Despite Yahoo!’s famous decision to discontinue the ability for employees to work from home, the remote work trend is inescapable for most companies looking to remain competitive.
Workers inside the Yahoo?told HuffPost that some employees still do occasionally work from home, “Proof That Working From Home Is Here To Stay: Even Yahoo Still Does It – Huffington Post“Click to tweet
Remote workers represent one of the fastest-growing sectors of the marketplace. The work-at-home population excluding the self-employed has grown 103% during the past 10 years, according to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com.
Richard Branson (Virgin Group founder, island owner, general business icon) even predicts that one day, offices will be part of our history, not our future. In fact, a survey of business leaders reported on by Fast Company revealed that 34% expect more than half of their full time employees to be working remotely by 2020 – just four years away.
While it might seem that remote work situations complicate your team?s ability to collaborate effectively, the reality is, companies simply have to find new ways to get things done with people who may never be in the same place at the same time.
But it doesn’t have to be a liability. Here are three ways allowing remote work can boost – not bust – your business:
1. You’ll get a productivity lift.
Despite concerns to the contrary, research shows that remote teams actually get more done. A study conducted by employee engagement firm TINYPulse and reported in Forbes showed that 91 percent of remote workers said they were more productive when working away from the office. That’s exactly what the leaders at Chinese travel website Ctrip found when they tested out a remote work option for call center employees. HBR reports that Ctrip?s work-from-home contingent were able to complete 13.5% more calls than in-house staff, which adds up to nearly a full workday each week.
We get it – long commutes, interruptions, and being pulled into endless meetings can take a toll on your daily output. Away from the office, your employees have the ability to tune out the noise and focus on important projects — without becoming too disconnected.
2. You’ll have happier employees.
It may sound counterintuitive, but the TINYPulse study also revealed that remote employees report feeling happier, more valued, and well connected with their managers . It does make sense, when you think about it: remote workers gain more hours to balance household chores, run errands, and spend time with loved ones. They also know they’ve earned their employer?s trust in their ability to get the job done, regardless of where they are when they do it.
And of course, with today’s technology, it’s impossible not to be well connected. The benefit for you? Happiness breeds loyalty. Just ask Ctrip: they told HBR that their remote call center employees quit half as often as those in-house.Click to tweet
3. You’ll gain a recruiting edge.
While remote work isn’t necessarily the norm — yet — it’s only going to become more common as more and more employees come to expect it. According to the latest statistics from GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, 80-90% of the US workforce would like to work remotely at least some of the time. When you allow your team to work off-site, you’ll be that much more attractive to potential new employees. What’s more, you’ll widen your talent pool. Your employees don’t have to live in your immediate area. They can be based anywhere, and move anywhere, without leaving you.
Remote teamwork isn’t just the latest workplace fad, it’s the reality of the way we work today. The good news is, today’s technology empowers companies to adapt and excel in what’s still fairly new territory. Stay tuned: tomorrow we’ll share 5 Unbreakable Rules for Remote Team Collaboration. We’ll help you figure out how to get it right, from keeping everyone accountable to making sure you don’t lose the human element.