Most employers still only hire employees who work in the traditional office setup, bypassing opportunities to attract top remote talent and gain valuable bottom-line benefits. This especially holds true when hiring for mission-critical projects.
"People across generations and various demographics such as working parents, freelancers, introverts, those managing chronic illnesses, caretakers, and many more may have different reasons for why they're more productive telecommuting, but the bottom line is workers across the board say they get more work done from their home office," said Sara Sutton, Founder and CEO of Flexjobs.
SEE: Telecommuting policy (Tech Pro Research)
- Fewer distractions and interruptions from colleagues
- Decreased commuting-related stress
- Minimal office politics
So, what's in it for an employer? The survey results found four reasons why hiring remote workers may be a smart move for projects and for an employers' bottom line.
1. Increased potential to attract top talent
Attracting top talent for projects is essential for successful project execution. When evaluating jobs, candidates rank work-life balance equally as important as salary. Many people struggle with juggling the demands of work and family, as well as complicated and stressful life events. The need to balance work and daily life becomes an important consideration when accepting a job. Not offering job flexibility may limit prospective candidates.
2. Increased employee job satisfaction
Job satisfaction is an often overlooked employee benefit. However, when employees believe they do important work and are a value to their employer, their level of job satisfaction increases making it more likely that they will work harder and be more productive. In fact, survey respondents said where they work is of far less value to them than the work they do.
3. Increased loyalty and retention
The survey results indicate that remote workers are more loyal to their employers than in-house workers. Loyalty may not seem significant to some employers: however, the cost to replace an unhappy employee can be highly disruptive, especially during project execution and especially if that employee was productive and competent. A loyal employee not only saves companies the cost of a rehire and any associated onboarding and training, but also helps to gain buy-in from other team members.
SEE: Flexible parental leave policy gives software startup a hiring edge (Tech Pro Research)
4. Reduced overhead
Project cost overruns can be avoided in many ways, including reducing resource costs. Almost 30% of Flexjobs survey respondents said they would accept a decrease in pay if they could telecommute. Hiring remote talent - even top talent - can result in reduced overhead such as office space, utilities, computing equipment, software, furniture, and other directly related costs that are direct bottom-line benefits.
"Smart employers need to seriously consider the feedback from their staff that they're being more productive outside the traditional office environment," Sutton said.
Offering employees remote work options is a smart move for companies looking to attract top talent. It helps employees experience better work-life-balance and job satisfaction, which helps to increase loyalty and retention, ultimately reducing bottom-line costs.
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Moira Alexander is the Founder of PMWorld 360 Magazine and Lead-Her-Ship Group, and a project management and digital workplace columnist for various publications. Moira has 20+ years in business (IS&T) and project management for small to large businesses in the US and Canada. To find out more about Moira, go to www.pmworld360.com and www.leadhershipgroup.com.