Technology offers the benefit of allowing your employees to work remotely, either on a regular basis or whenever the need arises. But did you know that working remotely can actually make your employees happier and more productive?
To remain competitive, your company must stay ahead of the curve. Giving employees options for working remotely can be one of the crucial factors to growing your business. Here are some of the benefits companies need to consider.
Attract Better Employees
The best employees aren’t begging for jobs—they’re considering the various companies begging them to work for them. Access to the latest technology is one of the factors they’re going to consider, and in today’s world they’re going to be looking for the option of working remotely. Whether they want to do so full-time, part-time or only occasionally, it’s essential that the option is there for them. In fact, 72 percent of employees say flexibility in work arrangements would make them choose one job over another. Good companies need all the bargaining chips they can get to attract great employees.
Workers Have Better Flexibility
When workers can only access their files in the office, their options are often limited. In many industries, employees need to be out in the field: for example, imagine a realtor who could only access listings when they’re in the office. They take a client out, find a home that’s not quite what they’re looking for, and remember another one that would be a better fit. Do you think those clients are going to take a field trip back to the realtor’s office just to find out more about the property? Probably not—they’re probably going to find a realtor who can give them the instant access they need to relevant documents and listings.
Improve Customer Service Across the Board
Giving your employees remote access to essential files is a win-win for your clients or customers. They don’t want to wait for the answers they need, and they don’t want to fear that they’re working with a company that doesn’t take their needs seriously. The more easily your employees can access relevant documents—from anywhere—the quicker they can get back to their clients. And that will reflect positively on your company.
Not Everyone Works at the Same Pace—Or the Same Way
In a typical office environment, everyone gets to the office at the same time—generally around 8 a.m.—and everyone leaves around the same time—typically 5 p.m. Do you think that every employee in an office like that is a morning person? Do you think every one of them works best 8 hours in a row, as opposed to working a 14-hour day but taking a lot of breaks?
Science shows us that different people thrive in different working environments. Some do like the consistency of a schedule, and some prefer to get to work early, do what they need to do, and go home. Others thrive in a more flexible environment. When you employ a mobile workforce, you can call the shots and insist employees work specific hours, but if your particular type of business can allow it, you may be able to let workers set their own hours—which can result in getting the absolute best out of them.
Don’t Underestimate Employee Satisfaction
Any successful company knows they’re only as strong as their human capital. Satellite access that allows employees to work from home, even part-time, can greatly increase their satisfaction with their job. The more satisfied an employee is with their job, the harder they’re going to work—and the more loyal they will be to your company. Traditional office employees experience twice the amount of stress as those who have more flexible work options, so it’s not surprising that the employee turnover rate is also twice as high for workers who don’t have flexibility to work from home. Turnover is expensive, time-consuming, and ineffective. As a result, anything a company can do to retain their top talent is an investment well made.
Lower Your Overhead Costs
Having employees who work from home allows organizations to lower overhead costs in several areas, including:
Even having employees work part-time can see a reduction in these costs. For example, 2 employees who work on-site part-time and off-site part-time can use the same shared work space.
Reduce Your Company’s Carbon Footprint
The public perception of your company is important. Enterprise access allows employees to reduce the amount of fuel they use—which reduces their carbon footprint and the carbon footprint your company is responsible for. More and more often states are offering companies significant tax benefits and credits when they take steps like these to lower their carbon footprints.
Watch Your Employee’s Sick Days Drop
72 percent of employees are not engaged in their work, essentially “sleep walking” through their day. Low engagement leads to higher turnover, more missed work days, and lower productivity. There are plenty of days when an employee is well enough to work but calls in sick because they don’t want to infect the entire office. They may prefer to work through a minor cold, but it’s often not an option when they must be on-site. In fact, research has shown that employees who work from home call in sick less frequently than those who work in a physical office.
If you want happier, more productive employees who are going to be with your company for years to come, then you need to be able to offer them flexibility in their work arrangements. Using document management software makes that a possibility.
Author's bio: Jesse Wood is the CEO of document management software vendor, eFileCabinet. Founded in 2001, eFileCabinet, Inc. began as a cutting-edge tool to digitally store records in accounting firms. As it grew in popularity, eFileCabinet developed into a full-fledged electronic document management solution designed to help organizations automate redundant processes, ensure security, and solve common office problems.