Remote work isn't just the future of the workforce, it's the here and now. At First Page Strategy, we've been embracing it for over five years — why? Because it makes for happier employees, which then makes for higher-quality work, which ultimately makes for happier clients.
But remote work isn't just for creatives, writers, freelancers, or contractors. Instead, it's a business model that everyone can appreciate and more companies should embrace. Here's why.
Freedom, Flexibility, and Happiness
One of the key reasons behind the surge in remote work model adoption is the independence and flexibility it offers to employees. Without the obligation to work in a physical office space, employees have the autonomy to work from any location, be it their homes, co-working spaces, or even while traveling (hello, digital nomads).
This flexibility allows individuals to strike a healthy work-life balance, reduce stress, avoid burnout, and maintain personal freedom. When employees have control over their work environment, they also tend to be happier and more motivated, which results in increased job satisfaction and retention rates.
That's not just conjecture, either — an ADP study of over 32,000 workers found that when compared to their in-office counterparts, remote workers are:
- 12% more likely to be optimistic about the future; and
- 8% more likely to report being satisfied with their job.
What's more, 64% of workers would consider looking for a new job if their current position required them to return to the office full-time, and 52% would take a pay cut in exchange for more remote work.
Bottom line? Employees love the freedom a remote work model gives them, and that's reflected in their choice of employer.
Sorry, Elon Musk: remote workers aren't just "pretending to work." In fact, a pre-COVID peer-reviewed study from Stanford found that employees working from home demonstrated a 13% performance increase.
That held true during and after the pandemic, too. A Great Place to Work survey of over 800,000 workers uncovered a consistent productivity increase while working from home, and a paper from the University of Chicago estimated a 5% productivity boost in the post-pandemic economy.
The reasons for such increased productivity range from a calmer work environment to less time spent commuting and more time spent, well, working.
But whatever the cause, the outcome is inarguable: more remote work equals more productivity.
There's no denying that office space is expensive, and that's not including furniture, computers, utility costs, coffee, snacks, and decor.
Want a dollar amount? No problem: Research shows that companies that switch to a remote work model can save $11,000 per half-time remote worker per year, or even more if they're located in particularly expensive regions.
Employers aren't the only ones who can benefit, either — employees can save up to $6,000 per year by working semi-remotely or up to $12,000 per year by working fully remotely, according to Global Workplace Analytics. And with gas and food prices being what they are, it's not hard to see why.
In other words, it's a win-win for everyone's wallet.
In addition to helping employees save money on gas, the reduced commuting associated with a remote work model also has environmental benefits.
For instance, 500 half-time remote workers will collectively save nearly 100,000 gallons of gas, over 5,000 barrels of oil, and more than 2 million vehicle miles.
That means a staggering reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as cleaner air, less traffic, and fewer car accidents to boot.
Harmonious Work-Life Balance
Traditional work models often create a stark separation between workers' personal and professional lives. Remote work, on the other hand, allows for a more seamless integration of the two.
Employees can attend to personal responsibilities, such as caring for family members or pursuing hobbies, without sacrificing their professional commitments. And if that means walking the dog during work hours or doing a load of laundry after a meeting, we say it's worth it.
Employees who are trusted to manage their time as they please are employees who are happier, more loyal, and more fulfilled, and that's something employers should support not only in theory but also in practice.
So while it may have taken a global health crisis to bring remote work models into the mainstream, we don't need such a crisis to continue embracing them. Doing so will benefit employers, employees, and the planet, so if you're not on the bandwagon yet, then it's time to hop on board.
Trust us when we say this is just the beginning.