Many studies clearly show that happier workers are more productive and loyal employees, who will provide enhanced value to their employers.
As the trend toward working from home (WFH) becomes more prevalent in small businesses, it is useful for employers and management to assess the most important benefits that employees get from this new environment and to provide them with optimal remote work options.
The statistics and trends cited in this article were found in survey results conducted by Airtasker, Ask.com, and Owl Labs.
Key Employee Benefits of WFH
- Less stress because of better work-life balance
WFH gives workers more flexibility to take care of their personal commitments and enables them to better focus on their work tasks.
- Flexibility to work anywhere, anytime
Remote work options allow employees to work the hours that suit them best, where they are at their most productive. This flexibility also enables employees to have more freedom in where they live and gives employers access to a much broader range of potential workers to hire.
- More time without a commute
Whatever time saved from a typical commute, which is considerable for those employees who live in metropolitan areas, can be used to start work earlier or for personal needs. This extra time contributes to less stress for employees. One survey found that an average commuter will get back 8.5 hours a week or 408 hours a year when they can take advantage of WFH.
- Improved focus with less office distractions
No ringing phones, chatty co-workers, or unplanned meetings will make a world of difference for employees’ peace of mind and productivity. One recent survey found that 86% of employees would prefer to work alone to be the most productive.
- Customized work setting
WFH allows employees to design and equip their workspace to optimally suit their working style. Most employees will be more enthusiastic to begin work in an environment where they have the power to choose their desk, chair, lighting, work devices, and headphones and regulate the noise level.
- Shorter, more efficient meetings
Having access to the best video and audio conferencing technology makes virtual meetings as good or better than in person events. Experts point out that virtual meetings tend to be shorter and more efficient than in person meetings because there are fewer interruptions, less opportunities for idle chatter or discussions, and attendees are more focused in their home offices.
- Less inter-office drama
When employees are not in continuous close contact with one another, there will be less gossip and office politics and fewer personality clashes that can negatively impact productivity.
- Better fitness
The combination of a lack of commute and less socializing time gives employees the opportunity to use extra time for physical fitness. Employees report that they exercise an average of 30 minutes more during the workweek when they work remotely. Regular exercise is proven to improve physical and mental health and relieve stress. In addition, employees working from home generally have access to healthier food options and are not tempted by vending machine snacks and restaurant fare. When there are fewer or zero employees at an office, this will also greatly reduce the opportunity for workers to get sick. Most importantly for the bottom line, healthier employees require fewer sick days, which cuts costs for companies.
- Ability to recharge during the day
While working from home, employees can easily take long and short breaks to give them more energy and focus to complete their tasks.
- Increased financial savings
Workers utilizing WFH will spend less money as it eliminates or reduces the cost of commuting and professional clothing, as well as the purchasing of food and drinks.
- More environmentally friendly
For many workers, especially younger ones, there is a desire to leave less of a carbon footprint in their daily lives. Remote work reduces individual workers’ car and gas usage and results in lower or nonexistent utility costs at the office.
Remote Work Employers Must be Aware of Challenges for Employees
Even though there are a significant number of benefits for employees and employers that come from WFH, your company needs to be aware of some of the biggest challenges that come with this work model and help your organization overcome them.
Most experts agree that the biggest challenge facing remote workers is a feeling of isolation and a lack of social interaction. To overcome this, your company will have to emphasize more interaction as well as recognize individuals’ achievements through frequent group and all hands communications. Experts encourage companies to find other ways to increase social communication and enhance the feeling of working on a team toward a common objective.
One expert tip to improve morale is for companies to encourage their employees to practice a virtual commute every day. The idea is for employees to use some of the time when they would normally be commuting to check in with their colleagues to enhance social interaction and help focus their efforts for the day.
Your company will also need to take time to meet with each employee and determine the best remote work options. It is important that each employee has clearly defined tasks and managers have an effective way to monitor everyone’s progress and work effort.
In addition, cybersecurity becomes an even greater problem with WFH because of the greater number of access points to the company network and the increased usage of personal devices. Your company will need to increase its emphasis on good cyber hygiene and provide thorough training on proper email and internet behavior.
Consult with an Expert on How to Make Your Employees Happy with Remote Work Options
With WFH offering so many benefits to employees and employers, it makes sense to explore this option for your company. We recommend taking the time to discuss this business model change with an experienced IT Support partner, such as Network Depot. Your trusted IT partner will assess your organization’s potential fit and help you more easily make the transition. Your partner will be there every step of the way to assist you in overcoming the challenges of this organizational change and will help you get the most value for your employees and company.
For help with making your employees happier and optimizing your remote work options, please contact Network Depot today!