Our most recent blog post on the challenges of remote and hybrid work arrangements got a lot of attention and has created much discussion among our clients, recruiting candidates, consultants, and colleagues. Without question, managing your workforce remotely has its challenges, but it wouldn’t be a balanced conversation if we didn’t explore the other side: the benefits of this type of work arrangement.
As an employer these days, the work-from-home issue is front and center. Maybe you went entirely remote in the wake of the pandemic and have stayed that way since. Or perhaps your employees are back in the office some or part of the time. If you are hiring, it’s clear that for many, the ability to work from home is highly appealing—and many seeking employment right now won’t even consider jobs unless they can work remotely (or partially remotely). That means you can’t ignore the issue, and need to think about the pros (as well as the cons). Let’s go over some of the big benefits:
More flexibility = higher morale – For employees, flexibility tops the list of benefits of remote working. The grueling commute goes away. Your staff members with children can work from the lobby of the dance studio or their cars while piano lessons are underway. Those who want to work later in the evenings as opposed to the early mornings can do so if the type of work doesn’t require meetings or phone calls. Overall, your employees will feel like their needs are being met, which can lead to higher job satisfaction and happiness.
Lower turnover – On the topic of happier, more satisfied, less stressed employees, remote working can result in much lower employee turnover. Many employees seek out jobs with flexibility, and if your organization is one that offers it through a remote or hybrid work option, you can expect fewer employees to leave for similar jobs in scope and salary that are more flexible.
Cost savings – With more employees working from home, you can eliminate or greatly reduce the size of your office space. In addition to the savings on real estate and all of the furnishings needed for that office, you’ll also likely saving on equipment costs. This Deloitte Insights article says, “…our experience shows that [organizations] may find it possible to reduce real estate and facilities costs by 10% to more than 20%” by reducing office space.
Greater productivity – As reported by Forbes, a collection of studies from institutions like Gallup, Harvard University, Global Workplace Analytics and Stanford University share that teleworkers are an average of 35-40% more productive than their office counterparts. PwC’s U.S. Remote Work Survey from January 2021 shares that over half of executives believe that average employee productivity improved over the prolonged work-from-home period. Again, this leads back to cost savings. Employees who are able to work from home on sick days and avoid the stress of travelling to and from the office are likely to experience fewer missed work days.
It is understandable if your organization is hesitant to embrace remote working as a permanent arrangement. There are certainly downsides, and there’s no doubt that not every type of job and not every business can be quite as effective working entirely remotely.
But the reality is that in today’s competitive accounting and finance hiring market—in Denver, Colorado, and many other markets across the U.S.—you need to be adaptable. The PwC U.S. Remote Work Survey mentioned previously shared that 55% of employees surveyed prefer to be remote at least three days a week once the pandemic concerns recede. Many job candidates consider remote work a must-have, and with the COVID-19 pandemic still a part of daily life, it’s something you’ll need to embrace in some format. It’s time to re-envision the traditional workplace and recognize that where work gets done is less important than how it gets done!