As we approach what we all collectively hope is a descent on the right side of the dreaded curve, our focus now shifts from nimbly navigating each moment in the present as it comes to trying – perhaps in vain – to forecast how much remote work will change for a post-COVID-19 workforce.
It’s currently a white-hot topic in articles and trending news, but even in less tumultuous times, many companies had been gradually testing the remote work waters to determine if going virtual could be a long-term, sustainable possibility for their organizations.
But then COVID-19 happened – and turned ‘Can we make this happen?’ to ‘It’s happening. Can we make it sustainable?’
We’ll state this simply: You can.
When looking at other fully distributed companies, other organizations can take plays directly from their books to inform nearly every single decision they make as they evolve what was once a temporary migration to an indefinite or even permanent arrangement.
Time for a huge assertion: Remote work could save the global economy.
Hear us out.
Because for those still wondering if remote work will be – or maybe even should be – their organization’s new normal, let us first consider these statistics as our opening statement in making the case for a more permanent remote workforce.
Remote Workforce By-The-Numbers
On Shifting Norms and Expectations
- 74 percent of respondents said that flexible working is the new normal – and not just a desirable perk.
On Remote Work Attracting and Retaining Talent
- More than 75 percent of respondents cited flexible schedules and remote work as the most effective non-monetary ways to retain employees.
- Additionally, 80 percent of U.S. workers said they would turn down a job that didn’t offer flexible working.
- More than 33 percent said they would prioritize work-from-home arrangements over having a more prestigious role.
On Remote Workers Being More Productive
- 65 percent of respondents are more productive in their home office than at a traditional workplace boasting fewer distractions and interruptions, less stress from no commute, minimal office politics, and a personalized, quiet environment.
On Remote Work Being Good for Business
- 85 percent of businesses confirm that productivity has increased in their company because of greater flexibility.
- 90 percent of employees said allowing for more flexible work arrangements and schedules would increase employee morale.
- 77 percent said allowing employees to work remotely could lead to lower operating costs.
On Remote Work Increasing Job Satisfaction
- 57 percent were found to be more likely than the average American to be satisfied with their job.
- Nearly 80 percent described their typical stress level during the workweek as either “not stressed” or only “moderately stressed.”
Remote Workforce In Application
Now, let’s lay this argument squarely on what this looks like in application – with real dollars-and-cents.
We can’t think of a single capitalist business model that would turn its nose at healthier margins.
Next, let’s also consider the literal definition of the word ‘save.’ Because by migrating to remote work, not only did organizations help prevent the spread of illness in The During Times, thus keeping their workforce physically safe, it also ensures that companies avoid lost productivity and that employees enjoy job security in The After Times.
That job security? Well, that job security makes people happy. And when people are happy, they’re more engaged. And when they’re more engaged, they’re more productive.
And that increase in productivity? That adds even more heft to those healthy margins we just mentioned
So with that fiscal and physical foundation laid, organizations then need to just be intentional about how they execute their migration pivot. Because it amounts to a lot more than simply sending employees home with laptops and a VPN fob.
Further, leaders need to manage their expectations about remote work because – newsflash – the way the global workforce has shifted to remote today is not a good representation of remote work in general.
In ‘normal’ circumstances, remote work is extraordinary. But this – this current landscape of remote work? This is something else entirely.
Remote work in non-pandemic times means working from home without kids being homeschooled and without spouses working from home, too. Remote work in non-pandemic times also boasts endless outlet opportunities, like going out for lunch dates or working from coffee shops.
Today’s work from home is not the work from home many have experienced in the past. In short, it is not apples to apples.
Working From Home: The Long Pivot Game
While a sustainable, long-term work-from-home workforce will require significant pivots in leadership mindset, practices and communication methods, it is arguably what could ultimately save countless organizations’ workforces.
If you’re ready to see what you could save by taking your workforce remote, check out our True Office Cost Calculator.
We’ll let those numbers speak for themselves …