Before the pandemic, a group of leaders met to discuss the topic of remote working, which was met with extreme scepticism. Allyson Zimmermann, CEO of Catalyst, recalls one person arguing that “you cannot possibly reward the work of someone who is in the office, the same as working from home”. This seems such a long time ago now.
Gone are the days when you could not attend a job interview and enquire about a company’s work from home policy without raising some concerns. Nowadays, such a question would be met with a little hostility. As of 2022:
- At least 30% of the UK workforce is working remotely at least once a week
- 74% of professionals believe that remote working will become the new normal when asked about the future of the working environment.
- 97% of employees don’t want to return to the office full-time
- 61% have expressed their preference of working fully remotely
Does remote working harm productivity?
Studies that explored the relationship between productivity and remote working, found that productivity tends to increase when employees are allowed to work remotely instead of the contrary.
A study conducted by Stanford University on 16,000 call centre employees revealed that working from home resulted in a 13% rise in productivity. This was due to an increase in calls per minute enabled in a more convenient working environment, fewer breaks and sick days. They also found that subjects working from home were 50% happier than those working in the office.
An employee survey, conducted at a tech company, asked employers how they felt that remote working affected their performance and most reported greater productivity while working off-site. When the CEO was interviewed about this topic, he highlighted that “the workers experience can be viewed as employer benefits, since workers tend to be happier and less stressed, which in turn brings down the cost of turnover, absenteeism, lower productivity and other staff related issues”.
Working remotely does not only just increases productivity but also increases:
- Innovation by 63%
- Work engagement by 75%
- Organisational commitment by 68%
Most employees now feel a part of an inclusive organisation, and Catalyst later concluded that “women without access to flexible work arrangements downgraded their career aspirations by 29%”. Options such as hybrid or remote working have helped women achieve more.
What does this mean for your company?
The world is rapidly changing, and remote working is here to stay. To hire and retain the best talent, companies must be willing to compromise. Offering more flexibility to workers will become a key factor for recruitment and retention of talent going forward.
Here are some other factors to consider: Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, and they are looking for socially responsible employers. Most claim that they would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues. Most importantly, Gen Z are the first generation to prioritise values over salary and as they enter the workforce, you must start pivoting your business to ensure your environmental, social and governance strategies are aligned with their values.
At College Green Group Academy, we offer support to organisations struggling to navigate and adapt to the rapidly changing business landscape. Our courses provide practical knowledge to the topics at hand, enabling you to implement your skills in certain real-life situations.
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