Working Wherever: The Benefits of Allowing Employees to Work Remotely
The notion of being able to work from home is still inaccurately viewed by many as unproductive and lazy. The mental image of an employee waking up at 11am, wrapping themselves in a blanket, and watching Netflix for half of the day until they finally decide to do an hour or two of work in the afternoon comes to mind… but is this really what happens when you allow your employees to work remotely, or are we simply still stuck in the unproductive mindset that an employee likely isn’t working if you can’t see them slaving away at their office desk directly in front of you?
The reality is that if you don’t trust an employee to work efficiently (or at all) when you aren’t watching them, then you shouldn’t have hired them. And if you do trust your employees, as any employer should, there’s no reason not to embrace the possibility of having them work remotely if it suits their needs and produces positive results across the board.
Trust in Numbers
When it comes to something like remote work (a workplace option many employers are still hesitant to even consider) it’s important to look at the facts instead of judging the practice based on our preconceived notions. And, when we do this, the results are as clear as the waters of the Maldives – which wouldn’t be a bad place to work remotely either.
So, here are just a few facts and figures to clear up any reservations you may have when it comes to employees working remotely:
- Remote work increases productivity, as 86% of remote workers reported that being able to work alone allowed them to hit maximum productivity.
- It lowers stress and sickness, as 82% of remote workers report lower stress levels and 69% report lower absence.
- Working remotely is on the rise, with 23% of employees reportedly doing some form of remote work in 2018.
- With the workplace becoming more and more digitalized, working remotely is becoming more suited to the world we live in thanks to consistently improving technology and easy communication.
Out with the Old
Let’s just face it – the idea that an employee needs to stay inside the office for 40 hours a week in 2019 is unproductive, outdated, and simply ineffective. It’s easily arguable that, by refusing to embrace this, we are actually allowing our modern workforce to suffer by stubbornly retaining older systems and practices which are becoming less and less suited to the world we live in now.
We have seen some incredible advancements in technology in recent history, especially over the last decade, and the options at our disposal to make both our working lives and personal lives easier are beyond counting. To continue living by old business practices and workplace guidelines seems bizarre at this stage, and adapting to allow remote work and give employees more freedom isn’t as hard as it seems. After all, we’ve done it before, and if we hadn’t we’d all still be working 7-day work weeks and 14-hour workdays.
One Step at a Time
While working remotely is on the rise and producing positive results for the companies and businesses which practice it, that doesn’t mean every employer should be expected to instantly grant all their employees the opportunity to work remotely 24/7. Different roles require different manners of working, and while remote work may be ideal for one profession, it could be entirely unproductive for another. This is why we need to use our initiative in order to create a professional world in which we don’t paint every industry or position with the same brush. Not everyone needs to work out of the office but, in the cases where such a thing is beneficial, it’s the wisest path to follow.
Ultimately, not only is remote work a large part of the future, but realistically it should have been embraced as a common business practice already. If there are professions today which can be carried out more efficiently, more effectively, and result in an overall higher quality of work-life integration for workers, all whilst allowing them to perform their jobs better than ever before due to being able to do so remotely… well, what are we holding back for?