35% of people in professional and related occupations did some or all of their work remotely (either at home, in a coffee shop, or in a co-working environment) in 2015. I am excited to see how much this number goes up in 2016 with appealing co-ops like We Work and Weld popping up everywhere. There is a growing movement of #workhardanywhere, and if your team hasn’t experimented with working out of the office yet, here are some reasons to start.
Studies show “at home workers” are actually (surprise) much more productive. There are fewer conversations that lead to nowhere, no one just “happens to stop by and talk to you” when they walk by your office, and the conversations that do happen become more intentional when you have to set up a meeting on Skype or draft an email.
Work becomes more measured and it’s obvious if someone is doing it or not – especially with the use of project management software (side note, I recommend Asana).
If you ask someone when they get most of their work done, you hardly ever hear them say 9-5. It might be when they are home drinking coffee in the morning, or maybe when they stay late for peace and quiet to get things done.
Better Work Quality
Creatively speaking, mobile work is great because you can work in different environments (which can be mentally stimulating). So employees create better work – especially designers, writers, or musician types. A home office, coffee bar, restaurant, or co-working space more than likely has a cooler vibe than the typical large cubicle “office”. Employees can curate the space to be exactly what they need to function best instead of being in a one-size-fits-all environment.
Some employers may think it’s fine that employees come and go, but that’s bad for the organization. The whole “new blood/fresh eyes” thing really isn’t good at all. A CAP study found average costs to replace an employee are 16% of the annual salary. For example, the cost to replace a $10/hour employee would be $3,328. It bumps up to 20% of annual salary for mid-range positions (earning $30,000 to $50,000 a year). On-boarding a new employee takes a lot of time and has a hard cost. Employees that are mobile statistically stay more loyal and their schedules feel more “balanced”, which normally equates to them working harder and staying with the organization longer. So there is also less turnover.
68% of job seekers who are Millennials said an option to work remotely would greatly increase their interest in specific employers, according to a survey by AfterCollege.
Off-boarding of employees also destroys team moral and slows down workflow. It’s best to aim for acquiring the best talent and keeping them around.
Larger Talent Pool
Working remotely also gives you access to a larger talent pool of co-workers. You can hire the best fit regardless of their location. So that killer designer across the country that can’t move because of their spouse’s job? Hire them remotely.
Mobile working saves the church/any employer money. There’s less real estate overhead and no need for excessive office space. This also means lower electric bills (from all our power sucking Mac Pro towers). The team can meet at a coffee shop or Skype when you need to bring the group together.
Not only do mobile working models save the employer money, it saves the employee money — typically in gas and eating lunch out.
People with bad commutes are actually more prone to depression. It wastes a couple of hours a day in some cases. According to the UK Office of National Statistics, “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.”
There’s also an obvious carbon footprint benefit to all of this.
If your team hasn’t worked remotely, it can be a big mental shift. If you, your boss, or employees are uncomfortable, ease into it. Start one day a week from home and progress to one day a week at the office. Just make sure everyone is really willing to “give it a go” for a couple of months.
So is the office dying? To some degree. I believe there’s space for less office and more remote working.
Have you experienced the wonders of remote working? Share your opinions and experiences (even downfalls) in a comment below.