Interested in boosting employee productivity, engagement and loyalty? If you haven’t entertained the idea of creating a culture with an office desk on the beach, it is time to rethink the possibilities and go outside of the box. Employers are reluctant to entertain the idea of remote workplaces despite the benefits. Remote, virtual or telecommuting office culture is becoming more and more common as employees thrive and excel in their “beach setting” environment.
As a proponent of remote workplace alternatives, I have found from personal experience the benefits out way any disadvantages. Extending from coast-to-coast across the United States, the culture cultivated by our team provides:
- Increased productivity
- Increased creativity
- Empowerment for employees
- Increased loyalty
The virtual culture works for us by providing efficient time management and innovative ways to stay connected. Skype is a tool we use extensively.
Is A Remote Culture Right For You?
Granted, some professions require onsite presence. Firms now, however, have the opportunity to take a more flexible look at the standard office environment; allowing employees to use technology enabling them to connect and collaborate from anywhere.
Small changes can produce significant benefits simply by empowering employees to gain more control over their schedule. Studies have shown that telecommuters increase productivity by eliminating the worry of driving to work, cutting gas expenses and removing office politics. Firms who engage in creating a virtual culture reduce business costs on overhead, reduced sick leave and less turnover.
Research conducted at Stanford with a Chinese company reveals working from home is actually more productive than working in the office, as well as other benefits in the form of increased job satisfaction and fewer people leaving. The study revealed employees who worked from home reported higher job satisfaction and were 50% less likely to leave than their colleagues who worked in the office.
Another study compiled information from Kate Lister, author of Undress For Success—The Naked Truth About Making Money at Home (Wiley 2009) and the whitepaper, Results-based Management: The Key to Unlocking Talent and Increasing Productivity. This research revealed virtual workers are more productive and happier than traditional workers.
- Best Buy, British Telecom and Dow Chemical found that virtual workers are 36% – 41% more productive.
- The work-from-home nature of virtual work reduces absenteeism by $1,134 per employee, every year.
- 79% of traditional workers would prefer to work from home and 61% would take a pay cut to be able to do so.
- Virtual workers get an extra 2-3 work-weeks of free time in commuting savings and report they use this time to spend with family, friends and for leisure.
- Gallup found that 54% of traditional U.S. workers sleep walk through their day.
- An additional 18% are “actively disengaged” (meaning they actively undermine what an engaged worker accomplishes). Together, these groups make up a shocking 72% of the traditional workforce.
- Another poll found that 1 in 3 high-potential traditional employees do not put full effort into their job.
Times have changed, and with that, firms need to stay abreast of the options and benefits available to them. Leaders should face the importance of an employee’s autonomy and the increased results of productivity and fulfillment by incorporating or exploring a remote culture. Lifestyle will often trump salary in an employee’s decision making process. Firms who embrace a remote culture can gain an edge in recruiting highly-skilled employees.
Question: Does your firm engage in a virtual employee culture? If so, what advantages and disadvantages are you finding? You can leave us a comment by clicking here!