Remote working isn’t new – since 2005 it has increased globally by 140%. The recent pandemic has been a tremendous accelerant of an already growing trend and one that looks to be permanent. The duration of the pandemic is likely to extend, and a recent Fortune survey revealed that 74% of employees are hesitant to go back to an office. In addition, remote-flexible working is having an “iPhone moment” as the work-from-anywhere movement enters the mainstream.
For companies considering a shift to long-term remote working, here are some major benefits to target as well as the associated challenges to overcome and investments to anticipate:
Positive Employee Results – Employees benefit significantly from a sustained remote working policy. They will experience lower out of pocket costs for commuting that average $4,000 in extra annual income, greater flexibility and autonomy, reduced job stress, higher retention and morale, and improved productivity over time. A remote-flexible work policy can achieve an additional 1.4 working days per employee per month.
Significant Financial Results – A big benefit of remote working is a lower overall cost of real estate as fewer employees need physical space. According to Global Workplace Analytics, the average savings per remote employee is $11,000 per year. AT&T saved $30 million in annual real estate costs by developing a remote working program. Further, once employees are productive in a remote work environment, a long-term rationalization of business travel costs is possible. UBS recently reduced business travel costs by 90% in Asia when executives realized that that trips to see clients and face to face employee events were no longer as crucial as they originally believed.
Talent Pool Expansion – When a sustainable remote working plan begins, the available talent pool for recruiting expands from local areas to a much broader recruitment zone. In addition, the very act of introducing a remote working policy starts attracting talent that may otherwise elude an organization. A recent study by Stack Overflow determined that 47% of employees feel that a remote work policy is important when looking for a new employer.
In addition to these benefits, perhaps the most beneficial outcome of long-term remote-flexible working is better preparedness for the new market dynamics that are sure to emerge on the other side of COVID. The combination of a more energized and productive workforce, a reduced cost structure, and a larger talent pool can offer significant competitive advantages over companies that choose more traditional thinking.
I’d love to hear your feedback and discuss your firm’s plans for remote working.
Access all of Trans4mative’s resources for adapting your workplace for increased remote working here.
Managing Partner @ Trans4mative Advisors