Remote vs office vs hybrid work, the biggest LinkedIn argument of 2021. While the appeal and benefits of remote work such as talent retention and acquisition are very real, remote work has come under fire for several other business related concerns such as coordination & efficiency. However, are these attacks on remote work justified? Or are these concerns simply excuses for a lack of competent management? This article will go over the several reasons why companies that adopt flexible work schedules in 2022 will succeed whereas companies that fail to do so will fall behind.
A flexible work model is an integrated work style in which employees can, to some extent, choose when to work and where to work depending on their schedules. That means employees have the freedom to choose between going to the office or working at home or the cafeteria. Since the pandemic, more companies have started to transit to hybrid work models. If you are a business owner and want your company to stay competitive, we can provide you with some insights.
More and more, we are seeing companies, big and small, thrive under remote & flexible work models. Today, we break down the arguments against remote work, highlight the
1. Remote/flexible work promotes task-oriented management
Simply put, a remote and flexible work model forces managers to be task-oriented rather than time-oriented. This is a crucial quality in a company’s success. Oftentimes, the managers most against remote work are the ones with very little grasp on the 360 degree needs of their company. It’s far easier for a manager to check attendance as a measurement for productivity rather than effectively organize and delegate tasks with deadlines for each department. In the absence of physically present employees, a company that is time-oriented rather than task-oriented has nothing to base workload off of.
Of course being task oriented and efficient with a remote model is not as easy as it sounds. Companies like Apple, Github, Coinbase, Zoom and other thriving companies all adopted permanent remote work in 2021, but that’s because they already had highly effective task management and communications protocols that made the jump to remote a no-brainer. Many companies today are experimenting with flexible work models in order to optimize their management style & ease into remote work. Companies reluctant to do so will face rising challenges as more and more companies 1. Drive towards more efficient models of management and 2. Attract more and more talents as remote & flexible become the preferred employment type.
2. Remote/flexible work increases talent acquisition and retention
The second advantage of remote & flexible work models is the appeal to employees and potential candidates. In several independent and an infinite supply of LinkedIn polls, the macro results placed flexible work models in first place with full-remote behind followed by full-office work. Companies with hybrid work models have an easier time recruiting and retaining their top talents. Forbes estimates that replacing a position costs employers 3 to 4 months of the position’s monthly salary. Forbes goes on to say that a high turnover rate can kill your business due to the dreaded turnover domino effect where multiple employees (usually working on the same team) leave together.
Companies with a keen understanding of human nature are ahead of the curve. They are embracing flexible and diverse office models, gradually weakening the rigidity of fixed work styles. Therefore, they are more appealing to global talents who want to work creatively and freely. Moreover, successful remote work models value institutional knowledge. They record and classify every document online so that new staff onboarding and training can go smoothly. This minimizes attrition in the information transfer process, which is particularly important for remote working companies; enhances team cohesion, and gives employees a greater sense of ownership.
It’s also easier for managers to set tasks more directly and conduct employees’ performance appraisals more orderly, leading to better long-term talent retention.
3. Remote/Flexible work saves costs
Remote and flexible work models open organizations to a vast array of cost saving opportunities. Universally, all flexible/remote working models enable the employer to save on office space and utilities, but that’s just the base benefit. For employees willing to go full-time remote in another country, the cost savings can be significant. PEO (professional employment organizations) services are becoming increasingly popular for this reason.
Say your employee wants to go abroad and work remotely. You can hire a PEO service provider to legally employ your employee in their destination country where they will be under that country’s employment laws. Employers in high employment cost countries, (European countries for instance) where the overhead costs in benefits and insurances associated with each employee is around 50% of their salary, can both save huge amounts and pay their employee a higher wage by adopting this model.
Wait, you’re telling me I can relocate to a tropical paradise like Bali. Where the cost of living is 1/5th of what I pay in France and my individual income tax is smaller. On top of this, I get a 20% raise and the company still saves money? Count me in!
Of course, this kind of remote lifestyle isn’t for everyone.
4. Remote/Flexible work is supported by data
A Mercer study in May 2021, found that 70% of companies said they were planning to accomodate a flexible work model. Microsoft’s Work Trend Index (published in March 2021) found that 66% of employers around the world are redesigning their work environment to be suited for flexible work.
According to a nearly 800 employers survey conducted by Mercer, 94% of surveyed employers reported either the same productivity (67%) or more productivity(27%) with full remote workers. 6% of employers responded with less productivity. Employees working from home reported that they experienced fewer distractions by other colleagues and less unnecessary meetings.
There has been a significant shift in work models compared to the pre-pandemic world. Experiencing different models help companies to reconstruct their relationship with employees, considering both productivity and their wellbeing. They also help companies to cut costs and relocate resources. Not only do these models provide a flexible working environment but also lead us to the future of work styles, which can save energy and reduce environmental pollution.