This is a guest post contributed by Riya Sander. If you’d like to submit a post for consideration on Productivity Theory, please review our writing guidelines here.
Remote working, also referred to as teleworking and telecommuting, is when employees work outside of the office. They could work from home, at a coffee shop, or anywhere else that suits them. There are benefits of remote working for employers too, not just for the employees.
Companies can save money and rent less office space when they have remote workers. For a better understanding of the advantages of telecommuting, here are seven reasons why 9 to 5 working hours doesn’t always work for every millennial:
1. It’s Too Stressful for Some Employees
One of the reasons why 9 to 5 working hours doesn’t always work is it’s too stressful for some employees. Few people, if any, find it enjoyable or relaxing to commute to work each day.
Others would prefer working during different times they are more productive. Work schedule flexibility allows them to live more fulfilling lives as well. Because they’ll be happier with greater flexibility, they will be more productive during work.
Gallup surveyed 173,000 Americans and found that longer commute times are correlated with poor health. Thirty-three percent of respondents who commute over 90 minutes had neck or back problems within the past 12 months. People with long commutes were more likely to have high cholesterol and a BMI that indicates they are obese.
2. Employees May Be More Distracted at Work
Employee distraction is one of the biggest concerns employers have when it comes to remote work. They worry that employees will slack if they’re not being supervised in person.
However, statistics illustrate otherwise. According to Inc. magazine, remote workers are two times as likely to work more than 40 hours per week and 20% more productive. In a different experiment, remote Chinese call center employees completed 13% more calls than workers in the office.
3. Employees Don’t Always Need to Physically Be There
The invention of video conferencing, cloud-based project management, bring your own device (BYOD), and remote administration has eliminated the need for employees to be at the company.
Many employees no longer need to physically be at an office to work. Employers can stay in touch with them via text messages, apps designed for communicating with employees, project management software, etc.
4. Where People Work Remotely is Better Than the Office
Having a good environment at work is important for employees to be happy and productive.
Some employees don’t like dealing with office politics or the typical workplace environment at a company. For these employees, the option to work remotely is exciting. They can find a place where they’re comfortable working, whether that’s at a rented office, their favorite coffee shop, or in a home office.
Coworking space can boost people’s productivity for those who like having other employees around them but still prefer more freedom in where they work. Coworking environments typically bring together people from different organizations in one office space. If an employee isn’t happy working at their company’s office but don’t want to be isolated at home, shared office spaces are perfect solutions. Additional benefits of collaborative working include eliminating possible distractions that occur at home and being in an environment with like-minded people.
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5. Those Who Don’t Commute Tend to Be Happier
Studies have shown that people who don’t commute tend to be happier than commuters. An article “Commuting and Personal Well-being, 2014” published by the Office for National Statistics reported, “Commuters have lower life satisfaction, a lower sense that their daily activities are worthwhile, lower levels of happiness and higher anxiety on average than non-commuters.”
Employee happiness is beneficial for employers too. A study from the University of Warwick found that people are more productive at work when they’re happy. The study comprised four experiments and over 700 participants. Happiness increased productivity of participants by 12%. Dr. Sgroi explained:
“The driving force seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.”
6. It Costs The Company More Money
Requiring employees to come in for work costs the company more money in rent space and property costs. Company can decrease how much office space they need by hiring some remote workers. The average business can save $11,000 per person each year if employers let them work remotely just half of the time, as reported by Global Workplace Analytics. Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, estimates that the federal government saved $32 million dollars when its employees had to work from home for four days due to severe weather.
7. Not Everyone You Hire is Able to Move
Another benefit of being open to hiring remote workers is you might miss a skilled employee who would be a valuable addition to the company because they can’t move.
Reasons why people might not be able to move include a mortgage they can’t get out of, a spouse who would have to quit their job if they moved, and kids in school. In fact, most people aren’t willing to move for a job, especially if they’re happy with where they live.
Working 9 to 5 doesn’t always work because not all people are the same.
While it’s good for some people who need a lot of structure, supervision, and other people surrounding them, for those with a more independent spirit, it can feel stifling. Remote working provides benefits for both the individual and company. Teleworkers are happier and more productive while the company saves money.
Check out these other posts about work and productivity:
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- How to Do Work You Love
- Don’t Like Your Job? How To Make It Worth Your Time
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- 8 Ways To Organize Your Desk For Better Productivity
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