Surveys indicate more people than ever are working remotely. Even those who are required to go into the office from time to time report spending at least some of their year working from home or working while traveling.
There are many potential benefits to this approach. While it may not be ideal for every organization, allowing employees to work remotely could be the right choice for your company.
Part of your responsibilities as an HR professional involve staying up-to-date with general work trends. You play an important role in making sure your organization appeals to talented job candidates looking for new opportunities.
Thus, it helps to delve a little deeper into major reasons you might consider adopting a work-from-home policy in 2019. Here are just a few:
Greater Access to Strong Candidates
Requiring employees to come into the office places limitations on your ability to recruit the best person for the job when filling a vacant position. You need to select someone who either lives near the office, or is willing (and able) to relocate.
That’s not the case when you hire remote workers. You should account for time zone differences (it often helps when employees work on relatively similar schedules). However, hiring remote workers gives you the freedom to expand your search. This boosts your odds of finding someone who is the ideal candidate for a given role.
Again, the rise of remote work is a trend which doesn’t show any signs of slowing. That’s important for all HR professionals to remember.
You want to be certain your company offers the kind of perks that desirable employees seek out. When more organizations allow employees to work remotely, more potential candidates will look for positions that offer this flexibility.
That means you’ll have a harder time attracting talented applicants if you don’t keep up with current trends. If two organizations offer comparable pay and growth opportunities, but one requires all employees to report to an office every day, it’s easy to guess which one a job seeker will be more interested in.
Boosting Employee Wellness
There are many reasons why allowing employees to work remotely could be good for their health. First of all, it’s no secret that many workers head to the office even when they’re sick. HR professionals should discourage this, but it’s difficult to prevent entirely.
Office workers are often exposed to germs as a result. This can lead to the spread of illnesses throughout the company and reduced productivity. Your company can avoid this by letting employees work from home.
Allowing employees to work remotely also does away with the need for long commutes. Employees who don’t experience the stress involved in traveling to the office every day tend to be more engaged and productive. If they work from home, they also have the freedom to allocate the time they would otherwise spend commuting to other activities, such as working out. This is another way in which a remote work policy supports employee wellness.
Saving Money on Office Space
For any company, saving money is just as important as making money. It’s always necessary to identify ways your business can reduce spending.
Giving employees the freedom to work from home is one way you can cut costs. Quite simply, when you don’t require workers to head to the office, you don’t need to spend as much money on office space.
Reducing Employee Turnover
The cost of losing an employee (and finding a replacement hire) can be significant. The direct costs involved in the recruitment process don’t represent the full expense. Loss of productivity that results from a vacant position can also result in costs that may be difficult to calculate.
That’s why HR pros understand how important it is to reduce employee turnover. Adopting a remote work policy can be an effective means of doing so. Surveys of telecommuters indicate that remote workers feel greater loyalty to their employers, enjoy greater work-life balance, and are generally more engaged with their roles. These are all factors which boost employee retention.
It’s also worth noting that high levels of engagement typically correlate with high levels of productivity. The money you save by letting employees work remotely is only half of the equation. Let employees work from home, and your organization has a good chance of making more money as well.
Again, none of these points are universal. There are plenty of business models that simply require the kind of immediate and direct collaboration that’s only possible in a traditional office space. However, it’s clear there are good reasons to embrace the benefits of remote work when doing so is feasible. Keep these points in mind throughout 2019, and consider whether a shift in this direction is right for your business.