Millennials now make up the bulk of the workforce and they have revolutionized the way we work and the places we work from. In order to attract the best talent and to retain it, companies have started to reshape their work conditions and their workplaces in order to cater to the needs and demands of the newer workforce generations.
A recent report published by Werk, a technology platform that helps companies become flexible through data and insights, found that 97% of millennials want or need some form of flexibility at work. More specifically, 80% showed interest in remote work options.
Millennials flock to remote work because it provides them with the opportunity to better take care of themselves, of others (family members and loved ones), and because they believe they are most productive when they choose where and when to work.
Remote work, and other types of flexible work arrangements, allow workers to:
- make more time to go to the gym and actively lead healthier lifestyles
- go to medical appointments
- sleep better at night
- attend special events for or with those they care for
- better manage chronic physical and health conditions
- perform in a sustainable way over a long period of time
- bring their whole selves to work
- foster skills to develop their careers.
In other words, remote and flexible work empowers Millennials, as well as workers from other generations to achieve and sustain work-life balance. But these types of work arrangements aren’t just beneficial to workers, they also represent significant advantages for companies.
For starters, those who work remotely report being more productive as they can work at hours that suit them best for their creativity or focus. Offering flexible work arrangements also increases employee loyalty and improves company culture. Last but not least, companies can also save a lot of money by hiring remote workers as it brings down their overhead costs. Hiring remote employees means that companies don’t require as much office space; real estate is among the top expenses for companies.
Quick side note here, saving money goes for both the company and workers. For their part, remote workers spend less in gas or other transportation method typically used for commuting, they spend less on food (no need to eat out for lunch if they work close to home), and they reduce or eliminate other costs associated with getting to and from work.
5 Ways Remote Work Helps Businesses Save Money
1. Less need for office space.
Even if workers work remotely only a few days a week, this can represent significant savings for a company. Since not everyone will be in the office every day, companies require less space, meaning they can downsize or they can hire more people without having to increase their real estate footprint.
Keep in mind that having a fully remote team doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have a physical address and workspace. Quite the contrary, many remote companies use a virtual office to have a strong presence in different markets and to have a physical location where they can meet clients or other coworkers.
The more productive workers are, the better a company will perform. Remote workers can handle more calls, produce more business opportunities, and fulfill tasks in less time (which means they get more done in a work day than they do in the office), among others. In other words, one hour of remote work is more productive than one hour (or potentially more) of work in the office. This not only saves money, but it can also create new opportunities for increased revenue and profits as increased productivity means greater output from the same amount of input.
3. Talent attraction and retention.
Offering remote work options can help a company attract and retain the best talent. Having the option to work remotely also enables the company to hire from a much wider talent pool. More importantly, however, is the fact that talent is the #1 resource of any company and losing great talent is harmful to business performance. People that leave take away with them their ideas, their understanding of the business, their understanding of a product/service/client, etc.
Then, there’s also the fact that training and onboarding cost companies thousands each year. Losing an employee is bad as it is, but hiring a new one requires a lot of time and financial resources. This is why attracting and, more importantly, retaining top talent is of high priority for many businesses. Remote and flexible work options can help companies win in today’s war for talent.
4. Increase Your Operating Hours
When you hire remote talent that’s widespread across different countries and timezones, you are able to increase your operating hours. This means that if your company offers products or services to clients in different regions and they need support or have a query, they will receive an answer in less time than if your operating hours were restricted to one timezone only. In a world where people expect everything to be solved quickly, the ability to respond and solve issues fast can provide businesses with a competitive advantage.
5. Reduced Cost per Employee.
Research has found that individuals would rather have the option to work flexibility than get a raise. Moreover, when employees work remotely the company doesn’t need to provide as much tech equipment as in an office environment; they also don’t have to absorb the cost of utilities (electricity, internet, water, etc.). Many companies also offer commuter benefits to employees, such as a gas stipend and discounted price for public transportation. Allowing employees to work remotely means that companies no longer need to offer these benefits.