It’s no secret that remote working is all the rage amongst modern professionals, and it’s not just a fleeting trend that will be going away any time soon. In Buffer’s 2019 State of Remote Work report, where nearly 2,500 current remote workers were surveyed, a whopping 99% of them said they wanted to continue working remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers.

So, to align and attract top talent from younger generations that now make up the majority of the labor force, more employers than ever are offering remote work opportunities—nearly 66% of companies allow some sort of remote work and 16% are fully remote!

While many companies may offer remote work policies just because they think it’s the only way to “keep up with the times” or land top talent in the Millennial generation, in reality, it can result in a lot of long-term advantages for your business. In fact, a recent study conducted by Owl Labs found that remote workers are happier, stay in their jobs longer, and even work more hours that on-site employees. What will that mean for you and the success of your workforce? Let’s dive into it!

The Study 

Owl Labs is the creator of the “Meeting Owl,” an intelligent video conferencing device that allows companies to experience 360 degree virtual meetings. Since these devices are especially beneficial for companies that have a lot of remote workers, Owl Labs has a personal interest in the latest remote working trends and statistics.

So, each year, Owl Labs conducts studies and surveys in order to gather timely, accurate data for its annual State of Remote Work report. For their 2019 report, 1,202 full-time workers in the United States between the ages of 22 and 65 were surveyed. Of the 1,202 respondents, 62% work remotely at any frequency—54% of them do so at least once per month, 48% do at least once per week, and 30% are fully remote. The other 38% of survey respondents work in a traditional on-site setting and never work remotely.

While nearly all industries were represented in the survey, the highest concentration of respondents work in the healthcare, technology, education, retail, financial services, and manufacturing industries. Professionals were also from all different departments, including operations, customer support, sales, human resources, product engineering, and more. 

The Results 

What did the Owl Labs study find, and how can those insights be applied to enhance remote work policies

Remote Workers Tend to Be More Loyal to Their Companies 

Modern professionals are looking for jobs that offer more freedom and flexibility and a stronger work/life balance—and once they find it, they don’t want to let it go. In fact, 74% of survey respondents in the Owl Labs study agree they would be less likely to leave an employer that offers remote work opportunities. Furthermore, remote workers say they are likely to stay in their current job for the next five years 13% more than on-site workers.

Since the costs of employee turnover can be huge, many businesses are now making their employee retention strategy a top priority. Did you know that remote work policies can be used as a powerful employee retention tool? It’s true! Think about it: if you give your employees the freedom and flexibility they want, why would they go elsewhere and risk losing it?

Furthermore, 61% of remote workers would expect a pay increase if they were no longer allowed to work remotely. This means that a competitor who doesn’t allow remote working would have to make quite the offer to poach one of your employees, giving you a competitive advantage in a tight labor market. 

Remote Workers Are Happier 

Having happy employees is essential for business success. Why? A staff full of unhappy employees will result in low morale, a poor company culture, and decreased productivity. On the other hand, happy employees are more engaged, efficient, loyal, and likely to say good things about your company to their own social circles. In fact, 81% of survey respondents in the Owl Labs study said the ability to work remotely would make them more likely to recommend their company to a friend.

So, how can you boost overall happiness amongst your staff and reap all these benefits? Offering remote work opportunities can help, and the proof is in the numbers—71% of remote workers say they're happy in their job compared to only 55% of on-site workers. Plus, 83% of employees who never work remotely said the ability to do so would make them happier and 80% said it would make them less stressed.

If you want your employees to be happier, allowing remote work is a no brainer. They’ll be more focused, engaged, and motivated to do their jobs well—which means they’ll be producing better work for you and your valued clients while feeling more satisfied doing so!

Remote Workers Are More Productive

There’s a common misconception out there that remote workers get less work done because they’re lazily lounging around the house in their pajamas all day. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! A survey conducted by Connect Solutions reported that 77% of both part-time and full-time remote workers stated they were more productive when working remotely, and 30% feel they’re able to accomplish more in less time than when working on-site.

Plus, the Owl Labs study found remote workers work more than 40 hours per week 43% more than on-site workers do. What’s even more interesting is that on-site workers claim that when they work a longer week, it’s because they feel because it's required, while more remote workers claim they are doing so because they actually enjoy what they do. Once again, we see that remote workers are happier and more engaged in their jobs, which means better quality and quantity of work that can drive revenue for your business!

It’s important to note that for your remote workers to experience this boosted productivity, it’s essential to equip them with the remote work tools and technologies they need to do their jobs from any location. After all, if they can’t access the business apps, files, or documents they need on-the-go, how are they supposed to get anything done when working remotely? It’s also important to train your managers who are leading virtual teams so they can effectively monitor the performance and productivity of their employees. This can be a challenge (but is totally possible with the right tools and techniques!) when their team members aren’t sitting across from them in the office.

Remote Workers Have Fewer Financial Burdens

Survey results from the Owl Labs study found that remote workers earn annual salaries higher than $100,000 2.2x more frequently than on-site workers. Plus, the average individual can save around $4,000 per year by working remotely. Without a daily commute, remote workers can drastically reduce fuel costs, plus save in other ways when they aren’t eating out as frequently or having to maintain a separate work wardrobe. When employees are able to earn a higher salary while also having lower expenses, it can drastically reduce the stress of financial burdens because they won’t be as worried about being able to cover all their living expenses. How does this affect your business?

According to a PwC study, 53% of workers report being stressed about their finances, and 46% say they spend three hours or more during the work week thinking about these stressors or dealing with financial issues. When you have remote workers that are able to earn a higher salary or reduce their commuting expenses, they will spend less time stressing about their financial situation at work and more time actually focusing on their job tasks.

Plus, when your employees have the additional income to put towards their own personal hobbies and passions, they’ll have a stronger work/life balance and will often feel more fulfilled and satisfied in their personal lives. This is yet another reason why remote workers tend to be happier!

The Impact on Your Business 

What would having employees who are happier, more loyal, less stressed, and highly productive mean for your business? 

  1. Higher retention rates that minimize the costs of employee turnover. 
  2. The ability to keep top talent working for you and not the competition. 
  3. Increased quality and quantity of work that satisfies your customers and drives additional revenue.

Do these sound like results you’d like to see in your own business? Who wouldn’t! Offering remote work policies can have a huge impact on the satisfaction and job performance of your staff. Ready to get started? At Protected Trust, our goal is to help organizations simplify technology so they can experience a truly modern, mobile workplace.

If you aren’t currently offering remote work opportunities, we’re here to help you figure out the logistics and implement the tools you’ll need to see success with remote working— including Microsoft’s suite of hardware and software tools that are designed for modern, on-the-go professionals.

If you already have remote work policies in place, we can also help you enhance them for optimal success by implementing valuable remote work tools such as Microsoft Teams or Office 365 for Business. Reach out to one of our experts today!

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