Are You Hurting Your Hiring Options By Not Offering Remote Work?
“One of the secret benefits of using remote workers is that the work itself becomes the yardstick to judge someone’s performance.” — Jason Fried, Basecamp
The Covid 19 Pandemic forced companies to scramble to successfully operate in a remote capacity. Now, many businesses are grappling with the debate over returning to an office setting, continuing full remote work, or creating a hybrid of both. As we’ll discuss, most employees not only don’t want to return to in person work, but they are more productive working remotely. So, are you hurting your hiring options by not offering remote work?
Employees Want To Work Remotely
You keep hearing more and more that today’s employees prefer to work remotely, but don’t they miss the office environment? Don’t they miss the camaraderie? You may ask, “Is there any statistical data to back up that claim?”
A recent survey by Prudential’s Pulse of the American Worker discovered 87% of people who’ve been working remotely during the pandemic would prefer to keep working from home at least one day a week. Another 42% say if their employer doesn’t continue to offer an option to work from home, they’ll quit and find a job for a company that does allow it.
There’s also a growing popularity of options for remote work. On LinkedIn, remote US job opportunities increased fivefold, from less than 2 percent in May 2020 to about 10 percent in May 2021. They also found that those jobs are getting 25 percent more applications. ZipRecruiter saw a similar growth in remote jobs. Those postings are getting four times the number of applications as jobs that don’t have any remote options.
Remote Work Equals Productive Work
Okay, so today’s employees want to work remotely, but won’t their work suffer? Won’t they be more distracted and their production decrease? Do you have any data that supports that case?
In fact, there have been several studies over the past few months. They show that productivity while working remotely from home is actually better than working in an office setting. On average, those who work from home “spend 10 minutes less a day being unproductive, work one more day a week, and are 47% more productive”.
A study by Stanford of 16,000 workers over 9 months found that working from home increased productivity by 13%. This increase in performance was due to more calls per minute attributed to a quieter, more convenient working environment. They also cited the ability to work more minutes per shift because of fewer breaks and sick days. In this same study, workers also reported improved work satisfaction, and attrition rates were cut by 50%.
We’ve already seen that employees prefer to work remotely. Or, at least they would like a hybrid model. Statistics show that they are more productive, more satisfied, and less likely to leave. These are all things that also benefit you, the employer – but wait, there’s more.
According to an Forbes article, not only are workers more productive, but the quality of their work improves. Companies have reported 40% fewer quality defects with remote workers. The same article points out that businesses save an average of $11,000 per year per part-time telecommuter. That translates to a 21% higher profitability.
Advice For Adjustment
First, you need to take a hard, honest look at your company’s business model. You need to ask why you don’t want your employees to work remotely. In some industries, it just makes sense. A waiter can’t do their job from home. A delivery driver’s job cannot be done remotely. So, does the work your staff performs require them to be in person? If the answer is no, you should at least be open to the discussion of remote work options.
Second, you need to listen to your employees. This is the hottest topic relating to the work environment right now. Everyone is talking about it and everyone has an opinion – and a preference. Not only will your employees want to share their thoughts, they will appreciate having their concerns heard and addressed.
Finally, make reasonable accommodations and compromises. If you have the means to allow remote work, and if your employees have expressed that is what they want, find a way to make it happen. Having a remote (or at least hybrid) work schedule can have several other benefits we haven’t mentioned yet. For example, you can reduce operating costs with less office space. Your employees will be happier and you will have less turnover. Plus, your geographic pool for potential new employees increases.
It’s a new world and everyone is still trying to figure it out. One thing is clear, however. If you refuse to allow any kind of remote work, even if your business model can accommodate it, you will be spending a lot more time and money replacing workers who will leave for remote options. We’ve seen this firsthand in our recruiting work at DyNexus Group. Based on our experience over the past year and a half, the candidates you’ll be looking at to fill those vacancies, will also be looking for remote options, making your hiring process harder and longer. If you’re able to do it, offering remote work will not only keep your current employees, but give you an advantage for future hiring. You’ll be a more desired work option than those who are hurting their own hiring options by not offering remote work.