The economic turmoil which resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent quarantine lockdowns have prompted businesses to adopt a working scenario previously reserved for freelancers.
Now, work from home (WFH) is fast on track in becoming a part of the “new normal” of the future, with many prestigious companies allowing WFH for the majority of their employees while others will adopt a hybrid set up (part-time on-site and the remainder of the week WFH).
Why is WFH being considered the “Future of Work”? Here are the 10 reasons in support of this claim:
1) A good percentage of office jobs can be done at home
Originally, economists have been estimating that 40 percent of office jobs can be done at home. But two recent studies conducted in the U.S. and Norway offered a more realistic figure of 36 to 37 percent.
The Norway study went so far as to identify the specific jobs which can be WFH, including clerical support workers (67%), managers (52%), academics (52%), technicians and associate professionals (43%), and service and sales workers (29%). Ironically, the study also found that 21% of craft and related trades workers can do their jobs remotely.
2) Elimination of stressful and time-consuming commute
A complaint of many employees is the exhausting and stressful commute to and from the office, not to mention the high cost of fuel. With WFH, the daily commute through heavy traffic is not only eliminated. This commute period is now being utilized for work. An estimated 3.13 hours are now added daily to the usual working hours.
For individuals who are more productive, they can clock in an extra 4.64 hours daily. Not only that, employees are particularly happy about their savings on gasoline and costly car maintenance.
3) Existent modern technology allows for WFH
Thanks to the Internet, advancements in voice and video conferencing apps, and other software, any worker with a good device and Internet connection can do their tasks anywhere, not just at home. However, there is the need to ensure a secure connection with company networks by observing strict security protocols.
4) Access to qualified talents outside of the company’s geographical area
Hiring qualified talents/employees was once limited to the place/s where the company and its branches are located. Because of these technological advancements, companies now have access to online job boards offering the services of freelancers from every corner of the globe.
This also enables companies to expand their services to the locations where these remote workers reside, thus widening their reach worldwide.
5) Knowledge sharing with remote workers
Aside from the services that remote workers provide, they offer a wealth of knowledge gained from their work experiences with other clients or companies. WFH offers the opportunity for knowledge sharing, the exchange of feedback and suggestions for increased productivity, improved work output, a more satisfactory work experience, and enhanced creativity and ingenuity.
6) Huge savings and potential profits on real estate
A major chunk of a company’s expenditures goes to real estate. For those who rent office space, they spend thousands on monthly lease payments. Even if a company owns their own building, there are real estate taxes to pay. Leased or owned, a company also pays for building repairs, maintenance, and renovations.
With WFH, there are fewer employees coming to work so that rented office space becomes smaller. This means a reduction in lease costs due to the smaller office area.
As for companies that own buildings, they now have empty office spaces which they can rent out to other businesses and thus realize a profit.
7) Savings on equipment, office supplies, and maintenance
Companies spend thousands on office equipment. Even day-to-day office supplies, such as paper, pens, staplers and staple wires, envelopes, Post-It Notes, etc., are quite costly. With a reduction in on-site employees, this means less office supplies needed.
There is also a reduction in the cost of repair, maintenance, and upgrading of office equipment, such as computers, photocopiers, fax machines, and more, not to mention reduced costs of office furnishings, like desks, chairs, etc.
8) Reduction of stress among office workers
Office workers often complain of stress in the workplace due to hot-tempered, impatient bosses and conflicts with co-workers. Because they are now WFH, they are free from these internal conflicts.
However, it should be pointed out that WFH comes with its own stressors, such as prolonged isolation, overwork, excessive multitasking, and the lack of socialization. The WFH employee must take steps to change certain work habits and allow for periods of socializing with co-workers even through voice or video chat.
9) WFH employees call in sick less
WFH gives employees the opportunity to switch to a healthier lifestyle. Not only can they cook healthier dishes and snacks, because of the flexible schedule, they can also add an exercise session.
Greater control over schedules allows WFH employees to make the necessary changes in their tasks so that they don’t have to work when they’re not feeling well. Another plus is that, because they are not working on-site, sick WFH employees don’t end up spreading their illness to their co-workers.
10) Greater likelihood of keeping long-term employees
Nothing can make an employee happier than to be given permission to work right in the comfort of their home and get paid for it. Because of the WFH arrangement, even on a hybrid setup, workers are not only relaxed to work in their homes, but they are also able to enjoy the personal activities that they love.
Needless to say, happy WFH employees are less likely to experience dissatisfaction with their jobs and decide to quit.
Indeed, these reasons and more bolster support for the projection that WFH is the future of work. What about you? Do you agree with this claim? Drop us a line and share your thoughts with us!
If you’re looking for other resources on working from home, be sure to check out our Complete Guide To Working From Home to get you started!