When given the opportunity to speak with several CEOs and executives over the course of the last 2 years, our conversations seem to follow a similar trajectory. We talk about the economy, the potential impending recession, what that means for business owners, but quickly the conversation pivots to the idea of “remote work”. As soon as the phrase “work-from-home” is uttered, the conversation is immediately highjacked with a disgruntled tone. The reality is that most CEOs dislike the policy of remote working, and middle-aged executives have been saying since March 2020 that they want their employees to return to the office. On the flip side, whenever I converse with young people in the work-force, they are equally vehement that they want to continue working from home. No matter which side you this generational divide you fall into, there are benefits of remote work, for both the employee and the employer…
Location Independence – One of the considerable benefits of working from home is having access to a wide range of job opportunities that aren’t limited to geographic location. This benefits both the employee and the employer. Employees have access to a wide variety of jobs, and employers have the ability to search from essentially a global talent pool. For the employee, remote work also gives you the flexibility to avoid living in certain areas with high-rents and costs of living.
Money savings – It is estimated that people who work from home save, on average, upwards of $4,000 per year. The cost of gas, transportation, lunches bought out, and a professional wardrobe adds up, and working remotely avoids these costs. These savings are not limited to employees; in fact, employers benefit financially from having remote workers as well. Meta, Twitter, Square, and Shopify have reported large cost savings by giving employees the flexibility to work from home. It is estimated that companies can save on average $11,000 per employee by avoiding over head, real estate costs, transit subsities, and continuity of operations. During the pandemic, US employers saved over $30 billion per day by allowing employees to work from home.
Increased productivity and performance. People who work from home claim that they have fewer interruptions and distractions which leads to increased productivity. Research from McKinsey found that people who work from home are an average of 35-40% more productive than their office counterparts, and have measured an output increase of at least 4.4%. If the company has a system where they can effectively measure the output of their employees who work from home, and they are able to hit performance standards, its a win-win.
Commuting. The average one-way commute time in the US is 27.1 minutes. That’s an hour each day getting to and from work. Over the course of the week, that’s five additional hours of driving. Aside from wasting time, more than 30 minutes of one-way daily commuting is associated with increased levels of stress and anxiety. Commuting just 10 miles to work each day is associated with high cholesterol, elevated blood sugar, and an increased risk of depression. Ditching the commute times is beneficial for a worker’s physical and mental health: having some extra time in the morning to fit in a workout and eat a healthy breakfast rather than scrambling to make it to work on time, getting stuck in traffic, and grabbing an Egg McMuffin from McDonald’s.
Stay tuned next week as we discuss the drawbacks of the remote model.