There’s no doubt that working from home is on the rise but is it a benefit that we can leverage to attract the best talent? We reckon it is and we’ve even found some stats and figures to back it up.
But before we jump into the benefits remote work offers your candidates, let’s first take a look at why allowing your employees to work from home is something your company really should consider.
The benefits for the employer
These days, working from home no longer involves taking home cartloads of paperwork to spread out on the living room floor. We are now lucky enough to have all kinds of fancy technology to help us out.
From video conferencing tools to cloud collaboration software, chat platforms to email; it seems that anything we can do in the office we can do just as well at home. Well, apart from enjoying a company-bought cookie on your break that is.
So we know that it’s possible but what are the benefits for the employer besides saving on those coffee room supplies.
1. Increased productivity
There are many studies that back up the theory that remote workers are more productive, but perhaps the most famous is the Stanford study of Chinese travel agency Ctrip. The agency split their workforce, randomly choosing employees that they would allow to work from home. The results were impressive, showing a 13% overall increase in the performance of their remote workers.
But why is this? Well, another survey found that 61% of office-based employees felt that loud colleagues were a distraction while 40% felt that colleagues stopping by their workspace for a chat limited their productivity. But the most telling stat from this survey was that 86% of employees preferred to work alone to maximise productivity.
You can’t argue with those numbers. Remote work increases productivity.
2. Less time lost
The Stanford study also found that there was less downtime and fewer sick days. They noted that employees who were ill often continued to work from home. And this is not an isolated incident.
Many employers of remote workers report that their employees take very little time off. If they needed to visit the doctor or run some errands, they would do so and then get straight back to work.
3. It saves the company money
All those coffee break cookies add up, but it’s not just coffee room supplies. Everything from office supplies to electricity cost less when there are fewer employees in the building. In fact, the company can even move to a smaller office and save on rent. Ask Roy in accounts; this benefit could be a lifesaver for a smaller company with cash flow problems.
4. Lower employee turnover
|In OWL Labs’ State of Remote Work survey, they found that companies that supported remote work had 25% lower employee turnover than companies that didn’t.|
This is an incredible statistic and reason enough alone to consider allowing your employees to work from home. But if that hasn’t convinced you then perhaps the next benefit will.
5. Faster time to hire
A very interesting stat which we came across in the OWL Labs report was the fact that companies with a remote workforce were 33% faster at filling vacancies than companies with office-based staff. By offering remote positions, companies can expand their candidate pool significantly and attract the best talent regardless of their location in the world. We love anything that accelerates your time to hire so this is definitely our favourite.
The benefits for the candidate (employee)
Now we come to the reasons why candidates see remote work as one of the most attractive benefits a company can offer. And why you should think seriously about including it in your employee package.
1. It lowers stress levels
Employees that work from home report lower stress levels and higher morale. They’re in their personal comfort zone and so feel much more relaxed even when struggling to meet deadlines. According to PGI’s 2014 survey, a staggering 82% of remote workers said that their stress levels improved significantly when working from home. And we know how mental health and low stress levels are beneficial for both the company and the employee.
2. It gives them their freedom
We talked about the freedom aspect of remote work in our post on freelancer candidates, and it’s a point that we really can’t emphasize enough. Offering candidates the freedom to work in their own environment or to arrange their working schedule to suit family responsibilities is an amazing benefit. One that even the most settled of passive candidates just might take note of.
3. They can embrace the digital nomad lifestyle
The digital nomad lifestyle is one that many professionals may scoff at but it’s real, and it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future at least. You see, younger people want to spend some time travelling, but many are unwilling or simply can’t afford to leave the workforce entirely. By working remotely, they can follow their dreams of seeing the world while also keeping their career on track.
4. Their circumstances don’t dictate their ability to work
Whether it’s a long-term illness that confines them to the home, mobility issues, or a variety of other factors outside their control, some people simply cannot work in an office. This makes them no less talented than your office-based staff, and by excluding them for your sourcing efforts, you may just miss out on a superstar candidate.
We’re not for a moment suggesting that you become a fully-remote company (although it certainly works for Buffer) but it is something that you should at least consider implementing to some degree. The advantages are there for all to see and with more and more companies now including the ability to work remotely as one of their employee benefits, not doing so limits your opportunities to hire from a wider talent pool.
So what’s your company’s current policy on remote work? Have you got any telecommuters on the books or do you have an entirely office-based workforce? Perhaps it’s time to implement some changes or increase your remote worker numbers. Or even better, introduce a remote sourcing consultant to your team. And yes, you guessed right, we have the perfect candidate for you right here at vsource. So drop us a line and let’s get started on finding your next remote worker.