Despite the need for social distancing generated by COVID-19, many companies sent their employees to work from home to avoid a possible spread of the virus within the offices.
Work from home (WFH) should be considered as a win-win relationship for both employers and workers, especially under current labor market circumstances, towards keeping business continuity and avoiding staff cuts.
Although not every company can cover the expenditures associated with the increase in consumption of home electricity or Internet connection for their employees, the savings that workers may perceive are much higher.
These are the 10 main advantages for people with the opportunity of working remotely:
- Better reconciliation between career and personal life: Since WFH allows more space and time for personal projects or attending to family needs, this benefit remains as the greatest emotional salary perk.
According to a study carried out in 2019 in the United States by Virtual Vocations, almost half of Millennials survey respondents said that they were interested in staying at home to take care of children or elder people within their families.
- Savings: By avoiding the commute to workplaces, people can save in fuel costs, vehicle maintenance, parking lots, or public transport passages. There are also significant reductions in the cost of food and clothing.
The First Report on Remote Work in Costa Rica, carried out by the International Center for the Development of Work From Home, estimated that each employee could save more than $1,000 per year.
- Better time distribution: That same report from the International Center for the Development of Work from Home found out that WFH could save up to 60 hours per month in commuting times. Workers could better invest their spare time in other productive activities, rest, leisure, and family ties.
- Stress reduction: WFH does not remove the pressure that teams face in delivering their tasks and achieving the metrics. Nevertheless, the possibility of working from the comfort of home, within a controlled environment, allows better stress and frustration management.
Those who can work remotely some days per week are on average 29% happier than on-site workers, according to a study conducted by Owl Labs last year.
- Greater efficiency: Productivity is indeed one of the biggest concerns of managers when implementing WFH. However, the Owl Labs’ survey in the United States pointed out that 8 out of 10 workers in the United States who work remotely reported achieving a better focus on their tasks.
- Time flexibility: Most WFH approaches allow employees to better manage work and rest times. Therefore, it is necessary for companies to change the mindset and evaluate team members by the achievement of goals and not by the time they invest in front of the computer.
- Health Impact: Avoiding the stress of traffic jams while commuting to workplaces, the possibility of including exercise time in daily routines, and improvements in eating habits when consuming home-prepared foods could significantly improve physical and mental health.
- Appropriation of new technologies: People who work remotely must incorporate virtual communication platforms, tools for virtual desktops access, collaborative documents on Cloud, as well as other applications for process follow-ups and to maintain high production standards. This encourages workers from all age groups to stay up-to-date in the use of technological resources, which also represents a competitive advantage for their resumes.
- Carbon footprint reduction: According to the book "Beyond Work from Home: A New Flexible Way of Working", by foundation Más Familia from Spain, one day of remote work per week would reduce 166,421 tons of CO2 every year, which represents 168,085 annual tons of greenhouse gases.
- Greater inclusion: WFH can break down the barriers that make it difficult for people with disabilities to access employment. This could give them the opportunity to become economically active.