27 September 2023

Offering remote work: A crucial point of difference

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Ashley Stahl* says many employees who got a taste of remote working during the pandemic won’t ever view the office in the same light again.

You wake up in the morning and commute into work, spend a few hours in time-wasted meetings and get bombarded at your workspace with questions and uninvited guests.

Since the pandemic, people’s views of office life has taken a turn, and in many cases, for the worse.

As a career coach, I work with many clients that are unhappy with their current work situation.

They often say: “I need to get out of my job and into a totally different career.”

However, the problem usually isn’t what they are doing; it is how they are doing it.

One of the biggest ways to improve the work environment for your employees so they don’t want to leave is to offer remote work.

Here are three reasons why you should embrace remote working.

The talent pool for hiring expands

If you want the best people it is likely you will need to start looking further afield.

Recent surveys found 85 per cent of employees have a desire to work remotely for at least a portion of their job.

One half hold jobs which they believe would support remote work.

If you are able to cater to the requests of top talent, they will find your organisation more appealing to work for.

Don’t forget what can often turn into a hiring nightmare: Relocation.

Many people do not want to pick up and move their family across the country.

If you offer remote work, this alleviates the hassle and will save money in supporting any relocation funds.

Instead of hiring for people in a certain city, hire people for their talent, no matter where they are located.

You save money and help the environment

Overhead expenses are typically 70-to-85 per cent people-related.

When you increase the number of employees that participate in remote work you directly lower your overhead costs.

Many organisations have invested a great deal of their budgets into offering perks like gyms, free food and motivational events.

With more employees working remotely you can cut back on these expenses without losing employee morale.

When the size of on-site employees decreases you can rent out a smaller space, spending less money on electricity and lighting.

These utility reductions play into your sustainability and impact on the environment.

On top of this, consider the fuel emissions for employees to commute to and from work.

Some organisations that are service-based can go 100 per cent remote.

If you need to host an occasional meeting, consider renting out an event space monthly or quarterly for a fraction of the cost that goes into keeping the lights on in an office.

All of these cost savings can be used to hire more employees, invest in new projects or be used for community improvement and philanthropy.

Employees are more engaged and productive

When an organisation creates a culture in support of a healthy work-life balance, employee retention and engagement rises.

With remote work available, employees have the freedom to work during the hours and in the environment that suits them best.

According to a survey, 86 per cent of employees preferred to work alone at least some of the time in order to be more productive.

When there are fewer distractions, like impromptu meetings or co-workers talking loudly nearby, your employees will be more efficient.

This might sound counterintuitive, but being absent actually makes you work harder to connect and not become complacent in your relationships.

The Harvard-Business Review found that groups working remotely valued the time they had together more and used their communication tools on hand to get things done more efficiently.

Offering remote work to employees is a perk that should not be overlooked.

If you want to seek and retain top talent and be a brand that people advocate working for, don’t miss the boat on this.

*Ashley Stahl is a career coach, keynote speaker, podcast host and author. In a previous life she was award-winning counter-terrorism professional. She can be contacted at ashleystahl.com.

This article first appeared at ashleystahl.com.

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