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Beyond the Boon of Flexibility: Exploring the Compensatory Side of Remote Work

The pandemic has upended the traditional workplace environment, and remote work is now the norm. With remote work comes a host of benefits, one of which is flexibility. This boon has enabled employees to balance their work and personal life without having to compromise on either. While flexibility remains a vital aspect of remote work, there are other compensatory benefits that are often overlooked. This article seeks to explore the compensatory side of remote work beyond flexibility and the impact it has on employees and organizations.

Compensatory Benefits of Remote Work

Increased Productivity

Remote work has been shown to increase employee productivity. According to a study by Buffer, 98% of remote workers will like to continue working remotely at least for some time in their careers. The study also found that 84% of remote workers say they are more productive when working remotely. The removal of the distractions of the traditional office setting, commuting, and conversations with colleagues have been found to contribute to increased productivity.

Despite the isolation that comes with working remotely, employees become more focused and efficient. A study conducted by Airtasker found that remote employees work 1.4 more days every month than their office-based counterparts. Remote employees work an extra 10 minutes per day, which adds up to 49 extra workdays per year.

Reduced Costs

Remote work leads to reduced costs both for employees and organizations. For employees, the cost of commuting, paying for meals, and the upkeep of a suitable wardrobe is eliminated or reduced. For organizations, remote work eliminates the need for rent, electricity costs, and other expenses associated with a traditional office setting.

The benefits of reduced costs extend beyond monetary value. The reduction in environmental impacts due to the reduction in commuting and energy usage is an added advantage.

Increased Job Satisfaction

Remote work has been found to increase job satisfaction among employees. Employees who work remotely, according to a survey by Owl Labs, report being happier in their jobs than those who do not work remotely. The study found that remote workers are 22% more likely to feel happy in their job and 30% less likely to quit their jobs.

Remote work allows employees to have a better work-life balance, reduce their commute time, work from any location of their choice, and have more control over their schedules. These factors contribute to increased job satisfaction that is crucial for organizational performance.

Increased Opportunities

Remote work has opened up employment opportunities for individuals who would otherwise be excluded from traditional work settings. This includes individuals with disabilities, caregivers with responsibilities that do not allow them to work a traditional schedule, and persons living in remote areas.

Remote work has also enabled organizations to hire talent from all over the world. This has led to greater diversity in the workplace, which is essential for creativity, innovation and ultimately results in greater performance.

Improved Health

Remote work has been shown to improve employee health. The reduction in commuting time and the flexibility of remote work enable employees to prioritize their health needs. This includes exercising, preparing healthy meals and taking breaks to rest.

Remote work has also been found to reduce stress among employees. A study by FlexJobs and Mental Health America found that remote workers had a 22% reduction in stress on average when working remotely.

Enhanced Work-Life Balance

Remote work enables employees to achieve work-life balance, which is crucial for their well-being. Employees can work from their preferred location, set their working hours, and spend more time with their family and pursuing their hobbies.

Employees can also attend to personal needs such as scheduling doctor’s appointments or attending to a family emergency without sacrificing their work responsibilities.

The Impact of Compensatory Benefits on Organizations

Reduced Labor Costs

The compensatory benefits of remote work lead to labor cost reductions for organizations. These costs include rent, utilities, office supplies, and travel expenses. When these costs are eliminated or reduced, organizations can redirect these resources to other areas that benefit their bottom line, such as training and development, technology, and employee benefits.

Increased Retention

Remote work leads to increased job satisfaction, which results in increased employee retention. Retention is vital as it saves organizations the costs associated with employee churn, including lost productivity, recruitment expenses, and knowledge devaluation.

When organizations provide employees with the opportunity to work remotely, they are demonstrating a level of trust and autonomy, which is a vital component of employee engagement and retention.

Greater Productivity

Remote work often leads to increased productivity, which translates to greater output for organizations. When employees have more control over their schedules and can work from their preferred location, their ability to focus on work increases.

Organizations can leverage this increased productivity by offering incentives to employees who meet or exceed their productivity goals.

Improved Diversity

Remote work enables organizations to recruit talent from all over the world. This leads to greater diversity in the workplace, which is essential for creativity, innovation, and ultimately results in greater performance.

By hiring talent from various locations, organizations can access languages, cultures, perspectives, and experiences that they may have otherwise been excluded from, leading to a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

Final Thoughts

As we have seen, the benefits of remote work go beyond just flexibility. From increased productivity to improved health and diversity, remote work offers numerous compensatory benefits that can positively impact both employees and organizations.

The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote work, and it is likely that it will continue to be a part of the workforce even after the pandemic subsides. As such, it is vital that organizations develop policies and strategies that enable remote work in a way that maximizes the compensatory benefits it offers.

In doing so, organizations can create a work environment that is more inclusive, productive, satisfying, and sustainable, leading to long-term success for both the employees and the organization as a whole.

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