While things are going back to "business as usual" for many companies, working from home could become the norm for some employees in the U.S. If you're having trouble deciding if you should bring your employees back into the office, consider the benefits of allowing them to work from home.
There are many potential benefits to letting your employees work from home. These benefits can help boost employee morale, which in turn, can help your business.
1. Higher Productivity
Some people might think that employees that work from home are constantly away from their desks and "riding the clock". It's easy to make this assumption because working remotely allows employees the freedom to do their jobs from the comfort of their homes. They don't have to worry about supervision and other incentives to get work done. But that doesn't mean they aren't productive.
One in three U.S. employees believes that they're more productive when working from home. Don't want to take the word of employees? A Stanford study proves their claims. It showed that remote employees were able to produce more work per week when they worked from home. The amount of work they were able to complete is equivalent to an additional full shift.
This flexibility of working from home also discourages absenteeism from work. Instead, it creates consistency, which leads to a more stable workforce and much higher yields. In another study published by Stanford University, researchers found that people who worked from home completed 13.5% more calls than those working at an office. This outcome indicated that employees who work privately and remotely are less distracted than those in an office setting.
2. Improve Work/Life Balance
Promoting work-life balance is one of the best ways to boost employee morale and retention. Employees don't want to feel like all they do is work. They want more freedom to do things like participate in their favorite hobbies, spend time with their family and friends, and take care of personal business. Working from home can give your employees that flexibility. 73% of employees working from home said that working remotely improved their work-life balance, according to a FlexJobs survey.
3. Increased Happiness
A better work-life balance can lead to overall happiness in your employees. A 2015 study found that women who recently gave birth experienced lower levels of depression when they were able to work from home, compared to heading back to the office. This shows that working from home can positively impact mood and overall happiness.
Also, in a study conducted by Global Workplace Analytics, the company found that the average US employee spends 49 minutes commuting to work each day. The data considers the time spent on traveling and job activities. It also highlights that those who spend less than 20 minutes commuting to and from work are more satisfied with their jobs.
4. Better Employee Retention
No business owner wants to see a productive employee go. But unfortunately, this happens all the time. Losing and replacing an employee can be both time-consuming and expensive.
Allowing your employees to work from home can help reduce turnover rate. Because working remotely boosts employee satisfaction, happiness, and work-life balance, employees are more likely to stick around. Working remotely also prevents you from losing valuable employees if they move to a new city.
5. Lower Operational Costs
You can save money by allowing your employees to work from home. On average, an on-site worker costs an employer $10,000 a year in real estate expenses. While you don't need to get rid of the office altogether, allowing your employees to work from home at least two days a week can reduce the amount of office space you need.
You can also save more money on compensating your employees. According to a survey by OwnLabs, 23% of full-time workers are willing to take a pay cut of over 10% if they can work from home at least some of the time. Other research has shown that 36% of employees would choose the ability to work from home over a pay raise.
There is a business case for considering giving employees the right to work from home. It might be surprising to know that many benefits result from this. With such advantages both for the employees and employers, flexible working conditions should be an option.
As other managers struggle with asking employees to return to the office, you could take this opportunity to enhance your company's productivity, happiness, and retention. Giving your workers this right could be a career-changing move for you and your company.
Furthermore, you will be distinguishing your company apart from many others in response to job seekers' demands for better benefits and flexibility. The right talent is becoming harder to find and hire. By leaning into a clear work-from-home strategy, you will open your recruiting efforts to so many more available talent, globally, who will show you their appreciation with their loyalty and high performance.