Today we’re going to be talking about 6 stats that illustrate the pros, cons and surprises of remote workers that, especially in the past 12-months, has accelerated at an extraordinary pace.
While there’s a huge number of benefits for both organisations and their employees when it comes to remote working, there are also some surprising elements, and some straight-up downsides when it comes to migrating your workforce to remotely operating, which is what we’re going to be talking about today.
Before we get into the findings, it’s important to remember that the overall productivity and culture of your employees, whether they’re working in-house or remotely, is the product of your management system. Business leaders and managers are often too quick to dismiss the importance of self-reflection in this case, and fail to invest in adapting their management system with new means of operating.
If you would like to find out how you can adapt your management system to keep up with the times and move quickly in the technologically-driven world, click here to find out more about our business improvement services.
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Remote Workers Are Less Likely to Request Leave
Research from CoSo Cloud shows that 53% of employees operating remotely were less likely to take time off for holidays, or even sick leave- even if they are truly sick. Not only that, the authors of that report state that 23% of remote employees were willing to work more hours than they really needed to, in order to get ahead on certain tasks and large projects. On average, remote workers requested between 2-3 weeks of holiday leave per year, suggesting that the flexibility of their work means they’re less likely to request holiday time than in-house employees.
The Majority of Workers Would Leave Their Employer If Asked to Return to the Office
Figures from a 2019 ‘State of Remote Work’ report found that 55% of employees operating remotely would leave their current employer if they were forced to return to the office. This, combined with the fact that 13% of employees would likely stay with their employer for a longer period of time compared to in-house employees, shows that remote workers are more content with their role as a remote worker, rather than part of the onsite workforce.
Last week, we reported on a new poll that found 34% of workers would quit their role before returning to an office, and just under half (49%) said they much prefer a hybrid working environment over the traditional in-house model. This is in addition to the fact that companies that allow for means of remote working have staff retention rates 25% higher than those that don’t.
Remote Workers are More Productive and More Satisfied
Figures from CosoCloud also suggest that remote workers are more likely to be a productive member of the team, with 77% of respondents reporting higher productivity than if they were working in an office environment, an extra 30% finishing more tasks in less time, and 24% completing the more tasks in the same period of time.
Perhaps the most definitive research from a renowned university, Stanford, proved in 2012 that employee performance – while working for a large NASDAQ-listed company – increased by 13% for remote employees, who benefitted from less distractions in their immediate workplace and taking less breaks. This is strengthened by a more recent report which shows that remote employees often work more than 40 hours a week remotely, by choice, cementing a firm link between remote working and increased productivity.
6 STATS ON THE PROS, CONS & SURPRISES OF THE REMOTE WORKers
Remote Workers Save Employers Money, and Provide More Value
It’s estimated that remote workers save their employers up to AUD $13,000 in reduced operating costs, due to the fact that the employer does not need to make further investments in their physical office for its employees. A State of Telecommuting report puts the cost of savings for employers at more than $44 billion, amounting to around $14,000 per employee, by reducing infrastructure costs that the employer would otherwise pay, if employees came to the office each day.
Remote Workers Feel Disconnected and Disengaged More Than Office Workers
For all the benefits on offer with remote working, it seems undeniable at this point that remote workers also feel more disconnected and disengaged from their workplace more than traditional office workers. The extent of this is still debated, but as a conservative estimated, one study found that 19% of remote workers reported feeling loneliness while working, while another 22% said that ‘unplugging’ after work was becoming problematic.
More recent figures suggest that the breakdown of co-worker relationships, decrease productivity and fewer career advancement opportunities were also key concerns over employees operating remotely.
86% of Remote Workers Say They’re Less Stressed Overall
According to numbers from FlexJobs, the risk of disconnection and disengagement are far outweighed by the psychological benefits of working remotely, with as many as 86% responding that they’re less stressed overall than working in an office environment. Authors of that report state that the elimination of the work commute, as well as allowing for more time to exercise and eat well means that remote workers, overall, feel less stressed than their in-house counterparts.
If you’re struggling with how to implement remote work procedures in your organisation, click here to find out how Next Practice can help facilitate the overall improvement of your organisation and its systems. As we mentioned at the start of this piece, remote workers can only provide you with value when you have a system in place that not only supports them, but challenges them to hit the ground running and increase their own productivity.
Judging by these statistics, we can see that there are no doubt advantages and disadvantages to adding remote workers to your books. Overall, though, the productivity gains seem to outweigh the potential for harm to your organisation, so long as those employees have the right structure in place to support their efforts.