Times have changed and remote work is here to stay. Thankfully, there are numerous benefits of remote work for both employers and employees. Employers who offer the flexibility of remote work or even a hybrid schedule will have a competitive advantage. And in a time when hiring is difficult, offering remote work expands the pool of potential candidates to make it easier and more cost-effective to build your team.
Though this list isn’t exhaustive, here are some of the benefits you can expect from a remote work strategy—there are also numerous challenges and best practices for implementing it.
Benefits of Remote Work for Employers
1. Ability to recruit remotely
Remote work has allowed organizations to gain access to skilled workers that they didn’t previously have. Since remote work has eliminated many of the location constraints that used to exist before the pandemic1, organizations can broaden their horizons and find, hire, and retain employees across the country. This is particularly useful in regions where certain kinds of skills are more plentiful or even in more rural areas. In effect, organizations can fill a spectrum of jobs that can be performed from anywhere, relocation unnecessary.
2. Increased diversity
With access to more workers, you can expand the diversity of your workforce. Hiring remote workers from other areas opens up opportunities to different cultures, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, and experiences — all of which add richness and depth of perspective to any organization. And when a workforce is more representative of the population at large, it tends to be more innovative, resulting in products and services that are in tune with a diverse customer base2.
3. Increased employee retention
It’s become clear with the recent job market shift that employees want the flexibility to work remotely. Not allowing the opportunity to do so could result in job loss. Many employees enjoy working from home and report positive effects on their work-life balance. It’s not surprising then that remote workers are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs than the average American3. Employers benefit from increased satisfaction with higher levels of retention.
Benefits of Remote Work for Employees
1. Flexibility and work-life balance
Over and over again, employees express a desire for greater flexibility on the job, and remote work checks that box. Instead of getting stuck in a long commute to and from work, or being unable to take care of everyday needs like doctor’s appointments or childcare, remote work eliminates many of the ordinary hassles employees grapple with. Taking time off or building extra time into the day to get things done is less common with remote workers. When employees can work from anywhere and have flexibility in the hours they work, they’re able to bring more balance to their lives. Of course, working from home can sometimes blur the lines and decrease work/life balance if it isn’t well managed.
2. Greater productivity and higher performance
Perhaps paradoxically, remote work also leads to higher standards on the job. For example, employees who work remotely can increase their productivity. Because employers can’t “see” them all the time, remote employees often work harder and try to avoid common distractions like coffee breaks so they can maintain the trust of their teams and managers4. Remote workers have been found to boost productivity equal to a full day’s work5. When employees are performing well on the job, it also encourages companies to step up and be more compelling employers capable of inspiring the best in their workforce.
3. Access to more jobs
Remote work is no longer a niche endeavor. Employees who wanted to give remote work a try used to specifically seek companies that already had those policies in place, and sometimes exclusively so. With the changes brought about by the pandemic, those barriers have been removed and those niches have expanded. Now, many different companies across many different industries are offering remote work opportunities, making it easier than ever for employees to find an ideal job that also allows them to work from anywhere.
If you’re considering remote work or a hybrid option for your employees, read our guide to learn more about the challenges and best practices for remote work.
1 Boland, Brodie; De Smet, Aaron; Palter, Rob; Sanghvi, Aditya. “Reimagining the office and work-life after COVID-19.” McKinsey. June 8, 2020
2 Lyons, Sheryl. “The Benefits of Creating a Diverse Workforce.” Forbes. Sept. 9, 2019.
3 CNBC Survey Monkey Workforce Survey. May, 2020.
4 “The benefits of remote work — for employees and managers.” WeWork. May 4, 2020. 11
5 Mautz, Scott. “A 2-Year Stanford Study Shows the Astonishing Productivity Boost of Working from Home.” Inc. April 2, 2018.