How the opportunity for telecommuting creates better employees
How we work is constantly changing. During industrialisation, the workforce was centralised as a large part of the country's population moved from the countryside into the towns to get work. Now we’re beginning to see signs of something almost exactly the opposite, with more and more people choosing to work remotely – a kind of decentralisation. And we can see that it produces results. In this post, we will look at some of the advantages of telecommuting and how it creates the conditions for better productivity.
More satisfied employees
One of the biggest problems for small businesses is that they often lose their best talents to larger companies offering a more generous budget and more extensive projects. So it’s important that you offer whatever you can to retain your employees.
Freedom in their work is something most people appreciate. Employee loyalty isn’t created by days in the office that never seem to end and meetings in crowded conference rooms where the air has long since gone stale. By letting go of these unnecessary – and largely outdated – ways of working, you immediately get more satisfied employees, and this increases the likelihood that they will choose to stay with you.
Access to a bigger talent pool
One of the main factors when it comes to the increased willingness and demand to work from home is that the younger, 18-35 generations, are used to being able to communicate with each other no matter where they are, and they expect the same from their workplace. So a flexible workplace is something younger people in the industry expect, and if you succeed in appealing to that target group you will have access to a significantly bigger pool of talent. You’ll also be opening your business up to talent from places other than where you have your offices.
If one of the best talents in your industry is in Umeå but you only have offices in Malmö and Gothenburg, it will be tough to convince that person to start working for your company. By allowing telecommuting, you open up entirely new opportunities for yourself and your staff. This is particularly important in industries where the amount of expertise is limited or in cases where your company is located in a small town.
No commuting time
Less time in traffic means a less stressful morning for your employees. The link between good health for your employees and your company's results has been proven over and over again, both in terms of productivity and the number of sick days. When your employees can work from home, they can start working first thing in the morning without having to think about anything else.
Increased productivity and efficiency
Working remotely is a twofold question when it comes to the issue of productivity. The advantages are that you avoid spending time socialising in the office, gossiping over the coffee machine and being interrupted at your desk. But what is often said about telecommuting is that the employee must be able to handle all the distractions at home. In a survey by Sure Payroll, 88% of respondees said that they reached maximum productivity when working alone and two-thirds of all managers responded that employees who work remotely are more productive. In other words, it seems that those who are entrusted to work from home are able to handle any distractions, or alternatively that the distractions at home aren’t as detrimental to productivity as those in the office.
According to another study by Canada Life, it was found that those working from home rated their own productivity as 7.7/10 compared to those working in offices, who rated their own productivity as 6.5/10. A study from Stanford University also showed that those who telecommute 13% more productive than those who work in offices.
In other words, the figures support the idea that telecommuters are more productive. At the same time, it should be mentioned that the best solution isn’t necessarily to immediately terminate your office rental contract and fully invest in telecommuting! It seems instead to be that this type of flexibility makes people more productive. By allowing your employees to work in different ways, they will be more satisfied with their employment and in consequence will perform better.
This is the future
According to AfterCollege, which is a career network for college students, it was found that 68% of all job seekers between 18 and 35 years old think the opportunity to work remotely would increase their interest in starting employment with a given employer. This may sound like a high figure, but this is because attitudes have changed rapidly.
In just a few years, the number of people working from home has increased significantly. This is a trend that we predict will continue in our increasingly digitised world. The group usually known as digital nomads, a working group not connected to any specific geographical location and who always work remotely, is increasing rapidly.