Remote work is a global, growing phenomenon that only seems to be gaining in acceptance but there are many misconceptions about it from thinking it’s a way of skiving off or that it leads to employee disengagement.
But the reality is far different.
Linda Trim, Director of FutureSpace, a joint venture between Investec Property and workplace specialists Giant Leap that offers high end shared working, office on demand space in Sandton, said: “We host many people from big established companies that prefer and need to work remotely to think innovatively, tackle special projects or simply just to get work done.
“Our office in Sandton is close to the Gautrain and we have workers from Pretoria, Cape Town and abroad amongst other places who need an instant office when they arrive in Johannesburg for business.”
There are 10 things about remote work you probably didn’t know:
1. Remote work can increase worker productivity
Companies and employees alike say remote work is a boon to productivity. Said Trim: “Distractions like water cooler gossip, impromptu meetings, and loud colleagues are a non-existent.” According to data from SurePayroll, a payroll provider, two-thirds of managers say employees who work remotely in co-working spaces increase their overall productivity.
2. It drives employee efficiency
Fewer diversions for remote workers can lead to higher efficiency, says a survey from ConnectSolutions. Some 30 percent said it allowed them to accomplish more in less time, while 24 percent of those surveyed said they were able to accomplish more in about the same amount of time.
3. It’s often how project and consulting teams prefer to work
Teams tasked with special projects or consultants advising a company, often find it best to work away from the home office even if space is available there. Said Trim:” There is often a benefit to be away from the office and look at things from a distance and fresh eyes. Co-workings spaces are particularly well resourced for special team projects.” These teams are often exposed to like minded professionals in co-working spaces that often spark new ideas.
4. It reduces employee turnover
Offering work at co-working spaces reduces staff turnover, and job attrition rates fell by over 50 percent, according to a study published by Stanford University. “This is obviously a massive cost saving to companies because it takes a lot of time and money to continually look for new talent,” Trim noted.
5. It decreases real estate costs and overhead
Companies of all sizes report significant decreases in operating costs, remote work stats show. According to a Forbes magazine report, Aetna (where 14,500 of 35,000 employees don’t have an in-office desk) shed 251 000 square metres of office space, saving $78 million. American Express reported annual savings of $15 million thanks to its remote work space options.
6. It often leads to greater employee engagement
It seems counterintuitive, but remote workers are often more engaged with colleagues and supervisors than in-office workers, Harvard Business Review concluded. “Technological tools like Slack and easy video conferencing offered by co-working offices like FutureSpace that help workers stay connected makes all the difference,” Trim added.
7. It positively impacts the environment
For many employers, going green is a big incentive in the shift toward remote work. Studies show that employers who don’t travel in to an office have helped reduce their carbon footprint.
8. It meets demands of younger workers
Sixty eight percent of millennial job seekers said an option to work remotely would greatly increase their interest in specific employers, according to a survey by AfterCollege, a US career network for college students. Policies that cultivate a “flexible, fun, and casual” work environment have a positive impact on young people’s interest in specific employers the survey found.
Co-working spaces are now one of the fastest growing sectors of real estate worldwide in anticipation of the growing demand for a new way of working.