Office Not Required—Why Remote Work Is Here To Stay
As the world slowly begins to reopen, companies are making decisions on what the post-Covid workplace looks like. While some organizations are itching to bring their employees back into the office, others are opting for hybrid models or sticking with full time remote work. This isn’t to say that employees will never see each other face to face ever again, just that the 9 to 5 Monday through Friday business model is one for the history books. Remote work isn’t just good for employees – there are advantages for companies too. Fully remote companies have access to a larger talent pool. Fully remote workforces allow employers to tap into a much larger talent pool. They aren’t limited to employees located in their immediate geographic area, or who want to move there. A company in rural Pennsylvania can have access to the same talent as a company in San Francisco or New York City. In fact, fully remote companies will likely have the upper hand when it comes to talent, because it eliminates the cost of living burden placed on employees in major cities.
Remote work evens out the playing field. With remote work, the company itself becomes the most important factor in attracting talent, not where it’s located. This means that a company in rural Pennsylvania can attract the same caliber of employees as a company in New York City. This gives both businesses and smaller cities an advantage. For employees who relocated during the pandemic, especially those who left cities for the suburbs, making the choice between returning to work if it means relocating again or quitting their jobs will not be an easy one. A recent survey showed that 1 in 3 people would look for a new job if they were required to be back in the office full time, so this is something companies need to keep in mind.
Financial benefits for both companies and employees. Commercial real estate isn’t cheap, nor are the overhead operating costs of an office building. One remote work study showed that companies save an average of $22,000 per remote employee. Even if companies need to have some of their employees working out of an office, the cost is still reduced due to needing less space. For employees, the savings from remote work ranges from $2,000 – $5,000 per year. Perhaps even better than that is the time (and stress) saved from not commuting. No commute means no sitting in traffic or dealing with subway delays. This benefits employers too – less stressed employees are more productive and more engaged at work.
It benefits the environment. Remote work is good for the environment. Reducing or eliminating daily office commutes lowers air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon footprint. With the climate crisis we’re currently in, these changes would have a major impact. We have a unique opportunity now to create a workplace that truly works for both companies and employees. It will take some time to adapt and adjust to the changes, but if the past year is any indication, anything is possible.