The Benefits of Remote Work

The work environment of today versus the not-too-distant past looks completely different. A white collar corporate job used to mean traveling into a major city and sitting at a desk on the 30th floor of an office building for 8 hours a day. A “grin and bear it” mentality was needed for the grueling commute most workers had to endure each day, which could sometimes add up to four hours of travel time. But with the rise of remote work models, things have changed, and a new era marked by flexibility and freedom has begun. 

The Rise of Remote Work

The “work-from-home” (WFH) lifestyle has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, many people were forced to stay home to reduce the spread of the virus and companies needed to find a way to make sure the necessary work was being completed. Technology such as video conferences have enabled WFH, and now it is becoming a popular workstyle. 40% of American workers work from home at least once a week in 2023, and 12% do so exclusively. Even though these numbers are slightly lower than they were at the height of the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, they are still much more common than they were a decade ago. 

Adopting a WFH workstyle has many benefits that are highly valued by employees. Not surprisingly, 60% of remote workers consider the reduction in commuting time to be a particularly valued benefit. Many loathed the hours they would have to spend crawling along in traffic, and now their workdays seem much more manageable. Meetings still seem to be on everyone’s agendas, because only 10% of workers agreed there are less meetings due to remote work. 

The improvements in financial and time efficiency go much beyond convenience. About 44% of employees save money on lunch and gas, 38% spend less time getting dressed up, and 29% have more free time to spend with friends and family. Everyone agrees that having a remote or hybrid schedule improves daily living flexibility and results in a better work-life balance, which in turn can drive employee satisfaction rates. 

Employers have also benefited greatly from WFH. Businesses who implement this type of working environment have experienced 68% increase in productivity and a 50% decrease in employees taking sick leave. Employee turnover has decreased by 50% as a result of a better work-life balance, which has resulted in significant cost savings of between $20,000 and $37,000 per employee annually. Clearly, there are a lot of WFH benefits for both employees and employers to be considered. 

Not Everyone Sees Remote Work as the Answer

There are clear regional differences in the acceptance of remote work, with the Midwest exhibiting lower acceptance rates at just 4% of job postings. More urban acceptance of WFH can be seen in the larger percentage of remote job postings in states like Florida, New York, and California. Worldwide, the bulk of employees (66.5%) continue to work in typical office environments, with 25% having hybrid work arrangements and 7.5% working remotely completely. When it comes to the employment of remote workers, the United States seems to be leading the trend. However, WFH is anticipated to continue to pick up steam globally as technology develops and public acceptance grows.

98% of people say they want to work remotely some or all of the time. But in order to make this dream a reality, several workplace adjustments need to be made. Connectivity platforms need to be created to keep workers connected with each other and not feeling isolated during a workday. There needs to be stringent cybersecurity methods in place to make sure a company’s sensitive information and IT tools don’t fall prey to security threats, whether intentional or unintentional. AI scheduling software can also be helpful to help create optimal work schedules based on employee preferences and availability. This can help incite an efficient and productive performance from employees. 

In Conclusion

The recent wave of remote working styles has changed the workplace as we know it, mostly for the better. At least within the United States, most companies have determined there is no longer to require employees to come to the office a full five days a week. Most employees have adopted a hybrid schedule and WFH a few days out of the week, which has led to creating a more sustainable lifestyle for many people. Workers are loving the extra time with their loved ones, reduced commute times, and overall financial savings from reducing time in the office. Hopefully more companies will opt for this workstyle in the future. 

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