The modern workplace is an ever-evolving ecosystem, with AI, IoT, and other innovative tech fundamentally transforming the way we interact and do business. Because of advancements in technology, many companies have begun offering remote work opportunities to their staff.
For paranoid owners and managers who envision their remote staff eating potato chip crumbs off of their pajamas while parked in front of the TV all day, study after study has shown remote workers to be more productive than their in-office counterparts. Due to the plethora of benefits business owners are reaping from offering this type of flexibility, the future of work is increasingly moving towards one dominated by a remote workforce.
Here’s a look at why so many businesses are adopting remote work policies and how your company can prepare for the future of work.
The Transformational Impact of IoT Technology
The modern-day “smart home,” is furnished with interconnected electric systems, AI assistants, and similar technology designed to allow individuals to function in unison with innovative tech. Enhanced connectivity gives workers the ability to connect and communicate with co-workers and management from their home, Starbucks, the local bookstore, you name it. With this new augmented workplace, employers can better manage remote employees, as every tool and device will be housed under one centralized system. Not only would this vastly improve data collection and analysis, but it’ll boost workflow efficiency, allowing workers to focus on more high-level, revenue-focused activities.
As demand for talent rises, companies who adopt a remote worker strategy will broaden their access to skilled candidates. Fishing for individuals nationwide, versus a specific geographical region, will help close an employer’s average time-to-fill, effectively reducing revenue loss from unfilled seats.
Remote Workers = Higher Productivity Levels
Between impromptu meetings, gossiping around the Keurig machine, and those distracting co-workers who just love yelling into their phone, it’s easy for employees to have their attention preoccupied with non-work related activities when working in an office. That’s why so many studies have shown time and time again that remote workers have higher productivity levels.
According to research conducted by Gallup, workers who spend the majority of their work week remotely are significantly more engaged than those sitting at their desks in the office all day. Another study from PGI found 82% of remote workers also reported lower stress levels. By allowing workers to have more flexibility and control over their schedules, you’re promoting a healthy work-life balance, leading to higher job satisfaction among employees. A recent 2-year Stanford study showed that implementing a remote work policy led to a 50% decrease in employee attrition and saved the company nearly $2,000 per employee on rent and operating costs by downsizing office space.
Integrating Remote Work into Company Offerings
For businesses interested in adopting a remote work policy, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind to ensure its’ success. For employees to be equipped with the resources they need, they’ll have to have access to clear guidelines, established metrics to promote policy adherence, and sufficient technology. Whether they’re working off a company-provided laptop or required to use their own, they should be able to log into any software or programs necessary to fulfill their daily responsibilities.
To keep your staff from becoming the couch potatoes you fear, it’s essential to implement strong guidelines to keep workers disciplined and able to maintain a schedule. Since they won’t have a manager peeking over their shoulder all day, which is why remote work is so appealing to many, you’ll need to establish a concrete workflow, system to measure productivity, and keep communication open, so you’re always aware of the status on various projects and work that needs to be completed.
When there are clear milestones and instructions in place, it will help your employees stay focused on the task at hand, rather than operating blind, not knowing what to work on next. This is where strong leadership comes into play, as employees will have a clear framework of their deliverables and be motivated to achieve the goals you’ve outlined for them when communicated clearly.
According to Upwork, 53% of hiring managers are embracing flexible workforce models to help combat the growing talent shortage. By placing faith in your staff and opening up the option for remote work opportunities, it’ll help your business thrive in a multitude of arenas – attracting talent, retaining employees, boosting productivity, and increasing engagement levels.