Why remote work is here to stay
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies sent their employees home to work, dreading the results. After all, without the ability to directly monitor them, how would productivity be maintained? However, the U.S. workforce rose to the challenge, according to one survey from Mercer. Out of 800 different companies surveyed about their now-distributed workforce, 94% said their work-at-home employees were as productive if not more so than ever before, the Society for Human Resource Management stated.
In fact, as reported by Forbes, shifting to a remote work setting has revealed multiple benefits as employees have stepped up to the plate in vast numbers. Based on the following statistics, it's not surprising that many are now thinking remote work will continue for many employees long after the pandemic threat is past.
Remote work by the numbers
When it comes to productivity, remote workers are hitting it out of the park. Instead of declining efficiency, it's been discovered that most remote employees have at least a 4.4% increase in their work output, and the average telecommuter is achieving 35-40% as much as they did when stuck in an office setting, Forbes reported. Looking at work quality, standards are also on the rise for work-from-home employees. Defect rates have dropped by 40%, meaning remote workers are turning out higher-quality results than ever now that they are unfettered from their desks.
Calling in sick is the natural choice when you're under the weather and can't face a commute. Working from home means employees can self-care through a rough morning, then hop back to work when they feel more like themselves, reducing absenteeism by 41% and meaning deadlines get met after all.
Happy employees tend to stick with the employer that makes them feel that way. Remote work is now a serious perk for many considering whether to stay or to go; more than half of currently employed people say they'd switch jobs if a remote work opportunity was offered, so giving your workers the chance to be remote could reduce turnover by as much as 12%.
Finally, letting employees work for home is just a sound financial decision. You could boost profitability per employee by as much as 21% just by letting them work from home – with an average savings per remote worker of up to $11,000 a year.
The future of remote work
While not every employee will remain remote in future years, McKinsey reports that it's not unreasonable to expect post-pandemic levels to settle in with three to four times as many people working from home compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Technology permits remote workers to be effectively managed with virtual meetings, and online tools foster environments perfect for collaborative effort. Even companies that do require employees to punch a clock and sit at an office desk may allow a hybrid model as a perk. Letting an employee work two or more days from their home is now considered a reasonable option and employees have been emboldened to demand flexibility in regard to work hours and location.