Pre-2020, working from anywhere seemed like an unachievable fantasy. Cue 2022 and it’s commonplace and clearly here to stay. In fact, UpWork has estimated that 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025.
We’ve moved on from the mad scramble of very quickly needing to adjust to a work from home scenario when the pandemic hit, and we’ve settled into routine and a new work life balance. According to Gallup, nearly 60% of U.S. remote employees want to continue to work from anywhere.
Although remote working comes with challenges that we shouldn’t shy away from, it also has many benefits to both employees and businesses.
Studies have shown that remote employees are more productive, meaning they get more done in less time. A survey completed by FlexJobs’ in 2020 found that workers who thought they might be more productive working from home actually were more productive when working remotely. Just over half of respondents (51%) said that they are more productive working from home.
- There’s no time wasted commuting
- Distracting chatty co-workers are a thing of the past
- Impromptu meetings or huddles don’t exist
- Work days can start and end in their own time
- Days are more flexible
- Self motivation increases
Do you suffer from mid morning slumps in energy? Working from anywhere means you can more easily step outside for some fresh air or take a quick power nap - something that would be frowned upon in the office. These micro-breaks can significantly improve productivity because remote employees can match breaks to their natural dips in energy and motivation.
2. No commute
Long commutes have been linked to low mood and high blood pressure, and, in fact, many workers find their commute more stressful than their job.
Just how long did we spend behind the wheel or on a train or bus seat? In the UK, Londoners spend on average 81 minutes commuting to work. That’s nearly 7 hours of your week - a significant chunk of time that could be used to do other things.
Working from anywhere means that a lengthy commute has been replaced with a 30 second walk from bedroom to home office. Remote employees can use the commute time that they’ve gotten back to enjoy a fitness class, pop to their favorite coffee shop, spend time with their family or head out for an early dinner.
3. Work where you want
Remote working gives you the freedom to set up your laptop wherever you want. That can be extremely refreshing and motivating. Start the day working from your local coffee shop, head home to work in your home office over lunch and then stroll to a co-working space in the afternoon. This all injects variety into the working day and can boost motivation.
You also have the freedom to create your dream work station. Why not decorate your home office with plants and artwork? Diffuse calming oils or burn candles. Play your top focus playlist. A healthy, calming work environment can make the work day more positive.
4. Work-life balance
A reduced commute and more flexible working hours means that remote employees gain some time back into their day providing a healthier work life balance.
You might also be able to step away from your desk and complete some household chores during the day - use your breaks to prepare dinner, put some laundry in the washing machine, or clean up your kitchen. That means that come evening you have more time back to spend with family or friends.
5. Access opportunity
Workers are now able to apply for jobs outside of their region, or even globally. This means that you could land your dream job that might not otherwise be so readily available at your doorstep. A global workforce means remote employees can work with more culturally diverse teams and learn new skills as a result.
Remote working also provides more opportunity for primary caregivers, people with chronic health conditions, people with physical and mental disabilities and those who don’t have the finances to cover the cost of childcare or commuting.
6. Lower cost of living
Working from anywhere can lower the cost of living. A flexible working situation can:
- Remove commuting costs
- Mean that you cook at home rather than heading to your local sandwich shop
- See you making your own coffee and tea instead of visiting your favorite barista
- Remove the need for an expensive, smart work wardrobe
- Enable you to live where you want; you no longer have to live in an expensive city to access the best job opportunities
7. Mental health boost
A study has reported that 82% of remote workers report lower stress levels. Many of the scenarios we have discussed above will feed into better overall mental health.
Working from home also enables you to better manage your stress. Perhaps you’re someone who needs to pound the pavement and enjoy a long run when stress levels peak. Or maybe you roll out your yoga mat and meditate. Perhaps you turn the speakers up loud and blast some music. All of these options are available to you when you work remotely, meaning that you can more easily keep stress under control.
So, is remote working failing employees?
There are many strong proof points and concrete statistics to suggest that remote working isn’t failing employees, and in fact, it’s benefiting them.
Despite this, it’s worth remembering that managing a remote workforce does come with challenges. It’s important to be aware of these and to address them to ensure that your remote employees remain happy and motivated.
Finally, a remote workforce also brings many business benefits. It can improve employee loyalty, reduce turnover, lead to better hires, boost productivity, save money and make you more competitive. There’s no reason not to embrace the new way of working.
allwhere equips teams with everything they need to work from anywhere. We’ll help you create a world-class workplace with a suite of services such as: outsourced, centralized procurement; full lifecycle asset management (deployment, replacement, retrieval, storage, disposal, and redeployment); and more to help teams navigate the future of work. To learn more, book a demo with us here.