For many businesses that weren’t quite set up to comfortably work from home, the pandemic propelled them into a whole new world that they weren’t prepared for. Those that already had remote work systems in place may have already seen some of the benefits that it offers their employees productivity and overall wellbeing. Now that things are slowly returning to normal, businesses should consider keeping remote systems in place because of the proven benefits that it has for employee retention.
Now that all businesses have had a taste of what remote work is like, it’s been a good opportunity for everyone to see the pro’s and con’s of remote working. Some staff are more productive at home, while others really enjoy separating work from home life and working parents probably find working from the office less distracting than having to divide their attention between work and childcare.
With all the pro’s and con’s weighed up, businesses should consider implementing a hybrid on-site and remote work policy. According to OwlLabs, U.S. companies that support remote work experience 25% lower employee turnover. You may wonder why that’s the case. Remote work and the flexibility to be location independent makes employees happier overall - with 83% of survey respondents agreeing that the ability to work remotely would make them happier, because of that employees are more likely to stick with employers who allow them the option to work from their location of choice.
We can all agree that remote work requires teams to have the right systems in place. Before you jump into any new remote work policies - make sure your employees have the right tech equipment to perform their duties remotely and experiment with a few collaboration tools for ease of communication. If you’re looking for resources on remote work for managers check out this helpful guide from Zapier.
Once you’ve got the right tools in place here are a few remote work strategies that you could experiment with:
Allowing staff to work from home one day a week is common practice for a lot of companies as it allows employees to be home to take care of any house maintenance and general life admin. Why not switch this to one day per week on-site? Let go of the lease on your office rental and instead make an agreement with a local cafe where you host a meeting once a week to catch up with the team. If a meeting isn’t enough - consider renting out a room at a co-working space once a week where the team can get together for one day’s collaboration.
Many companies offer flexible work hours where employees can choose how they allocate their own hours at the office. Some might stipulate mandatory hours from 10am to 3pm - employees can choose to make up their total 8 hours either side of those times. Others may have a weekly quota that needs to be complete stating that employees need to be on-site for 15 hours per week, for example. Either way - as we’ve seen, allowing flexibility for your team to choose their own hours and locations is proven to be better for employee retention.
Understandably, many businesses may only want to work with people within their locality as communication is easier within the same time zone and culture. Many businesses may also be concerned about tax when working with employees in other countries. Sites like People Per Hour and Upwork allow employers to search for freelancers within specific locations. This is great for companies who host monthly meet ups or need someone to visit on-site locations as a part of their job scope.
GitHub has an awesome resource list of 100% remote companies - most of them being in the tech space as the tech workforce has naturally been pioneering remote work over the last decade. That’s not to say we can’t all learn a thing or two from these companies - why not study their resources to see how they go about working 100% remotely, how they navigate time zone differences and what benefits they provide their employees to work comfortably from whatever location they choose.
It’s clear that employees want flexibility in the workplace and now that many have a taste of working remotely, the appetite for flexible work locations is only going to get stronger. Don’t risk losing your best employees, adapt to the new normal. Make sure you’re doing what you can to retain your best team members and if you need more ideas on employee retention, with us today.