Is your management team wrestling with the decision to let people work from home (WFH)? It can be a big change, but a positive and necessary one. Increasingly, people are viewing “work” as something you do, rather than somewhere you go. When organizations look to the future, the most innovative and successful leaders realize the potential that virtual workforces have to change the face of business. As organizations expand across the nation and the globe, remote labor forces are becoming vital to business success. Currently, 82 percent of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” already have virtual work policies. That number is expected to rise as time and technology advance. If your company isn’t on board yet, or your WFH policy could be more inclusive, here are 8 persuasive reasons why virtual work makes sense for both employer and employee:
- Cost savings for employers, by reducing the need for physical working space and overhead costs to maintain onsite facilities.
- Higher customer satisfaction due to better coverage across different time zones.
- Better able to attract top talent by eliminating geographic restrictions on the talent pool.
- Lower absenteeism and higher engagement. Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace study proved that not only do virtual employees work an average of four hours longer per work week than people who go to the company site, but also that these workers are more engaged (32% versus 28% engaged).
- Eliminating the stress of commuting to work. (Stress is one of the primary reasons for resignation.)
- Cost savings for the employees, since costs for gas and train/bus fare are reduced.
- Higher innovation and creativity. According to a May, 2014 Wall Street Journal article, only 10% of workers believe they do their best thinking at work, versus 39% who believe they do their best thinking at home.
- Better work-life balance and workplace flexibility, both of which are highly prized by Millennials, the fastest growing generation in the workforce.
Each year, the population of virtual workers grows, and observing this pattern contributes to the belief that virtual workforces are here to stay. In fact, Harvard Business Review recently reported that by 2015, 40% of the world’s workforce will be remote. To remain competitive in this increasingly distanced world, the decision for your organization to move toward more virtual work should be an easy one.
Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized Key-Note Speaker and New York Times Best Selling Author. He spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, helping some of the world’s largest corporations break down detrimental processes and rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors in the process. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long- overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement. He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers. His book, “Building a Magnetic Culture,” made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.