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COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN A NEW WAY OF WORKING

Updated: Jul 1, 2022


 

While restrictions have receded in the Western world, the trend of working from home has continued. An Owl Labs study found that half of the 70% of the full-time employees who were working from home in the US during the pandemic were willing to continue working remotely after the pandemic. Furthermore, 23% of those workers were content in taking pay cut over 10% for the privilege of remote work. The debate whether remote work is a passing fad, or a meaningful change is still ongoing. However, the myriads of benefits are sure to influence business leaders seeking a competitive edge towards embracing the change in work culture.


Although the change towards remote work seems to be driven by employees, studies have revealed a multitude of benefits for employers who are brave enough to embrace this development. Leading experts from prestigious institutions such as Harvard and Stanford Universities have revealed statistics that demonstrate benefits ranging from increased productivity to higher profitability. Teleworkers demonstrated an average 35-40% increase in productivity leading to an output increase of at least 4.4%. Furthermore, remote workers produced on average 40% less defects in their output. This enhanced performance is in large part due to higher engagement, with teleworkers having an average of 41% lower absenteeism. Retaining quality workers is also easier as the average retention rate increased by 12% when a remote work solution was offered. Average savings of $11,000 were demonstrated per teleworker leading to a profitability increase of 21%.


Additionally, remote work provides less tangible benefits and opportunities for modern businesses. Indeed has described those benefits, starting with more streamlined communication resulting from fewer communication channels and the possibility to record communication. Employers that embrace remote work have access to a vastly larger talent pool as it is now possible to hire people from around the world without the need for employees to relocate. Furthermore, a global talent pool brings with it global insights about foreign markets and innovations, while having the workforce dispersed over different time zones allows for seamless 24/7 services. Another important benefit to consider is the positive effects that telework has on brand reputation as allowing more freedom for employees is always good publicity. Moreover, working from home allows employees to reduce their carbon footprint significantly. Additionally, organization wide inclusivity is increased as employees with disabilities have simple access to the workplace.


Offering a remote work option translates well into a competitive advantage for the business, as it is the motivated talent that ultimately drives the business forward. However, large scale adoption of telework has led to some challenges in implementation – mainly with perceived lack of connection with employees, overworking, and monitoring of workers. While advances in communication technology have all but solved the connection issue and are paving the way towards the collapse of “closed doors”, issues with overworking and intrusive monitoring have been often left unaddressed. One solution for the latter challenges arises from designing a dedicated space for work – a space where the undisturbed flow of work is allowed to continue until the moment the employee exits the space.



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