When you adopt a remote work policy, you can make your company appealing to job seekers eager to continue working from home, while boosting engagement from your current workers. But to successfully manage a fully remote or hybrid workforce, you need to understand the benefits your employees reap when working from home. You’ll also need to understand how your company benefits from a remote workforce. With an understanding of its advantages, you can begin to craft a remote work policy that will attract talent, boost morale, while also enhancing your company’s success.
Remote Employees Save Money
The ability to work remotely is quickly becoming a preferred employment option. In a recent survey by Global Workforce Analytics, 23 percent of respondents said they would take a pay cut to be able to work from home at least some of the time. The boon to their personal finances is one reason employees prefer working remotely. In a survey by Bankrate.com, 57 percent of employees who worked remotely during the pandemic say that working from home had a positive effect on their finances. But how did their savings break down?
Employees spend between $2,000 and $5,000 per year on transportation to work. For car owners, much of their commuting costs went toward fuel. But the costs of owning a car go beyond gas money. According to an ABC News poll, the average worker drove 16 miles one-way to their jobs, or just over 4,000 miles each year. Using the IRS mileage rate for businesses of 56 cents per mile, which is meant to cover fuel, insurance and depreciation, commuters spend $2,240 each year driving to work. With the average income around $52,000, that means Americans sent home to work during the pandemic received an immediate 4 percent raise.
Remote Work Helps Parents
Obviously, parents saved on childcare costs when daycare centers shut down during the pandemic. But workers whose company implements a flexible schedule in their remote work policy could continue saving money. Businesses that are understanding to the demands of parenting and allow their remote employees to perform such tasks are picking their children up from school are effectively giving their remote workers a raise without spending a dime.
The boost a flexible schedule gives to a remote worker’s income is considerable. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, childcare is affordable as long as it doesn’t exceed 7 percent of a family’s income. Yet according to the University of New Hampshire, 25 percent of families spend more than 10 percent of their income on childcare expenses.
This isn’t surprising when childcare for an infant can range between $700 and $1,400 per month. For older children, the cost can be $500 to $1,000 per child. Although a majority of your employees with children will still need some form of childcare even while working at home, creating a child-friendly remote work policy can help workers juggle the demands of parenthood while saving money at the same time.
Remote Employees Enjoy Flexible Living Options
Remote workers may opt to live in less expensive communities. Even employees on a hybrid schedule may opt for a longer, part-time commute in exchange for less expensive housing farther from the office.
Cost may not be the only motivator for employees living farther away from the office. When the commute to work isn’t factored into real estate decisions, workers can choose to live in a quiet suburb or move closer to their families, which illustrates the real reason employees prefer working at home. From saving money to trading their commute time for family time, working remotely improves employees’ overall quality of life.
Improve Employee Engagement
The improvement employees experience in their quality of life when they work remotely not only makes them happier, it also improves their engagement. Many employers were surprised to find out that this Gallup article—published just before the pandemic in January of 2020—is true: job flexibility increases engagement.
Businesses with highly engaged employees enjoy significantly lower absenteeism, higher quality products and services, and overall higher productivity. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 54 percent of survey respondents said they would be “less willing to go the extra mile” if their employers forced them back into the office when the pandemic ends.
Gallup found that the optimal remote work arrangement to boost engagement was a hybrid schedule in which employees spend 60 to 80 percent of their time working at home. These employees feel that their career development needs are being met. They are also more likely to feel like their employer cares about them as a person. Improved engagement coupled with the cost-savings of a remote workforce would save a company up to $8,000 per employee.
Improve Employee Retention
A remote work policy can also improve employee retention. The Work Institute estimates that companies lose about 33 percent of an exiting employee’s salary to lost productivity, hiring costs, and onboarding replacements. The Global Workplace Analytics survey also found that 46 percent of respondents would look for another job if forced to go back to the office full time.
Attract A Larger And More Diverse Talent Pool
When you have an open position that is also fully remote, you’re able to accept applications from across the country. Remote job advertisements on LinkedIn garner a larger share of applicants. In May of 2021, remote positions received 24.4 percent of applications despite only comprising only 9.7 percent of all job listings.
Widening the geographical area from which you recruit can also help you hire people with diverse backgrounds. Requiring employees to commute to your office places encumbrances upon them which might discourage diverse applicants. Presumably, applicants may need to live in a more expensive area to be within driving distance. Additionally, employees who live hundreds or thousands of miles away offer unique perspectives not present in your local workforce.
Overall, Global Workplace Analytics estimates that employers can save about $11,000 per year for every employee who works at home half of the time. Employers see benefits such as lower real estate costs, increased productivity, and reduced turnover, to name just a few.
Craft A Remote Work That Maximizes Benefits
The far-ranging benefits of working from home make this employment option a valuable advantage for becoming an employer of choice. From saving money to increasing family time, remote work improves employees’ lives and offers a more flexible work and life balance.
Along with being a popular choice for many employees, your company can also benefit from a well-thought-out remote work policy. A remote workforce can improve retention, increase productivity, and lower real estate costs. Your company can save thousands for every employee that works remotely.
Now that the pandemic has popularized the already growing remote work trend, you’ll likely find it more difficult to lure existing employees and new talent into office cubicles, full-time. Understanding the benefits of remote work for both you and your workers is the crucial first step to creating a successful remote work policy.