From pandemic prevention to hyperurbanization relief to event preparation, the news seems to be buzzing with tones of remote work lately. So, it’s no surprise to see the World Economic Forum pointing to workplace flexibility as a critical topic in the future of work. But is this trend economically justified, or is it just our evolving workforce craving modern convenience?
The key to differentiating between a workplace fad and an economic strategy lies in the hands of the businesses. If corporate leaders throughout the world believe remote work is beneficial to the sustainability of their brand, then they’ll invest in the development of it as a resource. In other words, if there is value in telecommuting for organizations, there is value for the world.
But whether or not remote work is truly beneficial for organizations continues to remain in debate while managers hesitate to approveflexibility requests and infamous policy retractions also generate international attention. This leaves economists and business leaders wearily wondering: Is there any evidence that can inform a final decision, once and for all, on whether or not remote work will benefit a company?
Well, yes. The topic of remote work is producing a lot of attention — and research. There are many reports that tout the benefits of remote work from organizations like OwlLabs and Buffer, but privately-sourced data is in danger of biased results. So, to ensure that the information for this article was pure and credible, a collection of statistics was sourced from the world’s leading research institutions studying the topic of telework, including Gallup, Harvard University, Global Workplace Analytics, and Stanford University.
So, what were the results? Does the remote work revolution have a case for change? The world’s top researchers say yes, by proving that workplace flexibility will boost your bottom line in these five categories:
- Productivity — Teleworkers are an average of 35-40% more productive than their office counterparts, and have measured an output increase of at least 4.4%.
- Performance — With stronger autonomy via location independence, workers produce results with 40% fewer quality defects.
- Engagement — Higher productivity and performance combine to create stronger engagement, or in other words, 41% lower absenteeism.
- Retention — 54% of employees say they would change jobs for one that offered them more flexibility, which results in an average of 12% turnover reduction after a remote work agreement is offered.
- Profitability — Organizations save an average of $11,000 per year per part-time telecommuter, or 21% higher profitability.
Based on this statistical analysis, remote work is not going anywhere any time soon. Even further, companies would be wise to prioritize the “remote work revolution” as a strategy to enhance their top objectives in this new decade.
Laurel Farrer, Forbes, Feb 12 2020