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Working from Home Benefits Everyone

Sixty percent of companies offer their employees telecommuting benefits. From 2012 to 2016, the number of employees working remotely rose from 39 percent to 43 percent, and employees working remotely spent more time doing so. By 2020, it’s anticipated that 50 percent of all employees will be working remotely. But why? There are many benefits of working from home for your employees—and for you.

Working from home boosts productivity

Ninety one percent of people say they’re more productive when working remotely. They say this is due to:

  • Fewer interruptions from colleagues (76 percent)
  • Fewer distractions (76 percent)
  • Reduced stress from commuting (70 percent)
  • Minimal office politics (69 percent)
  • Quieter noise level (62 percent)
  • More comfortable clothes (54 percent)
  • More personalized office environment (51 percent)
  • Less frequent meetings (46 percent)
  • More efficient meetings (31 percent)

This isn’t just in the employee’s heads, either. A Stanford study found that working from home increased productivity by 13 percent, due to fewer breaks and sick days, and a quieter and more convenient working environment. But, while some employees perform better in quiet work environments, others thrive with background noise, by playing music or sitting in a coffee shop. Remote work gives each person the opportunity to choose a workplace that best suits them.

Working from home increases happiness

When asked how happy they are at work, on a scale of 1-10, remote workers were an 8.10, while all workers were a 7.42. When we think about why this may be, it’s helpful to consider why people look for flexible work opportunities in the first place. The top four reasons people seek flexible work are work-life balance (78%), family (49%), time savings (46%), and commute stress (45%). It’s no surprise that people who feel they have a life outside of work, and more time for their families and leisure activities, are happier.

A downside, however, is that remote workers feel less connected with their coworkers. On a scale of 1-10, remote workers rated their relationships with coworkers a 7.88, while all workers rated them an 8.47. This could be potentially mitigated with a partial work-from-home arrangement. In fact, Gallup found that employee engagement increases when employees work from home only 3 to 4 days a week, and spend the remainder of their time working in a location with their coworkers. This set up still allows for work-life balance and time savings, while helping workers get important face-time with colleagues.

Working from home increases employee retention

Work-from-home opportunities play a major role in an employee’s decision to take or leave a job, and companies that offer it see 25 percent less turnover than those who do not. There are many reasons this could be happening. First, remote employees are happier and more engaged, and engaged and thriving employees are 59 percent less likely to look for a job with a different organization in the next 12 months. Second, remote employees have better work-life balance and more time for activities outside of work, and are therefore less likely to experience burnout. Forty-six percent of HR leaders say employee burnout is responsible for up to 50 percent of their annual workforce turnover. Third, companies that offer remote work won’t be affected by the 36 percent of employees who are likely to leave their employer due to a lack of flexible work. In fact, they should actually be able to attract more top candidates who are interested in working from home!

By 2020, it’s expected that organizations supporting flexible work arrangements will boost employee retention rates by more than 10 percent.

Final thoughts

It’s estimated that 43 percent of American workers work remotely at least some of the time, while 80-90 percent would like to. Modern collaboration tools like Zoom, Slack, and Asana have made it easier than ever to connect to your remote workforce. Plus, you can structure your flexible work options in a way that makes sense for your organization—whether that means certain employees can work from home on a designated day each week, all employees can work remotely all the time, or somewhere in between. With so many benefits of working from home, it’s worth consideration as an employee perk.