working from home Is The New Normal: 3 Reasons Leaders Are Shifting Strategy

Over the past several months, many have said we are undergoing a grand experiment in engaging from home. As someone who has studied the long term of labor for years, I'm confident this global shift to remote working won't merely be an experiment — but, rather, a historical moment with long-lasting ramifications.

Several major companies have already announced permanent shifts to remote working for some or all of their employees, including Twitter, Facebook, and Nationwide Insurance. Even Walmart will now allow thousands of tech employees to remain remote, with CTO Suresh Kumar writing: “We believe the way of working within the long run, particularly in tech, are visiting be fundamentally different than it absolutely was before. We believe it'll be one during which working virtually are the new normal.”

Walmart isn't alone. Last month, consultancy firm West Monroe asked executives from companies with revenues of a minimum of $1 billion how the current crisis would alter their organizations over the long term. Changing their “approach to remote work” was the foremost common answer, capturing 44% of the responses — over double those who predicted adjustments to “debt position,” “crisis management procedures,” and “supply chain risk/exposure.”

Furthermore, a June S&P Global survey of 575 IT decision-makers found that 67% expected “expanded or universal WFH policies” to remain in place long term or permanently — rather more than the 38% who had said so in March. It also found, however, that 18% of the surveyed decision-makers intend for his or her employees to be back within the office as soon as local regulations allow. For these leaders et al. who are wanting to return to physical workspaces, I'd encourage pressing pause — and considering these three compelling benefits of going remote forever.

Save Money

The most obvious advantage of working remotely, of course, is eliminating the requirement for office space and also the prices that accompany it. supported “conservative assumptions,” Global Workplace Analytics (whose calculations have received recognition from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget), estimates employers could save a median of $11,000 per half-time telecommuter annually. At a corporation with 1,000 employees, that's an annual savings of roughly $11 million, primarily due to “increased productivity, lower property costs, reduced absenteeism and turnover, and better disaster preparedness.”

One proven case study for these budgetary reductions comes from AT&T. Between 2000 and 2005, the company tripled its cadre of remote workers, a shift that reportedly had a $180 million benefit: $30 million in saved realty costs, and $150 million in increased productivity. It also improved retention rates, with Joseph Ritz, the company’s telework director at the time, stating that “[t]urnover in our virtual office population is half that of the turnover in our general salaried employee population.”

Not only may remote workers be less likely to leave; they'll even be willing to work for fewer. When GoTo and LogMeIn surveyed 2,200 workers in April of this year, 62% of USA citizens said they'd take a pay cut to work from home. Other data affirms this: Owl Labs’ 2019 State of Remote Work report revealed that a shocking 78% of workers would take a cut of fifty or more to work remotely “at least variety of the time” — with 20% willing to chop back their salaries by quite 10%. Whether it's through lower land costs, greater productivity, or reduced payroll, it's clear that remote working is a boon for the underside line.

Improve Recruiting, Retention & Equity

Now that plenty of white-collar Americans have personally experienced the benefits of working from home, they're even more interested in its continuity. to keep with a recent Global Workplace Analytics (GWA) survey, 93% of employees would like to stay working remotely a minimum of a variety of the time. “[F]lexibility are some things employees are desperate for,” said Tom Harnish, senior scientist at the firm. “Not surprisingly, leading organizations are using it as an attraction and retention strategy.”

Case in point: Immediately after Twitter announced its permanent remote work policy, searches for “Twitter jobs” rose by 80%. When Facebook and Square made similar announcements, searches for his or her career opportunities also increased. additionally, to attracting talent, remote work has been shown to increase employee satisfaction, and thus, retention. Even Evan Spiegel, founder, and CEO of Snap have noticed benefits from working remotely. “I get to spend time with my family, which has led to more fulfillment than I’ve ever had in my life,” he told the NY Times last month.

It is also worth noting, especially in light of the much-needed racial reckoning corporate America is facing, that remote work can function an equalizer — a tool to expand opportunities for underserved populations, including caretakers (most of whom are women) and individuals outside of tech hubs (from which lower-income residents, often people of color, may are priced out). As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg said in an exceedingly very meeting announcing his company’s new work-from-home policies: “I want us to live in a very very country where people can have access to opportunity, regardless of where they like better to live, which I feel that enabling more remote work goes to be very positive thereon front toward creating more broad-based economic prosperity.”

Combat activity

While global climate change may not be of top concern to some corporate leaders, it should be. A 2018 report from the U.S. government suggested that global temperature change could cause the economy to lose anywhere from many billions of dollars to 10% of its GDP by the highest of the century. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which collected input from 7,000 companies, estimates much of the financial burden will materialize within the following five years when the world’s corporate leaders could face the most amount like $1 trillion in climate-related costs.

Although transitioning to remote work won't magically fix global climate change, it's one step within the correct direction. If all of the workers who held telework-compatible jobs (50% of the workforce) and who wanted to travel remote (79%) worked from home just half the time, GWA estimates the U.S. would in the reduction of its annual gas emissions by 54 million tons — “the equivalent of taking almost 10 million cars (the entire manhattan State workforce) off the road for a year.”

If leaders don't find those reasons convincing, they should then consider the desires of their employees and customers. over three-quarters of employees, as an example, feel guilty about the way their commutes affect the world — thus, allowing them to travel remotely could enable them to want more pride in their work. And, when it involves consumers, research from Nielsen shows that sustainable products outperform their non-sustainable counterparts. Companies that highlight how sustainability factored into their decision to travel remote, therefore, may appeal to an increasingly conscious customer base. “[S]ustainability is no longer a definite segment play,” Nielsen’s authors concluded, “your bottom-line and brand growth rely on it.”

Remote work isn't a panacea for every company, employee, or societal issue. What the past few months have shown us, however, is that working remotely can serve far more organizations than most leaders previously imagined. As Rich Barton, CEO of Zillow Group tweeted in April: “Today we let our team know they have the flexibility to work from home (or anywhere) through the highest of 2020. My personal opinions about WFH are turned the incorrect high over the past 2 months. I expect this could have a long-lasting influence on the long run of labor.”

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