In March of 2020, companies and cities essentially shut down due to the pandemic. The next month, in April, the number of American employees who were working remotely doubled, soaring from 31% to 62%.
This reaction to a global emergency established a new normal, as nearly one year later in February 2021, 58% of employees were still working from home. The restructuring of the workforce has incited changes that could be here to stay.
This article will discuss the impact that working from home has on employees and the important role that offering remote work will have on employers looking to build a strong workforce.
The shift to working from home is permanent for many
While remote work and eCommerce trends were already on the rise, lockdowns accelerated this. Prior to the pandemic, only 29% of employers had the majority of their workforce working from home at least one day a week. But now, nearly 70% of employers anticipate most of their workforce to work remotely at least one day per week on a permanent basis.
The potential for nearly 25% of the population to be working from home 3-5 days per week has already shifted. The shift could revolutionize the culture of work, triggering new trends in operations, communication, and geographic distribution.
While the rules of remote work vary from employer to employer, many people seeking jobs today are prioritizing flexibility, safety, and independence. The pillars of employment like vacation time, earnings, schedule, and work-life balance are being questioned.
Working from home can increase productivity
Out of a group of 1,000 Chief Investment Officers interviewed by Reuters, nearly half stated that productivity had increased since the onset of remote work, and less than a third reported any decline in productivity.
“The productivity metric is proving that remote work is working,” said Erik Bradley, an engagement strategist. The stats attest to the success of the work-from-home model, revealing that workers may be able to focus better and do their job when working alone and away from the office.
Employees have reported that working from home has allowed them to be more efficient, work on their own time, and prioritize their own wellbeing. Although many caretakers, for instance, have been under extra pressure handling several jobs at home, some have found it easier to build their own schedules.
And in a survey of the financial services industry, over 75% of employees claimed to be at least as productive as they were pre-pandemic when working in an office.
Productivity relies on proper management
The financial services workers who reported a decline in productivity attributed it to:
- Making the choice to work less
- Difficulties collaborating with teams that were far away
- Struggling to find answers to questions and information they need to do their job
A successful boost in productivity in a remote work setting requires your organization to promote a connected culture with strong tools for efficient collaboration. This connectivity depends on the appropriate communication platforms and a dedicated environment that fosters interconnectivity.
New hires who’ve never worked in an office setting may struggle to feel part of the culture or understand the organization’s values and mission. Find ways for these individuals to fully integrate with teams and be recognized by peers to improve productivity and maintain a sense of connection.
Jobseekers are beginning to prefer remote opportunities
Employees and job seekers are showing an eye-opening preference for remote work opportunities. 58% of those surveyed claimed they want a fully remote job, whereas 39% want a hybrid arrangement. Only 3% wanted a fully in-person role.
What are the benefits that people see to working remotely?
Saving time and money
Global Workplace Analytics estimates that the remote work lifestyle, which eliminates commuting and travel expenses and reduces childcare and food costs, may save an employee roughly $11,000 per year.
With the highest paying jobs often found in major cities, remote work allows employees to earn a good salary while saving on costs of living by relocating to more affordable residential neighborhoods away from high-cost metropolitan areas.
Flexible work allows people to focus on their wellbeing, live more affordably, and avoid the stressful lifestyle that often comes with the best-paying jobs.
Remote work also benefits the employer
While employees have seen a boost in their quality of life because of the remote work trend, employers have also reported satisfaction with this arrangement. In a survey conducted by PwC, 83% of employers claim the shift to remote work has been successful for their company, increasing the likelihood of maintaining the model going forward.
Even companies in industries like retail, which you likely wouldn’t expect to see a work-from-home model, are offering remote work options to retain talent. Expanding your hiring strategy to include remote work flexibility increases the chances of finding quality talent who will value the job opportunity. With remote jobs in high demand, many workers are competing for these positions, raising the bar of qualifications and experience in the applicant pool.
Since remote employees can better build a schedule that suits their needs, eliminate the stress of a commute, and spend more time with their families, you’ll see higher job satisfaction and better employee retention.
Offering remote work allows you to hire and find candidates anywhere in the world, increasing the possibility of finding exceptional talent as the limits are no longer drawn to a hyperlocal area around your office. And if you work for a smaller company where you find yourself competing with larger, global firms for candidates, your talent pool becomes much larger by granting work-from-home flexibility.
Want to expand your search for job candidates?
While COVID-19 is still a concern, and workplace safety remains a top priority, the work-from-home landscape has rewired how we think about productivity in the workplace.
Employees are finding satisfaction in the new remote work landscape and are just as productive at home as they are in the office. With the change in this new dynamic, you should rethink the requirement to be in the office and turn to recruiting tools that make it easy to source talent anywhere.
Find remote talent fast with Arya
Unlock a large and motivated talent pool by using Arya to recruit top talent who’ve discovered they can be more productive working from home. There’s an Arya remote-recruiting solution for anyone who needs to fill a job: Arya Pulse for small businesses and infrequent hirers, and Arya Quantum for HR departments and staffing agencies.
Both solutions allow you to search nationwide or in multiple locations with one job requisition. Request a demo today!