Although a large number of businesses have begun calling employees back to the office, many members of the workforce are understandably hesitant to return. For one thing, despite societal pressure to pretend that the pandemic is over, COVID-19 continues to present a very real threat to every American, and workplaces can be hotbeds of infection. Secondly, many people have come to discover that there’s simply no reason for them to report to a formal workplace every day. After all, if one’s job can effectively be done from the comfort and safety of home, what’s the point of forcing them to do it from an office? As such, businesses that are grappling with whether or not to end remote work should consider the benefits of leaving it intact.
Some employers are hesitant to allow remote work for fear of decreased employee productivity. In their minds, employees can’t be trusted to meet deadlines or manage their time in the absence of constant supervision. While it’s true that some members of the workforce benefit from the structure of the nine-to-five workday, the vast majority of us are capable of doing our jobs effectively and efficiently from the comfort of home.
In fact, rather than act as a hindrance to productivity, remote work generally has the opposite effect. When employees don’t have to worry about bosses and supervisors breathing down their necks, it’s often much easier to complete work at an even clip and meet deadlines with aplomb. In other words, remote work doesn’t disincentivize productivity – it merely removes the most stressful elements of the modern work experience.
A Well-Rested Workforce
One of the worst things about the traditional work experience is getting up at disagreeably early times and contending with relentless rush hour traffic. This can be particularly difficult for people who work in congested urban areas and individuals who live a considerable distance from the respective workplaces. The more harrowing your commute, the earlier more time you’ll need to give yourself – and the more time you’ll need to give yourself, the earlier you’ll need to get up. This often results in stressed, poorly-rested employees.
On the flipside, not having to worry about a frustrating commute enables workers to start the day at a more agreeable time and tackle their work with fully-charged batteries. Many of life’s biggest challenges seem more manageable when proper sleep habits are practiced, and the better-rested your employees are, the more productive they’re likely to be – which is good for your bottom line.
Favorable Worker Retention Rates
Allowing continued remote work can also do wonders for your employee retention rates. For starters, many workers would rather exit their current jobs than return to the office full-time, so if any of your team members are of this mindset, putting the brakes on remote work may result in some resignations. Furthermore, allowing remote work can be a fantastic way to increase company loyalty. For instance, if a valuable team member is offered a higher-paying position with another employer, there’s a good chance that they’ll turn it down if remote work isn’t on the table.
Providing remote work options can also be a boon to your recruitment efforts. Talented job-seekers are highly likely to seek out positions at your company if they know that remote work is on offer, even if your starting salaries leave something to be desired.
Unsurprisingly, employees who have ample control over their schedules, get plenty of rest and don’t have to contend with brutal commutes are happier and more productive than people who are forced to needlessly adhere to the traditional work experience. The happier your employees are, the more likely they are to stick with your company, and allowing remote work is a relatively easy way to increase employee happiness in a timely manner. You can also show your workers how much you value their happiness and input by conducting a pulse survey.
The COVID-19 pandemic was an eye-opening experience in a number of regards. On the business side of things, many members of the workforce came to discover that remote work is not only perfectly feasible, but in many cases preferable to the traditional work experience. As such, even with many employers now calling workers back to the office, a considerable chunk of the workforce would prefer to continue working remotely. So, if a fair number of your employees are requesting continued remote work, you’d do well to consider the advantages discussed above.