Why working remotely makes sense

Despite the benefits for companies, many companies refuse to hire remote workers. No doubt, part of the problem is that many managers and leaders don’t know how to deal with remote workers.

A US federal government report said that 47% of its employees (that's 1,020,034 people — no, really, more than a million people) were eligible to telework — a big increase over the year before.

1: Remote workers are less stressed
Daryl Wilkinson, group head of digital development at Nationwide Building Society, said he wanted to encourage remote working to empower his staff and as a demonstration to the rest of the company. “There’s less stress in the office and the workplace — people feel empowered to work in a way that suits them and suits the business.”

3: Remote workers cost less
Encouraging different ways of working allows companies to reduce their rent and property costs, according to Ian Adams, head of head of strategic marketing development at outsourcing company Mitie.

5: The new agile workplace creates new jobs
New ways of working require new roles in the organization. “We’re seeing greater collaboration between HR, IT, property and facilities management and job titles like ‘workplace director’ making this agile workplace happen,” Adams said.

7: Companies benefit from happier remote employees
Try squeezing a de-stressing lunchtime doze into your office day. That’s right; it’s impossible. “It’s about working with the grain of people’s lives,” Swan said.

2: Remote workers are well connected
The prevalence of smartphones and social media mean you don’t have to be next to someone to communicate effectively. And new business trends like remote administration, cloud-based project management, video conferencing, and BYOD are extending the effectiveness of remote work.

4: Absenteeism is good
Not the AWOL type of absenteeism — this is “remote from the office” absenteeism. “The ability to work remotely eliminates the necessity for ‘presenteeism’ — being in the office as much as possible,” said Jonathan Swan, policy and research officer for Working Families, a charity specializing in work/life balance.

6: Remote working provides choice
According to Robert Gorby, marketing director of Powwownow, remote working provides choice. “Choice is very important. There shouldn’t be a technology-driven compulsion to work in a certain way.”

8: Remote workers are more engaged
Nationwide’s Wilkinson said, “When you’re tweeting with people in your team close to midnight, it brings home that people are experiencing something beyond ‘doing work’ — they’re engaged in a different way.”

9: Remote venues are better than the office
We’ve all heard about how J.K. Rowling wrote a lot of Harry Potter in her local coffee bar. Now office workers can get some of that action. “Flexible working isn’t just office or home — there may be somewhere near home with better facilities,” said Celia Donne, global operations director of Regus, an office accommodations provider.

10: Commuting is bad for you
Even before the workday starts, telecommuting employees are better off than their physical commuting colleagues. According to the UK Office of National Statistics, “Commuters have lower life satisfaction, a lower sense that their daily activities are worthwhile, lower levels of happiness and higher anxiety on average than non- commuters.” And less commuting means a smaller carbon footprint, making tree-huggers happier.

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