The rise of remote work is a relatively new phenomenon that has massively disrupted traditional work arrangements. With the employment of more technology, remote working has made a significant impact on various industries and organizations, resulting in transforming traditional working norms. The pandemic has further accelerated the remote work trend. According to a recent survey conducted by Flexjobs, 65% of respondents preferred a remote work option, while 58% of workers believe that remote work will become more common in the post-pandemic era (Flexjobs, 2021).
Remote work is reshaping the workplace, and it is essential to understand the benefits of remote working for performance. Although there were perceptions about remote work disengaging employees and negatively impacting their productivity initially, we now recognize that remote work can contribute positively to an employee’s performance. Furthermore, remote work provides flexibility, better communication, and additional benefits like better focus time, avoiding office politics, and improving job satisfaction.
Distractions VS Productivity
In traditional office setups, employees can easily get distracted by daily office interruptions. Office chatter, phone calls, and pings from co-workers disrupt their concentration, which leads to sub-optimal work performance. Remote working offers a very different set-up, as employees have the ability to work in quiet environments they can control to avoid distractions.
Besides thereby being less distracted, remote workers are also known to manage their work more independently, which contributes to their productivity. Research has found that remote employees were more satisfied and productive, completing their work faster and getting more done in their workday (Bloom et al., 2015). According to a two-year-long study by Stanford University, remote workers accomplished more and reported a more satisfying work-life balance than office-based workers (Bloom, Liang, Roberts, & Ying, 2015).
Employees that work remotely have better concentration and fewer distractions, which results in a higher level of productivity. Additionally, as reported by Forbes, remote workers take fewer breaks than their on-site counterparts, and they complete their work in less time (Morgan, 2019).
Flexibility In Work Hours
The ability to work remotely offers greater flexibility to employees as to when and where they work. This sort of flexibility allows employees to prioritize their families, hobbies, and other obligations. As a result, remote workers can manage their work-life balance better. According to Buffer’s 2019 study, 40% of remote employees commented that flexibility was the most significant benefit of remote work. (Chen, 2019). Not only does flexible scheduling improve work-life balance, but it also allows employees to choose the optimal time to work.
Moreover, the flexibility of remote work allows workers to avoid traffic, which has contributed positively to their overall work experience. Remote workers can avoid the time-consuming and stressful commutes associated with traditional office jobs. This flexibility also enables remote workers to work during hours when they feel the most productive. For instance, if one feels more productive in the morning, they can start work earlier, while others might feel more creative and productive during late nights.
Employees who work remotely are also more inclined to take a break and recharge their batteries when they need to do so. With remote work, professionals are empowered to take breaks without having to navigate strict office policies that dictate when they can take a break.
This flexibility not only makes for a more comfortable work experience but also a more productive one. The ability to take breaks, switch routines, and complete tasks in their preferred environment can help remote workers be more productive and focused.
Communication Tools in Remote Work
Communication plays a significant role in remote work. The challenges of distance and separation often make it difficult for remote teams to communicate seamlessly. However, with available technological tools, virtual teams can collaborate effectively and achieve better results.
Virtual teams now have access to video conferencing, email, chat platforms, project management tools, and other software that help them stay connected. With the rise of these tools, virtual teams can still work together cohesively despite geographical separation. For example, Slack and Zoom have helped remote working teams communicate more effectively than ever before.
Besides, remote workers can use virtual meeting tools like Zoom to offer presentations, brainstorming sessions, and even collaborate on tasks in real-time with colleagues from different locations. Consequently, remote teams can also maintain an all-time collaboration, even when working from different time zones.
The benefits of communication tools used in remote work are not only limited to improving communication with team members, but they can also aid in the overall work process. In general, digital tools help remote teams manage their workloads and remain on schedule, resulting in increased productivity and better communication within the team (Barbara, Marketti, & Olguín Olguín, 2019).
Increased Employee Satisfaction
Remote work has extensive benefits on employee morale and job satisfaction, leading to a more engaged and committed workforce. Research has found that remote work has positively impacted employee engagement, job satisfaction, and overall well-being.
As reported by Flexjobs, Remote employees reported a superior work-life balance, better mental health and career satisfaction than those who work on-site (Flexjobs, 2021). Another critical aspect of remote work is that it contributes to lower stress levels associated with traditional office work. With no commute, and other distractions, remote working employees can manage stress levels more effectively, leading to better overall health.
Moreover, remote workers can prioritize their families and other commitments while still being able to perform their jobs. This, in turn, provides a sense of fulfillment and job satisfaction.
Remote work is an emerging trend that is transforming the global workforce. Not only does it provide flexibility and convenience, but it also leads to increased productivity and improved work-life balance. Furthermore, remote workers enjoy better control over their work and tend to avoid common office distractions, resulting in improved focus time and a more efficient working process.
Additionally, communication tools enable remote teams to communicate, collaborate and achieve better results despite obstacles that geographical distance might present. Lastly, remote workers tend to be more fulfilled and satisfied with their roles, leading to happier employees and improved workforce retention.
In conclusion, remote work provides a variety of benefits to both employees and employers, redefining the trends in traditional work procedures. The emergence of new technologies and innovative communication tools means that virtual teams can work productively and maintain a healthy work-life balance simultaneously.