The trend of remote work is on the upswing with around two-thirds of companies now allowing their workers the flexibility to work from home at least part of the time.
The growth potential of remote work is getting clearer for all stakeholders. Both companies and employees are reaping the manifold benefits of remote work which include positive financial, emotional and environmental effects.
The financial benefits of working from home
By cutting out their commute and keeping other work-related costs lower (dry cleaning and going out for lunches), individuals have discovered personal savings when telecommuting. Work from home statistics suggests that full-time remote work saves employees around $4,000 annually.
For companies, the savings can be even more pronounced. Housing a full-time employee requires a number of costs, the most obvious of which may simply be real estate. By not needing dedicated offices, companies can grow without expanding their physical presence or moving to a larger site.
Additionally, there are a number of related expenses including housekeeping, office supplies, and dedicated tech (like phones and computers) that no longer are dragging on a company budget. Indeed, even reduced HVAC costs can mean large-scale savings.
A study shows that by allowing workers to spend just half of their time working remotely, a company saves an average of $11k annually, per employee. Many companies are looking to expand their remote work based on this kind of information. Insurance giant Aetna, for example, quotes a $70m annual boost due to the fact that nearly 50% of their workforce is remote.
The emotional benefits of remote work
A majority (around 75%) of remote workers have stated that their working from home has had a positive effect on their work/life balance. Gaining back the time that it takes to commute means children get to school more easily and meals are more manageable. This has resulted in more employees desiring to work remotely. Over 60% of workers say they have considered leaving their job for something comparable that is remote. And 9 out of 10 of those that have transitioned to work from home say that they never want to go back to a traditional office. On the flip side, companies offering work from home are expecting to see a 10% growth in retention.
The largest question that employers may have surrounding remote work is regarding home distractions and if remote work causes a dip in focus and productivity. However, metrics demonstrate that employees are generally more productive when working remotely.
The environmental benefits of remote work
Commuting to work is one of the major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. By eliminating the commute, each employee that works from home is doing their part for the planet. In addition, work from home encourages digital sharing (rather than paper) which cuts down on waste. Telecommuters today, in the US alone, have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over 3.5 million tons per year.
The lessened need for real estate builds and lower utility costs also help the environment and allow companies to more easily gain coveted green status.
Other benefits for businesses and employees
General Health: Help stop the spread of contagion through offices. Telecommuting cuts down on the exposure to germs meaning better short and long-term health for employees.
Older employees: It is easier to retain legacy employees and create phases of retirement when allowing for work from home.
Female employees: There is speculation that it is possible to retain more top female tech talent when offering remote work solutions.
In general, there are numerous benefits to remote work that seem to far outweigh any detriments. If you are trying to demonstrate to a higher-up or to employees why remote work might be a better option for your company most work from home statistics will resoundingly back up your claim.
Sarah is a Content Marketing Manager at Siege Media and Your Best Digs who work remotely while traveling. She’s passionate about developing high-quality content for diverse industries ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. When she’s not creating content, she’s likely hiking a new trail or mapping out the next destination.