Are There Any Benefits to Remote Work?
Remote work programs have been a growing trend, however, some organizations have been questioning their effectiveness. In particular, Gallup stated that federal agencies have been scaling back on their remote work programs because they “had little data to support the benefits or costs” of remote work programs. Luckily, as of January 2020, Gallup does have the data and they report that there are numerous benefits to remote work.
Employee Attraction and Retention
Past Gallup data shows that 51% of workers are actively looking for a new job or are open to one. Exactly 51% of workers say they would switch to a job that allows more flexibility, with 54%, saying they’d change jobs to one that gave them the choice to work remotely or not. To back those numbers up, a 2019 Buffer survey found that 99% of respondents said they would like to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers and that an organizations remote work policy would decide whether they took or kept a job with that particular organization. To sum this data up, Gallup suggests that organizations who do not offer remote work options will not only struggle to compete in the labor market, but they will also struggle to retain their current employees.
Employee Engagement and Wellbeing
In addition to improving attraction and retention rates, remote work can also improve employee engagement and overall wellbeing. Gallup’s research shows that the optimal engagement boost occurs when employees spend 60% to 80% (3 to 4 days of the 5 day work week) of their time working remotely. Data also shows that among those who work remotely 3-4 days a week report that their engagement needs related to development and relationships are being met. They are also the most likely among all employees to believe that their workplace cares about them and encourages both personal and professional development. When an organization experiences this level of engaged employees, they can see an average of 41% lower absenteeism rates, 40% fewer quality defects, and 21% higher profitability. In addition, research is showing that remote work gives employees more flexibility to take control of their health. This is mainly contributed to the fact that they don’t delay doctor’s appointments, have lower stress levels, have a more balanced work and social life, and they tend to eat healthier meals.
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