The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has shattered many myths surrounding working from home (WFH), and it has given business leaders firsthand evidence of the increased productivity and savings that a well–planned WFH strategy can deliver. In others words: the toothpaste is out of the tube, and WFH is here to stay.
COVID-19 Accelerates Remote Work Trend
To be clear, remote work was prevalent before 2020. In fact, the successes of WFH during the pandemic were due to processes and experiences gained from remote work in the past two decades — consider the following statistics:
- Before the pandemic, approximately 17% of U.S. employees worked from home five days a week (Arne Holst – Statista).
- A Gallup survey in 2019 found that 43% of Americans worked from home occasionally.
- An October 2019 LinkedIn survey of 2,000 working professionals and 1,000 hiring managers found that 82% of workers wanted to work from home at least one day per week and 57% wanted to work from home at least three days per week.
WFH Personal Benefits
- No Commute: The U.S. Census Bureau stated that the average commute for workers in 2018 was 26 minutes (roughly 5 hours per week). In my experience and the experience of many folks who work in major cities, it usually takes at least an hour to commute to work. So, not commuting can save you between 260 to 500 hours each year.
- Cost Savings: If you work remotely, you can save money on transportation costs, parking, lunch, and your business wardrobe (with the associated dry-cleaning costs).
- Work and Live Anywhere: With no commute, employees can work from anywhere AND explore multiple employment options without having to relocate.
- Better Accommodations for Employees with Disabilities: For employees with disabilities, their homes are typically better equipped than an office to accommodate their individual needs.
WFH Business Benefits
- Increased Productivity: A study published by Global Workplace Analytics showed that remote employees are 20% to 25% more productive than their office counterparts. This may be due to the fact that there are fewer distractions at home, and there are more opportunities to take breaks as needed.
- Larger Talent Pool: Employers are no longer limited to hiring local talent and burdened to offer costly relocation packages and incentives. This large talent pool also increases the likelihood of finding employees with the right skills, experience, and characteristics to meet an organization’s needs.
- Cost Savings – According to Global Workplace Analytics, approximately six in 10 employers identify cost savings as a major benefit of WFH. Savings include: office space rent and utilities, cleaning services, food, and taxes.
WFH Personal Tips
- Create a Home Office Space: It is critical to create an effective home office environment that is clearly defined and separated from your home life. Ideally, this would mean you have an office with a door. Your home office should also be comfortable and have the relevant technology and infrastructure to drive productivity.
- Be Organized: Start each work day and week with a to-do list. Stay committed to your list and develop a consistent routine.
- Stay in Touch with Coworkers and Superiors: When you first start working from home, it is easy to defer to text communication. But, it‘s important to make an effort to reach out to coworkers and superiors via phone and video communication as well. Also, look to set up IM groups with coworkers and schedule weekly teleconferences with bosses or employees.
WFH Business Tips
- Provide the Right Tools: Drive work and team collaboration by providing appropriate hardware and software, along with the appropriate infrastructure (high–speed internet).
- Establish Clear Rules and Expectations: Set clear expectations about expected working hours, communication protocols, etc.
- Secure Home Offices: Protect your own assets and IP by creating and deploying a robust home office cybersecurity program.
- Schedule Weekly Time for Collaboration and Socializing: Schedule weekly 1:1s with employees. In addition, companies should outline how and why employees can plan for approved company socializing.
Want to Work Remotely for an L&D Organization? LTS Can Help
At LTS, we can help you discover your ideal remote L&D job. To learn more, please contact us today.