With the coming of the COVID-19 pandemic, the transition to remote work stopped being a cute idea and became a necessity. But, maybe you didn’t heed the warnings and refused to get with the times. In this article, we’ll explain the many benefits of going remote, distributed, and global, and why it’s a win/win for all involved.
At Bunny Studio, we’ve been singing the praises of remote work for a long time, and we’ll continue to do so. We strongly believe—and can prove— that remote work can:
- Increase overall productivity.
- Improve work/life balance in a big way.
- Reduce costs for all involved.
- Help mitigate your carbon footprint.
- Create a sense of community and connection.
- Globalize your workforce and reach.
Yet, many companies that could go 100% remote refuse to do so — it seems that even the example of juggernauts like Facebook is not enough. But, if following the leader is not enough of an incentive, certainly cutting costs and raising productivity across the board should!
Trust us, unless your business absolutely requires face-to-face interaction, you’re going to want to transition to remote. We understand if you’re a Carl’s Jr. representative and think “Maybe this is not for my industry,” but everyone else? Stay tuned!
Transition to Remote Work: It’s not New-New
What do we mean by this? That yes, while the transition to remote is a historically recent phenomenon, it’s not just a 2020/2021 innovation. While it’s true that COVID-19 significantly accelerated this change, many companies were already investing in the idea.
Before the pandemic started, there was already an upswing of people working remotely. This is borne out by data from HR firm Sapling
“Between 2005 and 2017 there was a 159% increase in the number of people working remotely in the United States. From an estimated 1.8 million workers in 2005 to over 3.9 million in 2017”.
Does the gig economy have anything to do with this increase? Absolutely! As people are more able to pick and choose when and how they work, more flexible options become commonplace. Moreover, even if the gig economy primarily employs freelancers, these new modes of work reach full-time employees as well.
Millennials, for instance, tend to overwhelmingly favor a transition to remote work. At the time of writing, statistics show that over 66% favor working from home.
But, regardless of personal preference, is remote working worth the hype? After all, if you’re already running a successful business, we understand why you could be apprehensive; facing the possibility of having to migrate your whole operation may seem like a daunting proposition.
Understandably so, you may have reservations. Let’s try to run through some of the main benefits of the transition to remote work and put your mind at ease.
Benefits of The Transition to Remote Work
You’ll Save Up
Cost-cutting alone can sound like a remarkable incentive. But how exactly does the transition to remote work make you spend less? Well, for one, think about the fixed costs of running a business: things like infrastructure, insurance, utilities, can add up quickly.
Thus, reducing all of this overhead can help your bottom line. According to a study by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, there was a $38.2 million reduction in office costs in the last few years, with more to come. Additionally, a 2017 study found that workers were willing to accept up to 8% less pay if they worked from home.
And, this also creates benefits for workers as well. They save un both time and money, especially when it comes to lengthy commutes. The end results add up for everyone, both you and your employees.
Women Get More Opportunities
This is a welcome change of the transition to remote work that many didn’t see coming. The flexibility of remote work, and the ability to do things on their own terms, allow many women who were left out of traditional employment to have more career opportunities.
Forbes reports the following:
“Companies that enable flex work also have nearly three times as many female leaders as traditional companies. “In normal times, flex work provides working parents the flexibility that a traditional office can’t, while allowing them to continue pursuing their professional aspirations,” says Michele Parmelee, chief people and purpose officer, Deloitte Global.“
Interested in reducing your environmental footprint? The transition to remote work can help you and your company significantly decrease your carbon emissions. Furthermore, younger employees—especially Millennials—tend to favor companies that work towards sustainability.
It Allows Employees to Be Themselves
Work/life balance is one of the metrics that everyone seems to be working towards. Remote work can allow for more spontaneity, and people feel that they can be more comfortable in their own skin.
Respondents to the Deloitte Global Millennial survey said that they could be their “true selves” when they made the transition to remote work.
But, even more so, work/life balance is about flexibility. It allows everyone in your company to pursue tasks more freely, and to make use of their time more efficiently. Paradoxically, remote work is typically less time-wasting. Therefore, people not only become more productive, but they tend to front-load their day with the more draining tasks, leaving the fun for later.
The end result? Less dead time, and people having more opportunities to live their lives on their terms.
The Productivity Paradox
Another seeming contradiction is how workers become more productive from home, not less. Forbes chimes in with the following studies:
“Flexible working done right can offer several perks for employers. Beyond relieving the stress of employees, a 2015 study by CoSo Cloud found that 77% of part- and full-time workers reported feeling more productive when they work remotely, while nearly a third said they accomplish more work in less time. Separately, a two-year Stanford study revealed that flex workers also take shorter breaks, had fewer sick days, and took less time off.”
Still, you might be suspicious of self-reporting. Other studies though, seem to bear out this assertion. For instance, it seems 30% of workers do more work in less time, and 24% do more work in the same period of time. Additionally, it seems that the overall improvement of the transition to remote work, productivity-wise, is 13%.
Those are staggering numbers. What’s even more, some places, like Prodoscore report increases of up to 47% in productivity, comparing March 2020 to the same period in 2019 and 2018. It seems the sky’s the limit.
Ways to Painlessly Transition to Remote Work
Establish Clear Communication Channels
At Bunny Studio, we regularly utilize tools like Slack and Zoom to stay in touch. While we try to keep video calls to a minimum, we understand it’s important to stay updated and call for meetings when necessary.
Although we’re big believers in autonomy, having clear communication channels enables us to stay on top of things while keeping burdensome, over-the-shoulder management styles a thing of the past. The key factor, though, is to be able to clearly access and communicate with employees and freelancers whenever necessary.
Be Able to Track Progress Metrics
Using tools like Airtable and Trello, we’re able to clearly track how each member of the team is doing in relation to their assigned tasks. These tools offer other ways to communicate that are seamless, task-centered, and easy to follow. In addition, tracking metrics in this way allows the unnecessary fuss and stress of back-and-forth emails and calls, especially when a deadline is fast approaching.
There are plenty of proprietary tools that you can use to track progress in different areas as well. Simply put, there’s no way to stay in the dark after you transition to remote; staying on top of things should be easier than ever!
A lot of people are going to take really easily to the transition to remote work. Others, though, are going to have a tough go of things, especially during these stressful times. This is when you need to lead with empathy, and understand that transitioning takes an understandable adjustment period.
Make sure to ask everyone how they’re doing, and whether they need anything on your end to succeed. At times, also, your company may have to chip in with technology or other upgrades in order to help everyone get on the same page. After all, not everyone has a home office set up to start working on a dime, and it takes time and money to get going.
Some companies have offered stipends, although this doesn’t necessarily have to be you. Being mindful of your employees’ needs, whether personal or material, does go a long way, though.
The Personal Touch
It’s not easy to go from seeing each other every day to working remotely. Some small strategies, like town-hall meetings, virtual happy hours, or voice chats can help people feel closer.
Remember, you’re going to want to keep fostering a corporate culture of union where no one feels like an island. When you transition to remote work, a little can go a long way to make people feel like they’re part of something larger, and not just out on their own.
The transition to remote work doesn’t have to be burdensome, or hard. In fact, you should be looking at it optimistically, as a possibility to:
- Make everyone involved happier, and a better version of themselves.
- Save up on both time and money.
- Continue creating a company culture of empathy and friendship.
- Increase productivity in all areas.
These have been just a few of the reasons why Bunny Studio has always spearheaded a remote work culture. Together, we are passionately committed to continuing to provide the best in creative solutions, whether in the work we do and in the way we work.