When the subject of remote working comes up, most people immediately think about the employee side of things. After all, doesn’t the employee benefit the most from this setup? Well, not necessarily. There are actually plenty of employer-side benefits to maintaining a remote workforce.
The Rise in Remote Working
“In the 1990s, email began a revolution that has in recent years only accelerated thanks to advancements in mobile, social and cloud technologies, freeing employees from restrictions on where or when they can work,” says Hayley Decker of Dialpad, a leader in business phone systems. “As a result, vast cultural changes have swept the workplace.”
Decker points to a statistic that says employees only spend 50 to 60 percent of their work time at their desk now, which is clear indication that today’s employees are “anywhere workers.” And the popularity of remote working is only going to increase in the coming years.
In 2015, 37 percent of U.S. workers surveyed said they have telecommuted, which was up from just 9 percent in 1995. But we’re just touching the tip of the iceberg. Roughly one-third of companies surveyed in an another study say that more than half of their full-time workforce will be working remotely by as soon as 2020. Roughly 25 percent of companies say that more than three-quarters of their employees will not work in a traditional office by 2020. That’s just a little more than three years away.
Four Employer-Side Benefits
But why are employers just as anxious as employees to establish remote working systems? Well, benefits abound for companies, too. Let’s check out a few of the biggest benefits that employers enjoy:
1. No Wasted Time Commuting
What’s one of the biggest daily stressors for employees? For many, it’s commuting to and from work in congested traffic. For employers, this is a bigger issue than you may think. Employees show up to work frustrated and stressed out, which impacts their focus and productivity. Many will also show up late because of traffic or try to leave early in an attempt to beat rush hour. Regardless, it all affects you and prevents you from maximizing their time.
When employees work remotely – likely from home – they don’t have to deal with long commutes. And if they do, they can plan accordingly so that they aren’t wasting valuable time on the interstate. That’s good news for them and even better news for you.
2. Lower Turnover
As you’re well aware, turnover is expensive and frustrating. It can cost thousands of dollars to recruit, interview, and train a new employee. Furthermore, it damages office culture and creates a sense of turbulence. Remote working helps ease turnover and therefore strengthens your company.
“When you give your employees the ability to customize their schedule so that they can better balance their professional life and their personal life, an interesting thing happens: they become grateful. In turn, their gratitude manifests itself in the form of loyalty towards the company,” says Jennifer Parris of Remote.co. “A loyal staff equals great productivity and decreased turnover, which, as any employer knows, is a great cost savings.”
3. Direct Cost Savings
When employees work from home, employers directly benefit on the financial side of things. Specifically, one study shows that businesses save $11,000 annually for each employee who works remotely.
Where do these savings come from? For starters, remote workers are far less likely to call in sick than those who work in an office. Secondly, businesses don’t have to provide the same equipment and office space to remote workers. Third, remote workers are more likely to return to work after appointments, rather than take the rest of the day off.
4. Better Sales Mobility
The fourth major benefit of employing remote workers is sales mobility. When you have employees working from home – especially when they’re in different cities, states, and regions – you instantly have “troops” on the ground. You have salespeople who can easily and effortlessly engage different markets that you would otherwise have to spend time and money traveling to.
This sales mobility may not seem like a big issue, but for companies that do a lot of business travel, it can make a huge difference both in terms of the bottom line and strengthening customer relationships for the better.
Unlocking an Employee’s Full Potential
In order to unlock the full potential of your employees, it’s imperative that you recognize their desire for convenience, flexibility, and work-life balance. One way you can appease all of these desires is by allowing them to work remotely. But it isn’t just about them. As you can see, there are plenty of benefits for you, the employer, as well. And when you study these benefits in tandem with the employee-side advantages, the decision to encourage remote working becomes a no-brainer.
Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources, including Entrepreneur.com, HuffingtonPost.com, and Business.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.