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November 23, 2021

The Benefits of Working Remotely

By Meli Taylor

Remote work is a growing trend in the business world. According to Employment Hero statistics in 2020, 30% of companies are completely remote. This represents a 44% growth over the past five years. In the United States, 3.4% of the work force work from home throughout the week, which represents a total of 4.7 million employees. Furthermore, a whopping 62% of employees globally between the ages of 22 and 65 work remotely on occasion. In the future, these numbers are expected to increase further: Upwork estimates that 22% of the American workforce will be working remotely by 2025.

Clearly, this type of work is one of the most important trends in the business world in the 21st century. But what is remote work, exactly? In this article, we will answer the question “what does it mean to work remotely”. Then, we will cover the advantages of remote working (spoiler alert: there are many!). Finally, we will discuss how employers and employees alike can create effective policy and build a successful remote team. 

What Does Working Remotely Mean?

So, what does it mean to work remotely? The definition of remote work is work that can be done outside of corporate offices. Working remotely allows employees to work from anywhere in the world, whether that’s from home, a public space, or an international location. This work is typically done on a computer, with various synchronous and asynchronous communication tools allowing the worker to communicate with other employees. 

The Benefits of a Remote Workforce

There are various benefits of working remotely for both employers and employees.

Benefits for Employers

The benefits of working remotely for employers include: 

  • Wider talent pool: When you allow employees to work from anywhere, you can select from a wider talent pool when hiring. You can hire the best workers from anywhere in the world instead of being limited to location.
  • Retain employees: Employees, quite simply, like working remotely. According to a March-April 2021 FlexJobs survey, 58% of respondents would “absolutely look for a new job if they cannot continue remote work”. Additionally, letting employees work out of the office means that you can retain them even if they move.
  • Increase employee engagement: 32% of remote workers report to be more engaged at work, compared to 28% of office workers. Remote workers also feel a greater sense of belonging, thus leading to more engagement.
  • Less time off: Remote workers take less vacation time per year. Working from home leads to decreased stress for workers, which means they need less time off to recharge.
  • Employee recommendations: According to Employment Hero, “81% of workers say that working remotely would make them recommend the workplace to job candidates”.

Benefits for Employees

On the employee side, working remotely also comes with benefits, including:

  • Higher pay: Remote workers on average get $4,000 more in annual income than office-based workers. They all save money on the cost of commuting.
  • Higher quality of life: Remote workers report a higher quality life with less stress and a healthier lifestyle. According to Employment Hero’s Work-Life Relationship survey, 89% of remote workers felt they were better able to take care of themselves because they work remotely.
  • Sense of belonging: Remote workers feel a greater sense of belonging to their teams. They also communicate more frequently and more effectively with team members.
  • Higher job satisfaction: Remote workers report higher job satisfaction and lower rates of burnout.
  • Greater flexibility: Remote workers tend to have more flexibility and autonomy in their jobs. They can set a schedule that works best for them and take breaks when they need to.

Creating Effective Remote Work Policy

Nevertheless, to achieve these benefits, you need effective remote work policy in place. Because this work necessitates less face-time between employees, structured and regularly scheduled communication is vital for the success of both the individual employee and the business as a whole. Likewise, policies need to be put in place to ensure that workers stay on task and complete the work they are assigned. With an effective remote work policy in place, workers will feel engaged, connected, and energized.

Structure + Communication = Great Policy

The first step of developing effective remote work policy is to establish the structure of the work day and week. Set guidelines for work hours during the day and total work hours for the week. This includes guidelines on overtime and work outside of set hours. Make sure that you communicate these guidelines to all employees.

Additionally, you will need to set specific policy on workplace communication, meetings, and work reporting. Regularly scheduled meetings are vital for remote workers. Workers should be meeting weekly, if not daily, with direct supervisors and team members. These meetings should be scheduled at a regular time. Moreover, workers need access to online communication platforms that let them quickly send messages, requests, and feedback to team members. If you need help identifying the best platform for your team’s needs, you can check out our article on the best online tools for asynchronous communication

Finally, you need to set guidelines for what happens when employees are not meeting expectations. If an employee isn’t using their time effectively, then how will you approach them? Develop a plan for how to discuss problems with employees and how to re-engage them. Similarly, employees should know what they can do if they feel they are not performing their best or if they have concerns about a team member or supervisor. Remote work is a team effort, regardless of how many employees work remotely vs. in the office. This means that all team members need to feel comfortable communicating openly and honestly about what’s working for them and what’s not. Remember that what works for one employee may not work for another. You may need to personalize your remote work policy so that you can bring out the best in every employee.

Build a Successful Remote Team

Do you need more advice on how to build a great remote team? Check out our article on the secrets of a successful remote team. Here at Droplr, we’ve had team members working remotely for several years. We have the necessary experience to know what makes a remote team successful. As such, we are always improving our own communication tool so that it fits the needs of every remote team. If you would like to know more about Droplr’s remote screen sharing and file sharing platform, schedule a demo today or sign up for a free trial.