Remote work has taken over the white-collar world. 58% of Americans surveyed by McKinsey had the opportunity to work from home at least one day a week in 2022. The workforce has changed, and working from home is now commonplace.
Working from home seems to benefit many employees. The revolt against returning to the office over the last several months is common knowledge. But what about employers? Are there benefits for them too?
There absolutely can be — if you set it up correctly.
The productivity surprise
Over 40% of workers reported being more productive from home in 2021 than in the office, with only 15% saying they felt like they were accomplishing less.
There are obvious caveats to these numbers, but if productivity can stay the same or increase, there are benefits for companies that support working from home.
For many of these companies, remote work is a new phenomenon. They had to pivot on the fly after COVID-19 forced people into lockdowns. Remote work requires infrastructure investment and support, including an integrated suite of office applications, VPN, good internet access, and suitable hardware at home.
Adjusting to the remote-work future
There are companies and individuals for whom working from home isn’t optimal. It can take time to build good work routines when there’s no clear divide between work and home, and distractions can become an issue. There are also fields where face-to-face collaboration is critical, and that’s much harder over the internet. But over time, as people adjust to their new normal, we should see productivity go up.
This new work model shouldn’t mean installing invasive spyware on employee computers to monitor them remotely. If you don’t have employees you can trust out of the office, you probably ought to think about whether you should have hired them in the first place. Make sure you and your employees are aligned.
Remote work isn’t for everyone. But it’s working for many employees—and their employers too. Keep an open mind, provide a remote work infrastructure, and see how it works for you.