It is no longer news that the size and scope of remote working have increased significantly in the last 10 years. It is becoming the new norm for the growing majority of the population.
Speaking of its growth in the last decade, it has become the standard operating mode for at least 50 percent of the US workforce, and it is no longer attributed to tech startups only.
Traditional employers are now on board to promote a flexible work arrangement higher up the pipeline. In fact, 83 percent of entrepreneurs said flexible hours helped boost their productivity.
For employees, remote work guided by flexible schedules means additional recreational and family time, a personalized working environment, greater freedom to travel, and zero commutes, among other benefits.
That said, a lot of businesses now allow their employees to work from home in a bid to retain talent and stand out in today’s tight labor market. In fact, in 2017, only 15 percent of US companies didn’t allow remote work.
There are plenty of reasons why this is so.
A whopping 83 percent of remote workers say they do not need to be in an office to be productive, and 60 percent say they would leave their jobs for a remote position at the same pay rate.
Remote workers have been found to be 13.5 percent more productive than their office-based counterparts, and 50 percent of employees are less likely to quit when they have remote positions or flexible work arrangements.
With a flexible schedule, telecommuters are less likely to get tired of work and are more engaged than their office counterparts.
Why remote workers are outperforming office workers
The following are a few reasons why remote workers are outperforming office workers:
1. Remote workers are happier and more productive people
Flexibility offers much more than recruiting the best talents out there. Telecommuters have more room to strike a balance between their jobs and personal lives.
Jobs with late close hours have been found to affect many families and cause sparks of friction in their ties. However, telecommuters have a better chance of increasing their family time.
In addition to caring for their families, they can travel, relocate, go shopping, take vacations, and engage in a host of other non-work related activities without putting their careers on the line.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that telecommuters are 24 percent more likely to feel happy.
Contrary to what most people believe, remote workers aren’t looking to avoid work. Increased productivity is, in fact, one of the greatest perks of working from home.
2. Remote teams are more inclusive and composed of higher-quality workers
To maximize job satisfaction and job performance, it is necessary to hire the most relevant and qualified candidates. Unfortunately, brands and businesses are limited by their local talent pools, which do not boast of skilled workers.
By shifting to a remote workforce, businesses can expand their scope to include talents who already have jobs, work part-time, or are limited by geographical locations. As an employer, you get a chance to get the best fit for your job position.
3. Better working environments and fewer interruptions
For the most part, it is the distance more than a distraction that hinders worker engagement.
Think of all the distractions that exist in traditional work environments – check-ins from micromanaging supervisors, gossip, idle conversations, office politics, friction between coworkers, and multiple breaks for food, coffee, and impromptu meetings.
These distractions play a pivotal role in disrupting a worker’s sense of focus, and, as a consequence, affect their productivity in every way.
It might look like wasting only a couple of minutes, but traditional settings also see harassment, bullying, and all other forms of unsafe and illegal work behavior.
Working alone increases engagement as workers can avoid quarrels with coworkers and wasting time. Remote workers choose how and when to continue work-related activities. This helps them to gain full control of their environment.
4. Remote teams have better channels to connect, collaborate, and contribute
A common concern among companies that have failed to embrace the remote work culture is how they get to foster cohesion in their team.
How do I promote unity and cohesion among the members of my workforce? Don’t they become isolated? How do they meet their coworkers?
These are only some of the numerous questions that run through the minds of employers who have decided to stick with traditional work settings.
The truth is that it is even harder to help teamwork in such controlled work environments. Thanks to advancements in technology, telecommuters tend to also connect better with their coworkers online than they would ordinarily do in person.
Online tools like Dropbox, Slack, Skype, and Google Drive have made it easy for members of a virtual team to share documents, connect, and collaborate virtually on formal and personal grounds.
Bringing together skilled workers scattered across diverse geographical locations through virtual communication helps their collaboration, improves connections, and, in general, improves the quality of the workforce.
5. Remote work flexibility helps self-determination
Virtual teams are given more flexibility as they are not confined to regular working schedules.
Workers who are in a creative field can get pay and compensation based on the number of projects they complete rather than the number of work hours they put into it.
Service-oriented workers, on the other hand, can work only when they are needed. This kind of work encourages workers to take their careers into their own hands, not to mention that it would also lower the overhead costs of companies.
It is worth mentioning that working remotely isn’t for everyone.
While it helps employers get better-skilled workers because of its broad reach, not every telecommuter possesses the drive and discipline to work from home. However, that is because they aren’t the right fit in the first place.
In any case, remote work helps reduce idle conversations and gossip in and around the office, provides lesser stress levels, and helps employers to work more effectively. It is set to increase the overall productivity of any company that uses this working model.
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Andriana Moskovska is proud to call herself SmallBizGenius’s community manager. Her mission is simple: to connect small business owners with the best tools and resources to help them thrive. When she’s not working, Andriana likes to go for walks with her two pet dachshunds and binge-watch documentaries, usually not at the same time.