With the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020, many Australian businesses were encouraged, or in some cases forced, to have employees work remotely to maintain social distancing.
According to a Gartner Survey from March 2020, 88% of Australian organisations adopted working from home as part of their coronavirus response plan.
Now that the worst of the COVID-19 crisis has ended in Australia, many employees want to continue to work from home or adopt a hybrid remote and office-based work practice. In fact, according to Global Workplace Analytics 36% of employees would choose remote work over a pay rise, and 37% would take a pay cut of 10% if they could work from home!
But is telecommuting beneficial for your business? We examine some of the benefits of remote work that could save you money and increase productivity.
1. Cost Savings of Remote Work
The most obvious cost saving that results from telecommuting is reduced overhead – costs including rent, rates, utilities and supplies.
If you only have a small percentage of your employees on premises at any given time, you can reduce the size of your premises, saving money on rent, council rates and utilities. Similarly, other costs such as catering, cleaning and transport could be reduced or eliminated by remote work. According, to one study, the estimated average retail saving per full time tele-worker is up to $10,000 per employee per year.
Companies that operate virtually can also save money on business travel. Many companies have realised that they don’t have to pay for expensive interstate or overseas travel, when they can simply leverage remote communications platforms including video chat.
2. Remote Work Can Increase Productivity
While it requires a certain degree of trust to allow your employees to work from home, your business could benefit from increased productivity. Employees who work from home are up to 13% more productive when compared to their in-office counterparts, according to one Stanford Study.
Some of the reasons for this productivity increase include:
- Less noise than in a loud office environment
- Less distraction by co-workers
- Minimal tardiness due to unpredictable commuting
- Reduced stress when not commuting
- Reduced sick leave and unscheduled absenteeism
- Elimination of unnecessary meetings
In a 2020 Citrix poll, 36% of respondents said remote work reduced their stress, and over 80% of Australian workers said that remote work increased their productivity, reporting that they worked the same or more hours.
3. Other Potential Remote Work Benefits
While cost savings and increased productivity are key drivers for embracing remote work, there are other benefits associated with telecommuting that can save you money in the long term.
Attracting and Retaining High Quality Employees
Recruiting and retaining good staff is one of the biggest headaches for businesses. Offering the ability to telework can help attract and retain high-performing employees.
Working from home has led to increased employee satisfaction due to:
- A better work life balance
- Increased flexibility for working parents and personal obligations
- Reduction in stress caused by commuting
- Reduced public transport and fuel costs
An increase in employee satisfaction means an increase staff retention, potentially reducing the risk of losing valuable employees, and saving on the costs of recruiting, hiring and training new employees.
Improved Health and Well-being
Many employees are time-poor and desperate to improve their work-life balance. Flexible scheduling allows your team more time for family activities, exercise and to prepare healthier meals. It can also lead to improved well-being due to reduced stress, faster recovery from illness, and the elimination of the risk of an illness spreading across your workforce.
Set Your Employees Up For Success
As well as helping employees to set up their physical home office, providing the right technology for employees is key to successful remote work. Choose a leading collaboration tool like Microsoft Teams that can securely bring together content, conversations and employees to create a productive shared workplace.
Training your team to successfully work in a remote environment is equally critical to success.
This includes educating your employees about cyber security and how to implement effective cyber security practices for remote work to protect your business and employees.
You may also like to consider specific remote work training to help your managers lead and engage their remote teams, and train your employees to communicate more effectively in a remote environment, by developing a stronger phone and web presence.
Today’s technology has empowered organisations to transition employees to work remotely, delivering many potential benefits including cost savings and increased productivity.
If you would like to harness the benefits of remote work for your business or improve the quality of your collaboration tools and cyber security, contact Surety IT today. We can provide expert assistance to implement and manage: