Employee retention is a hot topic these days. Just 3.5% of the country is “unemployed.” So companies must do all they can to keep great workers on the payroll, including offering benefits deemed “frivolous” or “non-productive.” Arguably, the king of these frivolous, non-productive benefits is the option to work remotely. And from a manager’s perspective, here’s why:
Hopefully, these aren’t the reasons a manager would keep their employees from working remotely. But just in case, here are six counterpoints for employees and managers:
- It’s easy to tell if an employee at work is working. You can see their screen from here.
- Working from home means working around distractions like TV, video games, and pets.
- Remote workers might be having more fun than their bosses.
1. Managers rate remote workers as more productiveWe’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again. 59% of employers rate their remote workers’ performance as “above average,” compared to their other employees. That’s despite 70% of employers knowing remote workers sometimes take care of personal tasks while on the clock.
2. Employers will lose out on talent if they don’t offer remote workHiring managers be warned: Top talent will turn down a job if it does not offer remote work opportunities. That’s even if it offers more PTO, a shorter commute, or a raise. In an already competitive market, companies must have a positive remote work policy or else resign themselves to a smaller hiring pool.
Would you give up remote work for any of the following?
3. Retention is better among workers with remote opportunitiesIt’s a fact, not a guess. Stanford University conducted a remote work study with Ctrip, a travel agency with 20,000 employees. Resignations dropped by half when Ctrip allowed employees to work from home. And when they rolled the policy out to every member of the company, Ctrip reported $2,000 in added profits per person working from home.
4. Remote opportunities create more diverse teamsBuzzword to buzzword, “diversity” beats out “retention” every time. By offering remote opportunities and positions, companies can kill two birds with one stone. Now, hiring managers aren’t limited by state lines or country lines. Companies that only had the resources to hire local talent can now cast a wider net and recruit talent from all over the world. That means new perspectives, new ideas, and yes, diversity.
5. Remote workers find working from home is less distractingChatty co-workers, office flu bugs, impromptu meetings: Anyone who thinks working on-site is less distracting than working from home hasn’t sat in an open office. 67% of workers felt they could get more done, working from home. And 61% said they’d be more productive if they had more flexible hours, thank you very much.
6. Offering remote opportunities saves and makes moneyThe math isn’t hard. Increased retention means less attrition and turnover, which translates to less money paid out for hiring and training. People who are less distracted and more productive also earn the company more. And not to put a price on diversity, but “companies with above-average total diversity … had both 19% points higher innovation revenues and 9% points higher EBIT [earnings before interest and taxes] margins, on average.” Sure, a small percentage of remote workers could be using their time away from the office to watch reruns. But other remote employees will likely earn back any money lost tenfold.
Retention, recruitment, and revenueRemote work isn’t just an employee benefit. Arguably, it’s the other way around. When employers offer remote work opportunities, employers win. Everyone wins. Naturally, certain positions will need to be filled by on-site workers. But thanks to technology and shifting perspectives that embrace flexibility, it’s safe to say the age of remote work is here. If yours is a company resistant to remote work opportunities, it’s time to make the leap. Choosing to do otherwise can only be bad for business.