Tech-savvy millennials and Generation Z (those born in 1995 or later) aspire to work in their dream jobs with a good work-life balance. Work-life integration, such as a good workplace culture and flexibility in terms of work hours and work location, will be expected and required, especially by up and coming younger workers.
In a FlexJobs study, 54% of workers said they found their home the most productive environment when trying to get an important work task done. Only 19% said they the office during regular working hours was their preferred location to get important work done.
Due to the rapid growth of the Irish workplace, it’s predicted that remote-working policies will rival the popularity of fixed office locations by 2025.
How remote work benefits companies?
Attract more high-quality employees
Many companies that allow employees to work from home, do so to attract highly skilled employees who would otherwise work elsewhere. Companies that hire remote workers have a larger pool of top-notch talent.
Tech companies in particular often offer the possibility of remote work to improve the selection of qualified and interested candidates.
Reduced company costs
A decrease in overhead costs such as mortgage, utilities, office supplies, cleaning services, water and office equipment is a significant benefit of flexible working options.
On top of that, studies reveal that employees would be willing to take a pay cut, forgo health benefits, and even work longer hours, if they were given the opportunity to work from home.
Higher retention rates
Employees who can work from home, are less stressed, happier, and achieve better work-life balance. They’re also much easier to retain.
A study by Staples Advantage found 76% of telecommuters were more loyal to their company with the option for remote work and telecommuting. On the flipside of that, 39% have quit a job, turned down a promotion, or have not taken a job because of a lack of flexible work options.
Increased organisational productivity
Working from home doesn’t work for all industries, but for those that it does apply to, research shows that: remote workers are 53% more likely to work over 40 hours a week than non-telecommuters.
Office environment – which includes being interruptions by meetings, co-workers, office politics and general noise saps their productivity. Having the option to work early in the morning or late at night also helps employee productivity.
Retained knowledge and investment
Companies can lose staff when an employee’s partner is relocated. When an employee leaves, a lot of knowledge and investment leaves with them. A remote/work-from-home policy helps solves this problem and ensures you retain your best talent.
Risks to remote working options
Potential security issues
The Blueface Business Communications Technology Insight report for 2018 found that during the last 12 months 57% of companies with more than 200 employees have endured malicious hacking or phishing attacks.
When security gets overlooked, companies are left vulnerable to cybercriminals. If your staff works remotely use cloud options to minimise risk.
Loss of interaction & company culture
When someone works from home, they don’t get the benefit of interacting with their co-workers. Many complex “back and forths” in a work-from-home setting could be quickly discussed and resolved over the water cooler or in the office hallway.
Linking with interaction loss, ineffective communication can be another issue. Being able to discuss ideas is often more effective in person, as people spot others’ reactions and react accordingly. Also, as remote employees often have flexible hours spontaneous communication with them can be problematic.
To combat this look into online chat options such as Google Chat or Slack or encourage your employees to pick up the phone rather than engaging in long email threads.
Remote working arrangements are on the rise and will become more common soon. Although they do bring some risks that businesses need to be aware of, it seems the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.