According to Forbes, remote work will soon comprise the majority of the U.S. workforce. In some ways, that’s easy to understand: as an employee, the benefits of remote work make complete sense. After all, with remote work, employees have no geographic limitations, they’re trusted to do high-quality work within a home office or coworking space, allowing them to avoid long, inconvenient commutes, multi-step morning preparatory routines, and the strain that comes with the inevitable disagreements that occur between coworkers sharing an office space.
For employers, however, the advantages of hiring remote workers can be more difficult to imagine. If you’re weighing the pros and cons of hiring remote workers and struggling to come up with any positives, you’ve come to the right place. Take a look at just five of the many advantages of hiring remote workers.
1. Access to a Bigger Talent Pool
When you open positions to remote employees, you invite employees from across your country and around the world to apply to positions at your company or organization. In so doing, you invite a multitude of perspectives, educations and experiences to contribute to the many cherished employees who currently comprise your team.
2. A More Productive Workforce
Between early morning alarms, hour-long commutes, work days loaded with distraction, and whatever semblance of self care your employees can pack around the edges (think: workouts, manicures, food shopping, laundry, child care, and hobbies), it’s no wonder that the traditional nine-to-five office job is wiping employees out. With remote work, however, your employees gain back a lot of their personal time. The extra sleep employees gain when they aren’t commuting, and self-care time, enables them to more readily preserve their energy and focus for work when they need to.
And the results speak for themselves: As high as 77% of people report higher productivity when they work remotely.
3. Reduced Sick Leave
Going almost hand-in-hand with self-care, you’ll notice that when your employees are well-rested and aren’t exposed to the countless bacteria and viruses they typically encounter in a day’s commute–not to mention the germs they share within your office space–they’re less likely to need to call in sick. With their medicine, foods, vitamins, and other health necessities right at hand, they can take care of themselves in real time if they start feeling unwell. That means less work time lost to sick days.
4. A More Efficient Staff
There’s a lot to be said about the benefits of employees working together in a shared office environment. The opportunities for collaboration are unparalleled, relationships are built rapidly, teams come together and troubleshoot issues, and every staff member can easily see herself as part of something bigger.
That said, the traditional office environment isn’t without its faults. And today there’s a host of communication-based technology available to help synchronize and unite your team members, you. Water cooler talk is a powerful way to unite your employees, but the day-in, day-out conversations that take place among the cubicles in your office space can add up to expensive distractions that you can avoid with remote workers if you so choose.
5. Better Employee Retention
Although employees may turn toward other opportunities for a number of reasons, 95% of employees claim that remote work is a major draw for them. By offering remote work opportunities, you’re guaranteed to maintain employees who may love your organization and their jobs but could otherwise leave for reasons such as poor work-life balance, a long commute, or the negative toll of the workplace on their health.
Food for thought: According to Gartner, “By 2020, organizations that support a “choose-your-own-work-style” culture will boost employee retention rates by more than 10%.
While at first glance, remote work may seem like an employee-only benefit, hiring remote workers can be highly beneficial for employers as well. Consider the ways in which hiring remote staff could benefit your day-to-day (and quarter-to-quarter) operations from a financial standpoint–and a standpoint of holistic office culture–and you may realize it’s time to broaden your horizons beyond the traditional in-house nine-to-five.