Remote work has been the fastest growing sector of employment for some time now. Research carried out by Global Workplace Analytics shows that more than 80% of employees wanted to work from home, at least part time, and the influence of Millennials, and then Generation Z entering the workforce, meant that employers had to at least consider the idea.
Some companies were quicker to embrace than others, with technology companies and IT staff leading the way while others were still questioning the benefits.
Still, it wasn’t until the Coronavirus hit that many companies tried remote working for the first time. Companies around the globe are seeing the benefits, even while working under the strains of a global pandemic. But will they continue to work remotely when lockdowns are over? Here’s why we think they will.
Working from home has positive impacts on the employee. They have a better work/life balance, and avoiding the dreaded commute has a positive impact on health. All of this combines to make remote workers both more productive and more loyal; increasing output and lowering your recruitment costs. Remote workers also save companies money on bricks and mortar costs, office furniture, and consumables.
Just the simple fact of having to go into an office to work makes work inaccessible for a large number of people. We’re talking about people with IBS, who need to be close to a private bathroom, or social anxiety for whom hopping on the tube is just an insurmountable obstacle.
Then there’s people with physical disabilities, for whom getting into work is a challenge they have to face on a daily basis.
Then there’s new parents. Childcare usually falls to women, and it’s them who have to put their careers on hold to care for their kids – but it’s companies who lose out on the valuable skills and experience these women have. The same also holds true for new father’s though, whether they’re going to be primary or secondary carer.
It’s long been acknowledged that diversity has many benefits for businesses. If you hire people who live close to your head office, you are definitely limiting the amount of diversity you can have in your team.
Broaden your horizons and pull in tech employees from all around the world, and those who need to work from home mentioned above, and you get an instant productivity boost.
You’d have to be pretty specialised, or just outright lucky, to have the very best tech candidates working on your doorstep. You might be fortunate enough to find a IT/Tech professional who was willing to relocate for you, but wouldn’t it be easier for everyone if you just widened your net and looked for the right person, regardless of where they live?
The truth is, modern technology and connectivity means that many people, and particularly technical staff, can do their job from pretty much anywhere in the world. Hiring can be quicker than in-person, too. Imagine being able to say that you had hired the best people in the entire world!
Some of the biggest remote work advocates are developers, and that’s why there’s a whole raft of software out there that makes working remotely a breeze. In fact, even before we were all sent home due to Covid-19 you probably had everything you needed. An internet connection, a laptop, some good project management software, a chat program, video conferencing, and you can get started.
While the post C-19 future is still uncertain, many businesses will be making sure that their disaster recovery plans are in good order, and that has to include ensuring that business can continue no matter where in the world their staff are. And that’s why we think remote working is the future.