Is your management team wrestling with the decision to let people work from home? It can be a big change, but it’s also a positive and necessary one. Increasingly, people are viewing “work” as something you do, rather than somewhere you go.
When organizations look to the future, the most innovative and successful leaders realize the potential that virtual workforces have to change the face of business. As organizations expand across the nation and around the globe, remote labor forces are becoming vital to business success.
More than 80 percent of Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For already have virtual work policies in place. And that number is expected to rise as time and technology advance. If your company isn’t on board yet, or your telework policy could be more inclusive, here are eight reasons why virtual work makes sense for both employer and employee:
- Cost savings for employers due to the reduced need for physical working space and overhead costs to maintain on-site facilities.
- Higher customer satisfaction due to better coverage across different time zones.
- Increased ability to attract top talent by eliminating geographic restrictions on the talent pool.
- Lower absenteeism and higher engagement. Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace study showed that virtual employees not only work an average of four hours longer per work week than people who go to the company site, but are also more engaged (32 percent versus 28 percent).
- Working from home eliminates the stress of commuting to work, and stress is one of the primary reasons for resignation.
- Costs for gas and train or bus fare are reduced, which creates a cost savings for employees.
- Higher innovation and creativity. According to a May 2014 Wall Street Journal article, only 10 percent of workers believe they do their best thinking at work compared with 39 percent who believe they do their best thinking at home.
- Better work-life balance and workplace flexibility, both of which are highly prized by Millennials, which is the fastest growing generation in the workforce.
Each year, the population of virtual workers grows, contributing to the belief that virtual workforces are here to stay. In fact, Harvard Business Review recently reported that by the end of 2015, 40 percent of the world’s workforce will be remote. To remain competitive in this increasingly global world, the decision for your organization to move toward a more virtual workplace should be an easy one.