A coin has two faces. And so does a pandemic. Though we can’t ignore the hindrances caused by the pandemic, there are also some positive things that came out of it. And one of them is that it made us test our own limitations regarding workplace flexibility and adaptability, while pushing us to break free of them. At a time when co-working spaces were on the rise, it showed us that even remote working is also an option. Not an option that you choose only when you are pushed into a corner, but one which you can willingly opt for even during normal times.
It is beneficial for employees for the obvious reasons. Now, shall we see from an employer’s perspective? For companies like Infosys, Siemens, Twitter, Nielsen, Coinbase and Shopify to consider remote work as a long-term option, there must be ‘something’ in it. So, let us try to find out that exact ‘something’ in the next few minutes.
Business Benefits of Remote Work
- Fill the Talent Gap:
Back in 2017 itself, Randstad Sourceright’s Talent Trends Report, based on a survey of 400 human capital leaders from more than 60 countries, showed that organisations were planning to turn to contingent workers to fill the talent gap. Remote work option removes geographic constraints between employers and employees. As a HR, you no longer need to worry about not finding the ‘perfect fit’ or not finding any qualified leads for niche skills. The whole world of workforce across borders is accessible now!
- Less Employee Turnover:
A two-year study conducted with the travel company, Ctrip, showed that there was a 50% decrease in employee attrition along with fewer sick days. The company also saved almost $2,000 per employee on rent by reducing their office space. In general, proving improved productivity, saving transit time, and getting a better work-life balance increases the employee satisfaction and in the long run, reduces attrition rate of an organisation.
- Less Expenditure:
Even after assisting employees in setting up the infrastructure at home, companies do save big time on office space, equipment, and travel reimbursement. Rohit Kapoor, vice-chairman & CEO of EXL Service, said “The average cost of an employee in analytics & BPO companies is $24,000 in office, which could decline to $18,000-20,000 in WFH.” And based on the estimates from the Global Workplace Analytics Telework Savings Calculator, a single company can annually save $11,000 per remote worker who telecommutes 50% of the time.
- D&I is No Longer a Struggle
All companies have Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) agenda, programs and strive to meet the set expectations. Remote work opens up a new avenue for this. Not only can you hire an ethnically diverse talents but also a greater number of women, especially mothers, who would be willing to consider working with you. HR Exchange Network highlights the benefits of remote work in this regard in its recent article. So, for a HR showcasing D&I in the workforce will no longer be a headache but a cakewalk.
- Increased Productivity from the Employees:
Statistics from the world’s leading research institutions like Gallup, Harvard University, Global Workplace Analytics, and Stanford University show that Teleworkers are on an average 35-40% more productive than their office counterparts. There is an output increase of at least 4.4%. And remote workers produce results with 40% lesser quality defects.
- Business Continuity Plan
With a remote workforce, the organisation will be less prone to business disruption due to disasters. It might be a flood, earthquake, fire, system failure or riots. In 2019, natural disasters caused $306 billion in economic loss. And the June 2020 Global Economic Prospects , envisions a 5.2 percent contraction in global GDP in 2020. But this remote workforce, your backup workforce, sitting at a remote location, will be your contingency plan to avoid business discontinuity in such scenarios.
A recent Gartner survey states that 74 per cent of the CFOs of global companies plan to shift at least 5 per cent of their on-site employees to a work-from-home model permanently post-Covid.
Has your organisation redefined the ‘workplace’?
Let us know about your thoughts in the comments.