COVID19 has changed the future of work and the workplace for every business in every industry by proving that many companies do not have contingencies in place for calamities like this pandemic. Remote solutions have now become a necessity rather than an option with Extended Community Quarantine protocols like Shelter In Place in effect all over the world. As this global crisis continues to play out, remote work has become the norm, and many business experts predict that it will drastically change the way we operate business well after the pandemic passes.
It is important to highlight that remote work is not a new practice by any means. Many successful companies have been utilizing remote work and reaping the many benefits of adopting a business model that supports remote solutions, for decades. How is the Corona Virus changing the face of business?
One of the most tangible results of employing work from home professionals is the financial benefits. According to the US Department of labor’s bureau of labor Statistics, ‘private industry employers spent an average of $34.73 an hour for total employee compensation in December 2019. Wages and salaries averaged $24.36 per hour worked and accounted for 70.1 percent of these costs, while benefit costs averaged $10.37 and accounted for the remaining 29.9 percent.’ Now, throw your other expenses into the mix, rent/maintenance of office space, utilities, equipment, etc. That’s a whole lot of cheddar. Studies have found that employing remotely can save you an average of $11,000 per employee, per year. Freeing up more of your funds will give you the freedom to re-allocate them towards other initiatives within your business.
The results of one study found that 46% of companies that support working remotely have seen a lower attrition rate and 95% of those companies attribute higher retention rates to their remote work policies. Retention is essential in every business, not only can replacing a long term employee cost you between $10,000 to $30,000, you also have to factor in other resources like the time it will take to get them fully functioning within your business and the gap it will cause as you do so.
Increased productivity is another benefit that we should delve into. See for example, American Express. Once they administered a remote work policy, they found that their remote staff was able to attend to 26% more calls and increase their output by 43%. This means they increased their productivity by an additional half an employee each, compared to those who continued to work in the office.
Eliminating the conventions of a daily commute, a 9-5 workday, and removing in-office distractions fosters a more productive and focused disposition in remote employees. They are in an environment where they can perform their responsibilities in their optimal state.
Working from home provides safety and security, especially in our current situation. However, even outside of a crisis, employees who have an option to work remotely are happier. They feel they are more in control of what they do and how they do it, so they can achieve a work-life balance that is mutually beneficial to them and their companies.
A great company culture is a key component in any business’ success. Surveys have found that 46% of job seekers state that company culture is a top priority when looking for employment. Furthermore, they have found that employees who do not like their company culture are 24% more likely to quit their jobs.
Remote solutions could elevate company culture to a higher level. The lack of physical propinquity forces leaders and co-workers to develop a more honest and constructive manner of communication. You will be faced with different challenges within the new constructs that working remotely will enforce. These new constructs will allow you to discover more flexibility, creativity, and innovation within your workforce, barriers will need to be broken and your business processes will be improved and more exceptional ones will be built.
COVID19 has pushed everyone in the business space to “think outside the building.” While different industries are impacted in various ways, every single one has had to make major adjustments. While many continue to struggle, there has also been a mass movement to find solutions that are beneficial to everyone affected. Remote solutions are more necessary than ever because it brings flexibility and stability to the workforce. The acclimation of the business world to remote work is sure to cause a long term shift in business and commerce as we know it.