Over the past couple of years, the remote trend of work has proved to bring major benefits to both employers and employees. As a rising phenomenon, the World Economic Forum called it “one of the biggest drivers of transformation in the workplace”. Despite this, the decision to give more flexibility to workers through the opportunity to complete their work remotely still poses several concerns.
Are employees doing what is asked for them? How can you keep information and data safe? How can you ensure the boundaries between work-life and home-life are kept?
Employers and senior management often fall victim to the many misunderstandings surrounding remote work. We have listed 5 facts backed by many studies, research reports and surveys, in order to help prove to you the benefits of providing remote work, can bring to your company.
Fact #1: The option to work remotely can make employees happier and more satisfied
A happy work environment is a successful one. If your employees are not satisfied, their work will begin to suffer as they won’t be putting their best effort into it.
A top finding from the Global State of Remote Work report was that people who have the opportunity to work remotely at least monthly are 24% more likely to feel happy in their roles. Additionally, in another survey of more than 3,400 employees, 45% of remote workers say they love their job. This is almost double than the onsite workers where only 24% shared the same feelings.
The message is obvious. People are happier and fulfilled when they can choose when and where they go to work. By providing your employees with the flexibility to choose whether they want to work at the office or at home, you will empower and motivate them to complete their best work.
Fact #2: Remote work can make employees healthier
There are a number of studies that show how specific aspects of office work can have negative impacts on employee mental health as well as physical health – all of which remote working can mitigate. For example, research into commuting has proven to correlate with higher blood pressure and a negative mood in the workplace. Given that UK staff spend an average of 58 minutes commuting to work, the option to work remotely will eliminate the need for this travel and the risk of suffering the associated health effects.
There is also a rising amount of research that suggests that by just standing, you can experience health benefits. In fact, health experts have suggested that workers mix it up by standing up for five minutes after every 20-25 minutes of work. In many office spaces, we understand this is easier said than done which is why many office workers are experiencing serious health problems these days such as diabetes and high cholesterol. A study which looked into these effects of telecommuting intensity on employee health found that people who do have the opportunity to work remotely are less likely to experience these problems, and that office workers were at greater risk.
Fact #3: Working remotely can boost productivity
Some employers believe that it is while working remotely, it is too easy for employees to fall for distractions. As a result, they feel that these employees do not give that same time and energy to tasks that they would when in the office.
Research has proven otherwise, where it was found in a survey of 5,500 professionals, 66% agreed their productivity improved when they were not in the office. But why? Well, 76% said they think there are fewer distractions!
Other studies reported in a U.S. News & World Report confirmed that employee productivity can be increased if they can work remotely, when it was found that telecommuters log five to seven hours a week more than non-telecommuters, often working even if they’re sick or on holiday.
Although employees have shown to be more productive given the remote working option, it won’t happen if they don’t have access to the right tools. Mastering remote work is all about having the right resources so the workers can remain connected and productive. Remote workers still need access to all the physical tools, equipment and hardware they have when in the office. The wrong tools will not libate employees, only frustrate them.
The Serval Hosted Desktop is one option many businesses like yours use to help their employees work from home productively and securely. It is that same Windows desktop you are used too. However, rather than being tied to a single PC or laptop, it is hosted in the cloud so can be accessed on any device with an internet connection. This means by just providing your employees with a laptop or tablet, or allowing them to use their own device, they have access to all the software, files and data they would when in the office.
Fact #4: Making remote work an option can help you attract and retain top talent
Employees are always looking to improve their work-life balance and overall wellbeing. As a result, the ability to work from home is becoming a deciding element for prospective candidates seeking new roles. Offering them the chance to work remotely means they can make time for things important to them such as their hobbies and other interests, and mean they won’t feel suffocated by their work. Failure to offer this form of arrangement may have a detrimental impact on an organisation, with 74% of employees saying they would leave their job if more flexible opportunities were available elsewhere.
Furthermore, by requiring people to come in and work in a physical location every day, you are limiting your search for new talent to the geographical area that you operate. Offering remote positions opens you up to a larger pool of candidates.
The fondness of remote working was made clear in an online survey by Mom Corps, where 42% of working adults said that they will give up some salary if they are allowed to work from home. 62% also said flexibility was one of the most important factors to them when looking for a new role.
Fact #5: Teams that can work remotely are more engaged and motivated
You may be concerned that if you allow your employees to work remotely, team morale and employee engagement will be impacted negatively. However, research has shown this is nothing to be worried about. Gallup research has found that staff who spend at least some time working remotely “are more likely to feel engaged in their jobs than those who never work remotely”. What’s more – other studies have shown that businesses with high engagement rates have three times higher profit margins than ones with not-so-engaged employees!
Cloud technology solutions are effective in helping remote employees stay connected from wherever, and therefore, engaged with their work. For example, Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based platform with features that enable managers and team members to communicate and collaborate wherever they may be, as well as video conference into meetings hosted all over the world. This eliminates the risk of remote staff members feeling isolated from those in the office hugely.
We are seeing a huge uptake of remote work across the globe. However, it isn’t for everyone, nor it should be. By putting in place a remote working strategy, you are demonstrating versatility to your staff and future applicants in meeting their needs in this modern work climate. Plus, as shown by the facts in this blog, the benefits are too substantial to ignore.
Implementing a remote working policy in your workplace doesn’t have to be hard. With the right tools, you can meet the needs of both employees and management. The Serval Hosted Hosted Workspace suite couples the security of a Hosted Desktop with the flexibility of Microsoft 365. Hosted Desktop allows your staff to work in a secure, encapsulated environment which stays constant whether you are in the office or at home, and Microsoft 365 improves productivity with intuitive cloud tools for document sharing and collaboration, such as OneDrive and Microsoft Teams.
If you are looking to improve productivity and staff welfare in your workplace, why not learn a little bit more about the possibilities that Hosted Workspaces, and its main component, Hosted Desktop can bring by getting in touch for more information.