You’re not alone if you’ve questioned the benefits of remote work. Believe me when I claim that I had my doubts about the ability of employees from all departments to complete the task. However, owing to the health crisis, that is precisely what my company did for the majority of 2020.
I’ve always believed that hardworking colleagues should be able to work from home when necessary. For years, some of them who relocated out of state have been completely isolated. But, for nearly a year, shifting the whole team to remote for five days a week? That was something I was unsure of before…
Communication concerns, disturbances, and technical issues, to name a few, will all be present. Yes, there are ways to avoid these problems — putting in place a protocol, communicating priorities, and investing in good technology — but putting everybody on the phone for an extended period of time? I couldn’t make up my mind.
Then came the world’s health-care crisis. We had to make some major decisions at the drop of a hat.
The advantages of remote working
It worked out well for my accounting software and payroll business. Before our state’s stay-at-home order even went into effect, we had everyone up and out of the office. We’ve been rocking and rolling since then, as though we’ve still been disconnected.
Interviews and onboarding were done by our team, which grew by 55 people when working remotely! We held open-enrollment meetings and conducted remote performance assessments. We were also able to host team events without any problems.
Working remotely did have its drawbacks, as one would imagine. (How could there not be any aches and pains in the midst of a global crisis?) Remote work, on the other hand, has been a boon to my business as we manage this time.
I understand that working from home is not possible for anyone in every sector. However, there are a few advantages of going remote that we discovered.
A broader quest for talent
In the Canton, Ohio, city, there are a lot of talented people. However, not everyone wishes to remain in Ohio. We discovered we could expand our talent hunt nationally as a result of this work-from-home project (as I like to call it). In nine states, we now have workers who work from home. We’ve always taken pride in recruiting only the best of the best. And now we have the ability to do so on a national scale, which is pretty cool.
Workers have more flexibility
Employees adore being able to work from home. Four years ago, 88 percent of staff said they wanted “more flexible hours” in a survey reported in the Harvard Business Review. And, when it comes to remote jobs, an overwhelming majority of respondents (80%) required “work-from-home options.”
Our workers have even more flexibility now that we’ve gone remote over the last year. They will avoid the rush-hour walk, work through doctor’s appointments, and be in the same house as their children who are enrolled in online classes.
I’ve always believed in providing my employees with the versatility they need to achieve the best work-life balance possible. Whether it was working from home as required or taking advantage of flex time to attend doctor’s appointments or pick up their children, they were able to do so.
The team’s versatility increased when they went remote. This is beneficial to any business because the more people who are able to achieve that coveted work-life balance, the more engaged they are in their work. Flexibility is associated with increased productivity, not decreased productivity.
Absences have decreased.
The flu season comes around every year. And if you try to keep the spread to a minimum, it somehow manages to find its way into the office. Every year, it happens to us. With the exception of this year.
Since we were all working remotely, the spread of illness in the workplace was virtually non-existent. None, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing We weren’t in the workplace because, well, we weren’t there. Employee absences were significantly reduced as a result of this.
Aside from the flu, we were particularly thankful for the remote control that helped to keep Covid-19 from spreading. The rate of missed work time was 1.9 percent in 2020, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lost work time rate is calculated as the number of hours missed as a percentage of the normal working hours. Staff was required to take 1.9 percent of their daily working hours off (and who can blame them?).
We were able to reduce absenteeism and keep our team members healthy by working remotely.
Employee satisfaction is improved.
Another significant advantage of operating remotely is the increased retention of employees. Employees may leave a company for a variety of reasons that aren’t financial in nature. Working from home won’t fix all of an employee’s problems, but it will help attract workers who choose to relocate to a new city or receive better benefits (such as a flexible schedule).
A few of my workers who had relocated out of state were able to stay with me. We’ll be able to retain even more now that we’ve begun recruiting around the country. Our benefits have been strengthened as a result of this work-from-home arrangement, making it even more flexible for our team.