The Changing Landscape of Business
Blame it on the millennials, blame the rapid advancement of mobile technology, or the global COVID-19 pandemic. No matter who or what is at fault, the reality is that the landscape of business has changed. And, it continues to evolve at a blinding pace. Gone are the days of “business as usual.” These days, everything about business is unusual. As employee and marketplace demands evolve, many companies face the issue of remote work, asking the big question: Do we really need to be in the same room to work together?
At TurningPoint, we interact with organizations—large and small—representing a range of industries, from cybersecurity to environmental services. Up until recently, the majority of these companies operated exclusively in a traditional brick-and-mortar workplace. Now, many more are exploring the benefits of moving to a permanent remote working structure. These companies are seeing the value of allowing teams and individuals to work from remote locations can outweigh the perceived challenges.
TurningPoint has enjoyed the benefits of remote work as well. We are a 100% remote company—operating since our inception with virtual employees and no corporate real estate to call “home.” In many ways, we’ve taken the path less traveled compared to other executive recruiting firms that boast an elegant corporate workplace to woo clients and candidates. While our approach may have appeared risky at the onset, we’ve found that being a virtual operation not only differentiates us, it’s made us more effective and successful in what we do.
Embracing the Value of Remote Work
When it comes to remote work, there is significant value—and not just for employees. Companies benefit too! Today’s employee craves a better work-life balance. In fact, a recent fundera study reveals that 86 percent of employees say that they are more productive when they work from home. With employees feeling more relaxed when working from home, employers are seeing higher productivity from their employees. Maybe there is truth to the idea that Ah-ha! epiphanies happen in the shower.
If work-life balance matters to employees, then it should matter to employers. After all, your people are the lifeblood of your company. Without their active engagement, achieving challenging corporate objectives will be a lot like pushing a 10-ton boulder up a very steep mountain. Offering a remote work option not only demonstrates your support of greater work-life balance, but it also has other benefits as well, including:
- Increased productivity. Employees who work from home avoid loud colleagues, impromptu meetings, and “water-cooler gossip”—some of the top productivity busters. Plus, when given the choice, many employees prefer to work alone, especially when they need focused time to maximize their output. Managers tend to agree, discovering their remote employees are overall more productive.
- Lowered stress. The financial strain and stress of commuting to work is a primary concern to employees, but by enabling employees to work remotely—full-time or part-time—can minimize stress associated with sitting in hours of traffic and arriving to work frazzled.
- Reduced employee turnover. According to a recent article from smallbizgenius, companies that allow remote work have a 25% lower turnover rate compared to those companies that do not allow remote work. That’s no small potato when you consider the cost of losing and replacing valuable employees.
- Decreased real estate costs. American Express’ remote work program has saved the company $10 – 15 million annually. While you may not operate in a massive organization like American Express, imagine how much your company can save simply by reducing its brick-and-mortar footprint. Now, imagine how you might use that savings to develop and nurture other critical areas of your company. That’s a tangible financial value derived from remote workers.
- Enhanced Attraction, engagement, and retention of top talent. Some of the biggest concern for CEOs is finding and keeping the best talent in a market of disruptive change and high demands. A remote workplace is attractive to potential employees, especially high-value candidates who want to work for your company but don’t want to relocate. And, once you’ve successfully on-boarded top talent, research shows that remote work keeps them engaged.
Still, Think Remote Won’t Work?
It’s not hard to see the value of remote work. But naturally, remote work isn’t without its challenges. Here are the most common concerns we hear from clients:
- I can’t manage what I can’t see. Many organizations focus on managing an employee’s “face time.” There is a perception of greater control over an employee’s work if you can see him or her. We prefer to focus on employee performance and productivity. Those are metrics that you can see whether your employee is working in the office or from a remote location, and gives employees control over their success based on clearly defined expectations.
- I’m not comfortable managing remotely. The management principles you use to successfully lead employees in person are very similar to those you would use for remote workers. However, the tools you’ll use will be different and you may experience a small learning curve. But we promise it’s not difficult!
- Remote work just won’t work for us. Every company has a unique culture, or the “way things get done around here.” Changing that culture by integrating a remote work option may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. In many ways, most companies are already remote and just don’t realize it. For example, if any part of your business “lives in the cloud,” chances are, you’re primed to become a remote workplace. Adopting remote workplace practices may be easier than you think.
Ready to Make Remote Work Work?
Maybe you’ve been testing remote work during COVID-19 and you are ready to go all-in? Or maybe you want to implement a modified plan, allowing some of your employees or even a whole team to work remotely a few days a week. Regardless, read on to discover how to successfully make remote work work!