The work from anywhere (WFA) movement began to build momentum throughout the second half of the twenty-teens. Yet for the majority of workers and companies, it still wasn’t on the radar. But this changed forever after the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
As millions were forced into remote work around the globe, remote work proved to be a viable option. And having had a taste for it, employees were reluctant to go back to the old ways. Despite this, some businesses are still unsure whether offering remote work is the right move for them.
With that in mind, in this article, we’ll explore the work from anywhere benefits for both the employer and the employee, as well as take a quick look at some of the challenges.
Remote Work Benefits for the Employer
Forward-thinking work from anywhere companies that embraced remote work early on have seen a huge number of benefits.
Access to a Larger, Culturally Diverse Talent Pool
By removing the location factor, businesses can hire talent from around the world. This gives them access to gifted workers across the globe, not just those that live in close proximity to the office.
In addition, employers are able to create a more culturally diverse workplace and enjoy the benefits that come with it. With people from various different backgrounds, with different beliefs and experiences, teams can think outside the box, leading to more inspired and innovative results.
Attract and Retain Top Talent
It’s a simple fact that in our digital world, there are more jobs for highly skilled workers than there are people to fill them. Today’s top talent has the pick of the litter when it comes to job opportunities, and companies that can’t or won’t meet their needs won’t get a look.
Research suggests that for many people since the pandemic, flexibility is more important than how much they’re paid. By offering an attractive work from anywhere package, your business is much more likely to attract new talent and hold onto existing team members.
Reduced Real Estate Costs
When it comes to the benefits of remote work, it’s not just about who you can hire. Companies large and small can save thousands of dollars on office space by using remote workers. It’s not just a case of no longer needing an office — for many companies going fully remote isn’t an option.
However, offices can be downsized and used far more efficiently in partnership with remote working. With sensible planning, workplaces can be redesigned to house a fraction of the workforce, vastly reducing the footprint and monthly expense.
Happier, More Productive Employees
People who are happy in their job tend to get more work done. A two-year study carried out by Stanford University split 500 employees into two groups. The first worked in a traditional office, while the second group worked remotely. The remote group had fewer sick days, a 50% reduction in employee attrition, and a major boost in productivity when compared to the traditional group.
A number of recent studies have also found that the productivity of employees working from home during the pandemic increased significantly. Workers cite fewer distractions, less stress, and more time to focus on work as some of the major differences.
Remote Work Benefits for the Employee
The advantages of working from home aren’t limited to the employer though. Employees also have lots to love about embracing remote work.
Improved Work-Life Balance
With remote work, employees are no longer required to adhere to a rigid nine to five schedule. In many cases, as long as the work is complete, they can start and finish work when they choose.
People are now able to work around everyday tasks such as picking up the kids and exercising, as well as unforeseen situations such as dealing with plumbing repairs. For businesses, this leads to even more people being able to work, further increasing the talent pool.
Working from home means that your daily commute has gone from an hour of sitting in gridlocked traffic to a short walk to your home office from your bedroom! Not only does this save you a lot of time, but it also reduces stress. And if you’re less stressed, you’ll be more productive.
Having more time also lets you focus on both personal and professional growth through studying, exercising, or indulging in cultural experiences.
No Longer Limited by Location
Without an office to go to, you no longer need to worry about choosing a home-based solely on its proximity to work. Some of the best-paid jobs traditionally were in some of the most expensive and busiest cities in the country. But now, if you crave the rural lifestyle and still want to work in IT, remote work allows you to do so. This is also great for people who find themselves moving regularly, such as military spouses.
Companies that offer work from anywhere benefits allow their employees to work around the world, as long as they have internet. It’s never been easier to work and travel, and doing so can make you more culturally sensitive while being great for both professional and personal growth.
Better Chance To Save Money
With studies suggesting that remote workers working half-time at home can save around $4,000 a year, the financial benefits of working from home are extremely appealing. Here are some of the main savings you can make if you’re not having to go into the office every day:
- Vehicle maintenance and gas
- Public transportation
- Eating out
- Professional wardrobe
- Cost of living in close proximity to your place of work, especially in more expensive cities.
Healthier, Happier Lifestyle and Increased Productivity
The health benefits of working remotely are also well worth considering. Cutting out the daily commute is great for your mental health, but also reduces the risk of physical issues like higher cholesterol. Additionally, working from home reduces exposure to illnesses, while allowing more time to spend cooking healthier meals.
Flexible working is also shown to improve personal relationships, provide more time for hobbies, and improve sleep. And when you’re happy and healthy, you’ll almost always be more productive.
Are There Any Disadvantages of Working Remotely?
Remote working isn’t always the perfect solution and there are some challenges that businesses and employees can face. Of these, many are perceived disadvantages, such as the worry that employees won’t get any work done. However, as we’ve seen, this simply isn’t the case. Other concerns are a little more realistic.
- Communication disruptions: With workers around the world, it can be difficult to organize online meetings that everyone can attend. However, WFA companies have access to a multitude of project management technologies, such as shared Google documents and Slack channels, to combat asynchronous communication issues.
- Tax and compliance risks: Legally hiring and paying someone in another country can be tricky as you need to comply with the right tax legislation. However, it can be done and here at JIA, we offer tax and compliance management as well as remote worker management.
- Data-security concerns: WFA companies need to be on top of online security in order to keep client and business data secure. Outside of the traditional closed-loop, there’s a greater risk of information leaks. However, improved security systems are constantly upgraded to keep your data safe anywhere around the world.
- Security regulations: In the early stages of remote work, some companies had to negotiate strict security protocols that prevented sensitive work from being carried out outside of the office. However, as WFA becomes more commonplace, legislation is changing to make it easier.
- No standard kills productivity: In an office, it’s easy to standardize equipment, infrastructure, and procedures. However, you can’t always be sure that employees working from home will have access to that same standard. Again, there are ways around this. With JIA, our remote-work-ready homes boast high-speed-internet and comfortable, quiet working spaces.
- The social aspect: The office is a great place to meet like-minded people and make lifelong friends. Remote work struggles to replicate this, although there are policies in place that can go some way to encouraging camaraderie among remote workers. Also, working remotely gives people more time to socialize outside of work.
There are already solutions to most of the concerns mentioned above. At JIA, we’re able to negotiate such problems and ease your mind when it comes to creating a competitive WFA package.
Conclusion: WFA Is the Future and It’s Beneficial for Everyone
While there are clear remote working advantages and disadvantages, it’s obvious that the benefits effortlessly outweigh the challenges. On an individual level, the major boon is a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Meanwhile, businesses that offer their employees the ability to work remotely are far more likely to attract and retain talent. Plus, both businesses and employees can save considerable sums of money with WFA.
At JIA, we make work from anywhere a reality for companies and employees across the globe. For more information, just give us a shout.