Remote Work: Why It’s Important for Businesses and Employees in 2021

COVID-19 has impacted businesses and the workplace in several ways. From furlough to remote working, the world of work has transformed. 

But what do people really think about remote working and why is it important for employees and businesses? A recent survey by GoodHire demonstrated Americans are in favor of working from home, and here’s why it’s relevant.

What the Results Showed

GoodHire’s State Of Remote Work In 2021: A Survey Of The American Workforce asked 3500 workers in America what they thought about working from home and the potential mandate to return to the office. The results showed that 68 percent of the American workforce preferred to work remotely and that 85 percent of Americans believed colleagues preferred remote working over spending time in an office. Flexibility scored highly with 85 percent of respondents preferring flexible working arrangements. All this has implications for employers and is important when planning how companies will recover from the effects of the pandemic.

People Hate the Office

One of the main findings was that employees detested the office style of working, preferring to operate remotely. 

Sixty-eight percent of respondents did not want to return to in-office work and many would even consider leaving if they had to work in that environment. For employers, this has huge implications. 

Some businesses need to operate from an office so there are opportunities to rethink the environment by working with colleagues to make the workplace more amenable. Secondly, if a building is no longer being used, employers need to rethink how to use that space to recover rental charges and expenses.

Flexibility Wins

A major finding from the survey was that workers prefer flexible remote working patterns. Working from home has given people space, reduced long commutes, and enabled them to work around other commitments such as caring for elderly relatives.

 For employers, there are opportunities to retain talented employees by continuing remote work. There are also savings to be made with reduced travel expenses and travel times between meetings. Other opportunities with remote working mean you can recruit from just about anywhere and attract highly qualified people to your company. 

Jobs that would have been hard to do with a commute may become more accessible to people with family commitments or with disabilities so you have a more inclusive workforce.

Employers need to Rethink Working Practices

Workers surveyed in the study indicated that 85 percent would not apply for a job in an office. For the employer, recruiting to areas where there are shortages of specialist staff has implications. 

Remote working is here to stay so offering opportunities to work partially from home with reduced time in an office, or full-time remote work needs to feature in job specifications. Employers also need to define the workplace to ensure people are productive, are supported with the technology to work remotely, and are connected to the wider company values and not left in isolation. 

Ensuring workers have a good work-life balance is also vital.

Remote work is one of the most important factors in reshaping businesses today. Employers and employees need to be engaged in what it means and how it can make a positive impact on the future.