The Corporate world took well over the past century to come up with the quintessential office, and it took a pandemic somewhere less than half a year to unravel the known, tried, and tested. Remote Work became the sole savior to keep companies up and running. As jarring as this transition has been for the employed and their employers, the new normal of work from home comes with a fair set of realizations, starting with a universally felt sentiment.
Remote work is poised to become a norm for Millennials and Gen Z, and its benefits are immense. Results from various surveys have confirmed that once you’ve gone remote, there’s no looking back. And, that’s why I’ll talk about the benefits of remote working both from the perspective of an employee and an employer, backed with data from the various survey including the one we conducted in India because World 2.0 is remote!
Well, it isn’t hard to guess who the binary beneficiaries are in this situation, so I’ll directly delve into the benefits that remote employers and employees can reap, and as a bonus, we’ll talk about the environmental impact as well.
Benefits Remote Work Offers to employers
- Job satisfaction: As remote workers tend to be more satisfied from their jobs and likely to stay in their current job for the next five years 13% more than their on-site colleagues (Owl Labs), employers end up saving a lot of money and resources that go in the hiring process and finding the best-suited candidate for the job.
- Sense of belonging: Not only are remote workers more engaged than office workers by putting in longer hours, but they also develop a stronger sense of belonging than their on-site counterparts. As per the latest Gallup State of the American Workplace report, it was found that regardless of the fact that remote workers often communicate with their teams only over the internet, they feel like their opinions matter and their work receives its due acknowledgment.
- Work-life balance: Further, the flexibility of remote working (be it work from home or any other place) allows the majority of workers to take only 2-3 weeks of vacation per year since they have more control over their schedules and therefore, do not require as much time off as their office-going counterparts.
As per Global Workplace Analytics, all the factors together help organizations save an average of $11,000 per year per part-time remote worker leading to 21% higher profitability, and once you take into account the infrastructural costs that are minimized, the figure goes significantly higher. This number of course increases when you look at arbitrage by hiring across different geographies.
Benefits for employees
Now, let’s look at factors other than flexibility that contribute to the satisfaction of remote workers.
- The comfort of home: Working from the comforts of your own home and the option of switching from your workstation to bed to your balcony or whatever is your favorite corner can be particularly appealing in terms of relaxation and breaking the monotony of staying at one spot for multiple hours.
- Not having to commute: Saving time and money and all the hassles of driving and public transport, sure, why not? Time spent in traffic will look as bizarre as sending letters to communicate in 2021. It just adds to human inefficiency.
- Being with Family: Ability to spend time more time with family and be near your loved ones.
- Global jobs: Working with people across the globe on opportunities that excite you.
In our survey, flexibility in schedule and work location was seen as the two major benefits of working remotely, followed by not having to commute.
Benefits for the environment
A few months into the lockdown, we all came across news reports of decreased pollution levels all over the world, thanks to ‘not having to commute’. Employees working from home helps companies in cutting their electricity costs. And, let’s agree to the fact that while working at home, we use less electricity than we would in the office.
The Global Analytics report studied the environmental impact of roughly 4 million people working remotely every year and concluded the following
- Reduction in greenhouse gases: 3 million tons of greenhouse gases can be avoided because of fewer trips.
- Reduction in traffic accidents: Up to $500 million can be saved.
- Reduction in oil usage: Up to $1 billion can be saved.
- Reduction in air pollution: Up to 83 million pounds can be avoided.
- Reduction in Carbon emissions: Equivalent to planting 92 million trees!
Given these astonishing figures, maybe remote work is the first step to saving the Earth.