By 2019 we were all used to the “ideal” life routine. Adult life consisted of waking up early every morning, taking a shower, grabbing a quick breakfast, heading off to work & after 8 or so hours we finally got back home. At this point, although a lovely thought, we couldn’t imagine a world with everyone working remotely.
Teleconferences were used only on specific occasions & employees who worked from home on a regular basis were practically nonexistent. Even though telecommuting wasn’t a common working method, the scenario where people got to work from home more than once a week wasn’t even considered, communication and teleworking technology kept on advancing.
All of this changed during promising 2020, when Covid-19 came unexpectedly in a way that no one could have predicted. Forcing most companies and industries to reinvent themselves and shift to a remote work model in order to survive & be able to operate as normally as they could without putting their employees at risk.
With the rise of new platforms and technological advances that allow businesses from all over the world to shift to a telecommuting work model, working remotely is becoming our new normal.
As the days go by, more and more people are getting used to this working model, discovering its value, and realizing that not only is working from home and telecommuting possible… but it can be extremely beneficial.
The Many Benefits of Working Remotely
Working from home comes with a plethora of benefits for both companies and their workforce. Even if the coronavirus pandemic accelerated the implementation of telecommuting in our daily work lives, it is being considered to adopt it as a permanent option.
So, let’s dive deeper into the benefits that come with working remotely and how they’re shaping the future of business communication.
In past scenarios, employers, and even employees themselves, used to believe that working somewhere outside the office meant that people were going to be distracted and not do their jobs in the same way as they would in the office because superiors weren’t keeping an eye on them directly.
Today, the opposite has been proven. In an office setting, people have all sorts of distractions, they’re constantly interrupted or they stop to chat with coworkers. Getting back to work after these interruptions takes additional time that’s costing business owners across the US around 1.8 trillion dollars every year; all thanks to productivity issues.
Telecommuting gets rid of many of these traditional office setting distractions. When working remotely there are no longer extended conference room meetings or chit-chatting from time to time during work hours; of course, staying home means having other distractions but they are by far less, thus increasing the employees’ productivity levels.
This remote work model also gives the employees the freedom to create their own schedules. People work and function at different paces; so managing their own time lets them adjust their work to their needs, and not the other way around like it used to be, driving up their efficiency.
Human beings tend to be better at completing and focusing on their tasks when they have the freedom to choose where they’ll be working and designate the schedule for those tasks.
Optimizing productivity through telecommuting becomes beneficial for both parties. On the one hand, companies get higher-quality work in less time, therefore maximizing their income. And on the other hand, employees end up more satisfied with their job and save time for their other activities. This freedom to choose when and where employees work is creating more productive businesses each day.
It’s Better for the Environment
Sustainability now has to be a part of all of us, we have to be conscious of how our actions impact the environment. All industries and businesses today have the responsibility to address environmental issues.
One thing that hadn’t been addressed is the carbon footprint that we leave every time we get on a car or a bus to get to work.
Most people have their homes far from their offices, some spend over an hour on their way to the office and another one on the way back home. Working from home means not having to designate part of your time to transportation, so it comes as a green solution that can significantly reduce the production of carbon emissions.
Not only do people not have to transport themselves to work, but with the rise of efficient videoconferencing and remote communication tools, business trips are becoming unnecessary. By implementing these tools into the work model, companies are reducing pollution from business travels as well.
Energy consumption is another environmental issue that can be reduced through telecommuting. Offices need to have unlimited energy resources to keep the companies running and giving their employees an optimal workspace. This energy consumption, that has only been increasing over the years, has a severe impact on the environment and is worse by the day.
As claimed by the Global Workplace Analytics, working in an office consumes two times more energy than working at home. People working at home need fewer equipment and supplies, use less electricity, and have less waste.
Telecommuting is helping businesses reduce climate change as they reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions when their employees are working remotely. This benefit comes for everyone: business owners, workers, and finally the world in which we love living. In the future, with more companies telecommuting, the negative impact that offices have on the planet will be immensely reduced.
It’s Better for Our Health and Our Wellbeing
Millennials are used to a stressful lifestyle with a busy schedule, which isn’t the best for their mental health. Remote work can make telecommuters’ lives easier in many ways. One of them is that it reduces stress considerably. Regarding this benefit, there are studies that show that over 80 percent of people who shift from working on an office setting to their homes report lower stress levels.
Telecommuting greatly reduces all the stress associated with an office setting, people don’t stress over the rush hour traffic when driving to the office, they don’t stress over being late, or getting distracted multiple times & not being able to finish their job.
Also, when you’re in the office you have to adapt your meals and eating habits to your working schedule. Sometimes this means that at the office you’re not going to be able to follow a certain diet or have time to cook. But when you are working from home, healthier..more thoughtful eating is possible.
Working in the traditional office setting comes with certain strict rules. For example, if you’re not there it counts as a day off, even if you’re able to work from home or another place, therefore reducing your real days off. With telecommuting, employees are less likely to take a day off because they don’t feel well or have an illness.
They can work normally while they take care of themselves and get better, saving those days off for the moments when they really need them.
Thanks to telecommuting, when unpredictable health situations like the coronavirus pandemic happen, employees don’t have to put their health at risk by going to the office. With the communication tools & their constant upgrades in these modern times, people from most industries are perfectly safe staying at home being able to continue with their work tasks.
Even though Covid-19 caught everyone off guard and it took time to make the transition from going to work to the office to telecommuting every day, companies are now at ease and seeing positive responses from their workforce.
Reduces Company Spending and Costs
Business owners are always looking for ways to keep their costs to a minimum. With telecommuting, all sorts of businesses can reduce operating costs. They don’t have to invest as much in rent, office equipment and supplies, furniture, cleaning services, or snacks and coffee.
As offices have fewer cubicles and fewer on-site workers, companies can reduce the office budget. Big companies in the US have reported that with the implementation of new telecommuting policies, they’re saving up to 15 million dollars a year.
On the other hand, with everyone staying home, companies can stop worrying as much when unpredicted external situations like a power outage hitting the office building happen.
A power outage has the same probabilities of happening at home and the office, the difference is that when it happens at the office all workers are there, not able to work. For the business, this means losing productivity, wasting time, and wasting money without being able to do much.
When it happens at home it only affects one person, and even if it represents a productivity loss for the company, it’s only a very small part of the impact and loss of when it happens in the office.
Reduces Employee Turnover
Some companies have a high turnover rate that can elevate their expenses. Millennials are a generation of nomads, they’re always on the move looking for new experiences. This generation is the one with the most demands for a remote work model.
Many companies have these high turnover rates because they prefer to let go of people and keep on looking for someone who will take the job permanently. Telecommuting is an attractive option that lets their employees balance their work with their lifestyle needs.
Similarly, companies can have high turnover rates in regards to their elder generations. Many employees over the age of 60 are looking to retire, but many others would rather keep on working because that’s what they do best. A lot of these older employees have age limitations that prevent them from going to work and doing the jobs as comfortably as they need to.
Every day, more and more businesses are shifting online and implementing all the telecommuting technologies into their work models. The latest upgrades in these technologies are making the transition to a remote work model much easier for business owners.
Even our world is benefiting from telecommuting. With all of these positive outcomes, companies in certain industries are considering telecommuting as a permanent work model and adapting their work policies to remote work.
Working remotely is no longer just a trend for the new generations that’s on-demand. Working from home has become a new way of life with which everybody seems to be happier.
Telecommuting and the benefits that come with it like having flexibility in business communications are making employees and their employers realize that having a job doesn’t mean not having a life, that there’s no reason to be stressed all the time about work, and that having a job can be perfectly balanced with other aspects of their life.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.