BlogsWorking Remotely: A realistic interpretation

September 28, 2016, by Ryan Miller

A staggering amount of companies are instituting remote working policies and a large majority of the workforce is taking advantage of these employee benefits. There’s growing evidence that suggests employees are more productive and report greater levels of work satisfaction when allowed to work remotely. A small study by TINYPulse surveyed remote workers and found that remote workers were decidedly content.

  • 91% of respondents reported that they believed they got more work done at home
  • When asked to rate their work happiness on a scale of 1 to 10, remote workers had an average score of 8.10 compared to onsite workers whose rating was 7.4.
  • When asked to rate how valued they feel at work, remote workers had an average of 7.88 compared to 6.69 for onsite workers.

This is a great development for employees and companies. The benefits can’t be disputed; remote employees avoid long commutes, have access to flexible schedules which allows them to develop a greater work life balance, and they can take advantage of a plethora of technology resources: Slack, Asana, or Skype, to name a few. Remote workers are part of a global trend of days working from home that no longer means what it used to: a day at the beach.

However, as an HR leader it is important to recognize that these benefits and happy outcomes do not extend to all employees and there are inevitably downsides to employees working remotely. Technology difficulties can create problems for meetings and presentations, and let’s face it we all have tech troubles now and again.

Additionally, maintaining a consistent and collaborative office culture could face challenges. When most of your employees are working from home, you lose face to face interactions that cultivate creativity, understanding, and comradery. I’ve worked in an office where I was the only employee there multiple times a month and I felt very removed from the company and my fellow employees.

Whatever your strategy for remote workers, ensure it is fitting for your organization. Look to successful programs to get ideas about implementation and guidelines, but always tailor the solution for you and your employees. And, don’t forget to ask your employees to give their input. See you at home smile