The other shoe finally dropped on Twitter. Just days after new boss Elon Musk assumed control of the social media giant and laid off half of the staff, his next move was to order all employees to end remote work and start spending their 40 hours per week in the office instead.
It wasn’t an unexpected shift. In fact, job postings in the U.S., the U.K., India, and other locations are all showing fewer remote job postings than were available in early 2022.
However, it might benefit some companies to remain a bit more open-minded on the question of remote workers going forward. That’s because, despite the recent shift, there’s still a lot to be said about the benefits to employers for maintaining a healthy remote workforce.
- Team Morale
Happy workers lead to a happy workplace — and remote work is extremely popular, especially in the wake of COVID shutdowns. Right now, about 2 out of 3 U.S. employees are working remotely for some portion of their work week — and almost 70% would prefer to be fully remote. And considering turnover is down 25% for companies that offer remote positions, it’s pretty clear where the hearts of most workers lie.
- Better productivity
This one might seem counterintuitive, but the numbers back it up. Workers seem to maintain their productivity when they’re working on their own. In fact, 94% of employers in a recent survey said they felt productivity was either the same or even higher when employees were working from home. On average, those who work from home spend about 10 fewer minutes being unproductive than their office-bound colleagues and are almost 50% more productive.
Oh yeah, and how about this? Remote employees work about 10% longer too, almost 4 hours more each week. Not that employees encourage workers to work extra hours…but it doesn’t hurt when they do.
Here’s the big one, company managers and CEOs…with productivity up, remote workforces also save employers oodles of money on practically everything. From saving dollars on office space to fewer sick days to retaining employees longer, it’s estimated employers actually save about $11,000 a year on each remote worker.
Meanwhile, inflation is actually benefiting employers when it comes to their remote workers. While the U.S. inflation rate hovered around 9% during the summer of 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found wage growth among remote employees was actually down 2% from 2020.
- Better job match candidates
This one makes sense too. Before the explosion of remote work, companies were restricted to fielding candidates within easy commuting distance. Now, your job pool is the world. ZipRecruiter found their figures showed remote jobs got over 2.5 times the number of clicks as similar traditional job postings. That means businesses can also raise the bar on their job descriptions, asking for higher quality candidates to come out of their wider search population.
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