The 10 Benefits Of Remote Work For Employers
Our guide goes into the many benefits of remote work for both employers and employees to consider taking advantage of and how to get started.
There are many benefits of remote work for employers and employees alike. From reduced operations costs to improved productivity, remote work has plenty of advantages to note if you’re considering transitioning your business to being remote.
Whether you have already instituted remote work for your business due to the pandemic or are wondering how remote work can help your business, we’ve got you covered. This guide delves into the benefits of remote work for employers and employees in the US.
Here’s what you need to know.
Table of Contents
- The Benefits Of Remote Work For Employers
- 1) Save On Office Energy & Leasing Costs
- 2) Increased Talent Pool
- 3) Remote Work Can Increase Employee Productivity
- 4) Offering Remote Work Can Increase Your Business’s Competitiveness In The Labor Market
- 5) Remote Work Can Remove Barriers To Success For Employees
- 6) Remote Work Can Reduce COVID-Related Production Disruptions
- 7) Easily Add Contractors To Your Remote Team
- 8) Help Women Stay In The Workplace
- 9) Improve Employees’ Work-Life Balance By Offering Remote Work
- 10) Employers Gain Remote Work Benefits As Employees Do
- The Benefits Of Remote Work For Employees
- 1) Remote Employees Avoid The Commute
- 2) Employees Working Remotely May Have Flexible Work Hours
- 3) Working Remotely Can Result In Fewer Distractions During The Work Day
- 4) Remote Workers Can Tailor Their Workspace To Suit Their Needs
- 5) Remote Workers Gain The Freedom To Choose Affordability Over Proximity To Work
- 6) Employees With Children Can Work Remotely To Reduce Childcare Costs
- 7) Remote Employees Are Less Stressed
- 8) Working Remotely Can Save Employees Money
- 9) Reduce The Chance Of Exposure To Illness
- 10) Remote Work Can Lead To A Better Work-Life Balance
- Is Remote Work Less Expensive?
- Are Remote Workers Less Productive?
- Should Your Business Switch To Remote Work?
- FAQs About The Benefits Of Remote Work
The Benefits Of Remote Work For Employers
With telework becoming increasingly popular across the US, you may be wondering whether remote work could be advantageous for your business. The benefits of remote work for employers include cost savings, a larger talent pool, stronger employee support, and reducing COVID-related business disruptions.
Here’s a breakdown of the top benefits of remote work for employers.
1) Save On Office Energy & Leasing Costs
Fewer businesses are paying rent for office space as leases for 243 million square feet of US office space are set to expire in 2022. This change has been largely attributed to the shift to remote work and businesses requiring less office space for hybrid work environments.
Moreover, businesses are paying less for energy costs solely because they aren’t paying to power their office space. They may also simply be paying less because fewer employees are in the office.
2) Increased Talent Pool
Requiring workers to live near your offices means significantly constraining your talent pool. Remote work allows your business to exponentially increase the talent pool and consider applicants within your state, from across the nation, or all over the world.
That is especially useful if you are hiring for a highly specialized role, where you may have trouble finding qualified workers near your business’s physical offices.
3) Remote Work Can Increase Employee Productivity
Several studies have demonstrated that remote work can increase employee productivity.
Data from a Global Workplace Analytics study show that working from home significantly reduced unwanted distractions throughout the day, added 4.6 incremental days annually to productive time per person, and resulted in an overall 21% increase in productivity.
These findings chalk with similar remote work studies conducted by WFH Research, in which 87.7% of workers responded that remote work has led to equal or better productivity outcomes when compared to in-office work.
4) Offering Remote Work Can Increase Your Business’s Competitiveness In The Labor Market
Many employees prefer remote work. In fact, a Pew Research study showed that 76% of remote workers work remotely out of preference rather than a requirement. As a result, many workers considering new positions keep an eye out for those that allow remote work.
If your business is competing for top-tier talent, remote work could provide an additional incentive that entices applicants to prioritize your company’s open position over another company’s.
5) Remote Work Can Remove Barriers To Success For Employees
As car ownership is estimated to cost $9,000+ per year, lower-income workers, new college graduates, and those living in rural areas face a significant cost barrier when it comes to entering the workforce.
In some cases, these workers may be limited to jobs within walking or public transit distance, despite being qualified for jobs outside location barriers.
By offering remote work, your business can increase its talent pool by extending opportunities to those unable to advance in the workplace due to economic barriers, such as car ownership.
6) Remote Work Can Reduce COVID-Related Production Disruptions
Although COVID caused an exponential increase in the occurrence of telework, it’s here to stay.
Fortunately, remote work can reduce the chances of COVID-related production disruptions. This is especially relevant as COVID cases are trending upward, and the pandemic has brought on several variants.
With your employees working safely in their homes, there’s virtually no chance of them spreading illness among one another. Additionally, COVID-related lockdowns or stay-home orders won’t impact your team’s ability to show up to the office, as it would be a non-factor.
7) Easily Add Contractors To Your Remote Team
Contractor numbers are on the rise. As the BLS reports, there were around 9.6 million self-employed workers in 2016, which is expected to increase to 10.3 million by 2026.
As many contractors work remotely, implementing a remote work environment for your business will provide an easier onboarding experience if your business hires contractors.
Remote contractors will be more familiar with asynchronous communication software, W-9 forms, and how to work with new teams.
In short, contractors and remote work complement one another very well.
8) Help Women Stay In The Workplace
A study by SHRM showed that 34% of female responders said that remote work enabled them to stay in the workplace.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacted women in the workplace, with women forced out of the workplace most likely due to traditional gender roles which situate women at home caring for their families and the home.
Remote work with flexible work hours enables women to balance their career and family lives.
As such, remote work is a great way to support women in the workplace by providing them with an opportunity to work in a way that best supports their work-life balance.
9) Improve Employees’ Work-Life Balance By Offering Remote Work
Remote work can improve your employee’s work-life balance, regardless of gender.
Data from the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows that workers in the US struggle to maintain a solid work-life balance, with the impact being more pronounced among working parents.
A better work-life balance can support and improve your employees’ overall well-being.
10) Employers Gain Remote Work Benefits As Employees Do
As an employer, you can take advantage of the same benefits of remote work that employees gain, including improving your work-life balance, avoiding work-related exposure to illness, and potentially improving your productivity.
The Benefits Of Remote Work For Employees
Both employers and employees benefit from telework, with remote work providing employees with an improved work-life balance, savings, the opportunity to customize home offices, decreased odds of catching illness at work, and reduced stress levels.
Keep reading for an in-depth look at the benefits of remote work for employees.
1) Remote Employees Avoid The Commute
Commuting data from the US Census Bureau sets the average one-way commute at 26.9 minutes, which translates to 4.48 hours per week, 17.62 hours per month, and 9.7 days a year — spent getting to and from work.
With what amounts to nearly an extra hour per day, remote workers have more time to do things that matter to them.
Better yet, remote work enables employees to avoid excess driving in the wake of fuel costs that have increased by 59.9% in the last year, according to BLS’s Consumer Price Index stats.
2) Employees Working Remotely May Have Flexible Work Hours
Although flexible remote work hours will vary by position and company, remote work tends to lend itself to flexible work schedules.
A remote position with flexible work hours enables you to tailor your work to your life rather than tailoring your life around your work.
3) Working Remotely Can Result In Fewer Distractions During The Work Day
There are certain office-specific distractions employees must deal with during the day, including talkative coworkers, office noise, and meetings. With constant distractions, it can be challenging to focus in the office.
While asynchronous communication can also be distracting, it’s a lot easier to fine-tune notification settings than to tell your boss this meeting could have been an email or telling a coworker that you’re not interested in participating in office gossip.
4) Remote Workers Can Tailor Their Workspace To Suit Their Needs
Speaking of fine-tuning notifications to support deep work, there are far more opportunities to customize your home office than in a traditional office setting.
Home office customization is often done solely to create a space that aligns with your personal and aesthetic preferences.
However, the census reported that for the 12.7% of Americans with disabilities, home offices can be customized to improve accessibility and create a work environment that removes any hindrances to productivity.
5) Remote Workers Gain The Freedom To Choose Affordability Over Proximity To Work
The US is seeing 40-year-high levels of inflation, with Americans paying more for food, housing, gas, and virtually everything else. According to FRED Economic Data reports, rent is up 5.77% compared to the same time last year.
Cost-saving measures are no longer a tool for the frugal folks among us; they’re becoming an everyday part of life for many Americans.
With remote work, employees have the opportunity to prioritize affordability when it comes to housing rather than focusing on their homes’ proximity to the office.
For many, this may mean moving out of city centers in favor of more affordable rural areas. However, some may take it to the next level by moving to a state with no income tax to increase savings even more.
6) Employees With Children Can Work Remotely To Reduce Childcare Costs
With a flexible remote work schedule, you may be able to better time your work schedule to suit your childcare needs and reduce childcare costs across the board.
For example, your work schedule may require you to hire childcare for an hour after your child gets out of school. With a flexible remote work schedule, you may be able to shift your hours to match your child’s schedule and eliminate childcare costs altogether.
Additionally, you may have school-aged children who are old enough not to need constant monitoring but shouldn’t be left alone all day. In this example, you can be home with your child while working and avoid having to hire separate childcare.
7) Remote Employees Are Less Stressed
An AP-NORC poll showed that 41% of remote workers returning to in-office work reported feeling increased stress levels.
The findings aren’t surprising when considering the potential pain points of in-office work, including interpersonal conflict, concerns about attire and physical perception, worries regarding the commute (including gas prices), and much more.
That’s not to say that remote work eliminates employee stress. However, remote work seems to help alleviate some stressors directly related to in-office work.
8) Working Remotely Can Save Employees Money
Working remotely can be a money-saving strategy. In many cases, remote work can reduce money spent on work attire, commuting costs, and takeout. Moreover, depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a home office tax deduction, which can save you money come tax season.
9) Reduce The Chance Of Exposure To Illness
As remote work allows employees to work from the safety of their own homes, there is virtually no chance of work-related exposure to illness in a fully-remote work environment. This is especially useful for those with children and those who are or are living with immunocompromised individuals.
With the current COVID-19 infection rate rising, staying safe is more important than ever.
10) Remote Work Can Lead To A Better Work-Life Balance
OECD countries average more time spent on personal care than the average American worker, which points to a distinct lack of work-life balance in the US. In short, employees spend less time caring for themselves, maintaining social relationships, exercising, and more while working more hours.
Remote work allows employees to reduce commuting time and potentially work flexible hours, making it easier to spend more time doing leisure and self-care activities.
Is Remote Work Less Expensive?
Whether remote work will be less expensive for your business depends entirely on your operations. However, switching to remote work will save business owners money on office space leasing, electricity, and commuting costs. These savings can be seen in hybrid and fully-remote work setups, as businesses can downsize their office spaces or eliminate them entirely.
Additionally, a GoodHire study showed that 61% of workers were willing to take a pay cut to work remotely. It’s possible for businesses to save money on payroll costs solely by offering remote work options at reduced pay rates or hiring new employees at reduced rates while including remote work as a benefit.
However, there’s a chance that remote work could increase costs for your business. You may need to pay for additional software subscriptions, supply your team with hardware for remote work, or your business may experience higher employee turnover rates.
To determine whether remote work will save your business money, you’ll have to crunch the numbers and speak with your business’s accountant to explore the financial feasibility of transitioning to remote work.
Are Remote Workers Less Productive?
Some business owners are justifiably hesitant to shift to remote work because they fear reduced productivity and performance from their remote team. Allowing your business’s employees to work from home takes trust that they won’t take advantage of that freedom on company time. Fortunately, several studies suggest remote workers are equally, if not more, productive than their in-office counterparts.
The most comprehensive study on remote work was conducted by Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom, James Liang, John Roberts, and Zhichun Jenny Ying and studied the impact of remote work in a company with in-office 16,000 workers.
The experiment showed that those allowed to work from home increased their performance by 13%, including working more hours per shift. As a result of the initial experiment, the company decided to give all its employees the option to work from home, with over half shifting to remote work. This move resulted in a 22% performance increase, nearly doubling the initial experiment’s performance increase findings.
Additional studies support these findings, but critics of remote work suggest that while remote workers may initially see performance increases, those performance increases will dip in the long term. Fortunately, there haven’t been any studies to support that prediction.
While the long-term effects of remote work on productivity remain to be seen, the initial short-term studies look promising. They have shown that remote workers aren’t significantly less productive than in-office workers.
Should Your Business Switch To Remote Work?
If your business’s work can be done remotely, you may be considering shifting operations after learning about the benefits of remote work. There are three things to consider when deciding whether your business should switch to remote work:
- The Cost Of Shifting To Remote Work: Switching to remote work can save both businesses and employees money. However, you’ll need to make a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether shifting to remote work benefits your business financially.
- Your Business’s Tech & Software Infrastructure: Remote work requires employees to access reliable high-speed internet service, communication software, payroll software that can support paying workers in different locations, and hardware, such as laptops, desktops, printers, and more. If you make the switch to remote work, you’ll need to ensure that your business has all the tech and software necessary to make it possible.
- Employee Interest In Remote Work: Not all employees want to work remotely, as some prefer the separation of work and home. If the overwhelming majority of your current employees aren’t interested in working from home, forcing the shift may result in higher employee turnover. You may also consider a hybrid remote work environment.
In short, whether your business should switch to remote work is largely situationally dependent — remote work is not a one-size-fits-all solution. So while there are plenty of benefits of remote work, take time to consider the potential downsides to remote work and how they may impact your business and employees.
If you’re ready to move to remote work, start by building an estimated business budget that accounts for the shift to remote work. For example, you may need to eliminate or reduce your business’s budget line item for office space or increase your budget for software.
Need help building your estimated remote work business budget? Check out our beginner’s guide to creating a business budget for a step-by-step breakdown of how to create a business budget from your first hire to forecasting future profits.