The COVID-19 pandemic has upended everyday life for countless people around the world. From mask-wearing to social distancing, there is no shortage of changes that people have had to adjust to protect themselves against the virus. However, one of the most significant changes inspired by the pandemic is switching from an office setting to a work from home environment.
For millions, commuting to an office every day and collaborating with their colleagues in person was an unbreakable routine. When the coronavirus forced them to set up a home office in their living rooms, many of them struggled to adapt to this unfamiliar way of life.
In the face of such uncertainty and disorder, it's crucial to remind your employees of the numerous telecommuting benefits that can enrich their lives. From greater flexibility to a healthier workforce, encouraging your employees to work from home can do wonders for their morale. Here are eight of the most notable remote work benefits to take note of.
1. More Free Time
Considering the average commuter spends at least 54 hours a year driving to and from work, more free time is one of the most discussed benefits of telecommuting. After they made the switch to remote work in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of employees woke up to the fact that their daily commute was a colossal time suck. Now, they see endless possibilities for filling up the hours they wasted on the road every day.
One of the most apparent advantages of more free time is a greater output. The more time your employees have to focus on work, the more they'll achieve daily. However, some workers may also choose to spend their extra time practicing a hobby or pursuing a passion project. More free time can help boost their overall happiness and satisfaction, trickling into their work, and promoting a more positive workforce in general.
2. Lower Risk of Illness
Working in an office environment has always been a significant source of exposure to illness. However, in the era of COVID-19, this is an even more significant risk for employees and managers alike. The coronavirus is an airborne respiratory illness, which means that it primarily infects people via tiny droplets that travel through the air. The risk of infection is even higher in indoor environments, especially where many people gather to interact with one another. Given this information, an office setting is considered a high-risk environment in terms of COVID-19 exposure.
While companies may implement specific safety measures, such as plexiglass barriers between desks and a mask mandate, these precautions aren't foolproof. The best way to keep your employees protected from the coronavirus is to have them work remotely on a full-time basis.
3. Increased Productivity
Many managers mistakenly believe that remote employees are distracted, less productive employees. However, research has suggested otherwise. One study found that employees who work from home spend 1.4 more days per month than those who work in an office. Meanwhile, another body of research concluded that telecommuting workers were about 13 percent more efficient than their office-based counterparts.
There are various reasons for this jump in productivity among remote workers. One of the most significant telecommuting benefits is taking more breaks throughout the day, which is an advantage that remote employees have fully embraced. Taking frequent breaks helps workers stay energized and focused during the workday, leading to greater output. Besides, many employees experience fewer distractions in their homes, enabling them to dedicate their full attention to the task at hand.
4. Higher Flexibility
When they start working from home, many employees relish the opportunity to set their work hours. This is for a good reason, as greater flexibility contributes significantly to worker satisfaction and productivity. By sticking to a schedule that meets their individual needs, your employees can make the most out of their work hours.
A flexible schedule also means that employees have the freedom to adjust their workday according to their innate tendencies. For example, if one of your workers considers themselves more of a night owl, they can choose to get the bulk of their work done in the evening or at night. Alternatively, morning larks can opt to work during their most productive hours in the early morning and relax later in the evening.
No matter what type of schedule your employees design for themselves, they'll be most productive when setting hours that meet their personal needs.
5. Greater Savings
Telecommuting benefits aren't only limited to personal job satisfaction. As it turns out, remote work can also help your workers save money.
When working in an office, employees must account for various expenses, which can add up in the long run. Some of the most common costs associated with working in an office setting include the following:
- Gas prices
- Public transport fees
- Daycare costs
- Insurance premiums
- Real estate costs
When your workers switch to a home office, they automatically save a substantial amount of money to put towards these expenses.
Also, managers can cut down on numerous costs when they switch to a remote workforce. Some of the most significant financial remote work benefits for companies include a lower overhead, reduced attrition, decreased travel costs, and fewer unscheduled absences. Overall, employees and managers alike benefit greatly from working on a fully remote basis.
6. Fewer Emissions
One of the most meaningful telecommuting benefits for everyone involved is a cleaner environment. This is primarily due to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. If your employees start working from home instead of commuting to the office every day, they'll be traveling much less often than usual. As a result, they can help cleanse the air of harmful emissions with every trip they save.
When you add up all of the emissions that you and your employees save due to telecommuting, the impact is monumental. Making the switch to remote work is worth it when it comes to promoting a cleaner, healthier environment for everyone to enjoy.
7. Greater Sense of Comfort
While you may intentionally set up office environments to promote focused work, this approach often backfires for many employees. In many office settings, incredibly open office layouts, workers find themselves battling the countless distractions around them. Whether a desk neighbor is repeatedly striking up a conversation with an employee or your workers feel uncomfortable at their desk, it can be hard to cater to your office setup to all of your employees.
In a work from home environment, your workers can set up their home office according to what suits them best. They may choose to work from their kitchen table or even get some fresh air by bringing their laptop out to the yard. Regardless of what they choose, there's no doubt that more comfortable employees are happier and more productive employees.
8. Better Accommodations
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 19 percent of workers in the United States had a disability in 2019. With so many employees struggling with some disability, managers may encounter particular challenges when trying to cater to their needs. Not only can it be costly to put these accommodations in place, but it's also impractical to ensure that every wish is fulfilled while trying to run a company at the same time.
When you switch to telecommuting, every employee with a disability is free to arrange their workspace to meet their exact needs. From setting up more comfortable desk space or chair to purchasing special equipment that helps them do a better job, all of your workers with disabilities can do whatever they please to make their job more comfortable for them.
The comfort level of these workers isn't just a personal benefit. When your workers with disabilities have everything they need to do their job properly, they'll also be noticeably more efficient and productive. At the end of the day, all it takes is a single employee to get the job done productively to inspire the rest of your workers to follow in their footsteps.
Embrace These Telecommuting Benefits for a More Productive Workforce
With any change comes resistance and a desire to return to normal. However, as more and more companies switch to telecommuting, they recognize that the numerous remote work benefits outweigh the drawbacks. From more productive employees to reduced costs, all of the telecommuting benefits listed here are yours to enjoy once you make the switch yourself. After you've successfully made the transition to remote work with help from the experts at TrueNxus, you may even find that it's a much better arrangement than a traditional office environment.