in countries that are costly to live in can work with team members from places with a lower cost of living, letting them reduce expenses even further than by just not having to add another workstation to the office.
It’s easy to go remote when you know how to
With digital work tools and secure offline collaboration software, answering the question of “what is the team doing when no one is watching” is not too difficult. Having insight into what each worker is doing, regardless of where they are and what time zone they’re in, and being able to contact them directly about each work item, rather begs the question of why would you need them to be sitting in your office in the first place? Collaborating in cloud-based environments has very much become the norm.
Lower environmental impact
Unless 100% of your team were cycling or jogging to work, you would see the clear advantage of not having hundreds of people driving or otherwise commuting as of benefit to our cities’ pollution levels. But looking at the matter more broadly, we can expect that having the ability to work for any company from home could mean that fewer people will decide to migrate to the nearest big city and stay where they are. Or, the other way round — they’ll move away to a cleaner area, as we saw in 2020. This can mean better distribution of people across the globe, which is also part of decreasing our impact on the environment.
First posted on the Kanban Tool Blog.