VANCOUVER ISLAND – One of the impacts of the pandemic was a dramatic increase in the number of people working remotely. Many businesses are now in the process of finding a work model that suits their needs, from working in the office, working from home or a balance between the two. If you are wondering whether offering flexible work arrangements where possible can be good business, here are some of the benefits to consider:
- Better work/life balance – flexible schedules give employees more control over personal tasks like picking up the kids or taking the dog for a walk on their lunch hour;
- Less commute stress – the average commute in Canada is just under 27 minutes, one way—removing or reducing that time may be seen as a benefit by many employees;
- Positive environmental impact – that same reduction in commute time helps reduce greenhouse gases, and work from home also tends to use less paper;
- Improved inclusivity – opening your business to remote work can help you embrace diversity and inclusion as you are not restricted to one locale for hiring;
- Increased savings – If your business suits a remote or hybrid work option, you may be able to reduce real estate costs and overhead—according to Global Workplace Analytics, a typical company can save around $11,000 per year for every employee who works from home at least some of the time.
There are competing studies on the impact on productivity from remote work. Some report increasing productivity, while others note that some employees feel social isolation over time, which may decrease employee satisfaction. Many companies are embracing a hybrid work model to help with onsite team building and brainstorming while accommodating a flexible schedule.
If you do decide to offer full or partial remote work for designated positions in your organization, remember to help your employees set up a comfortable space, stay organized and set up healthy breaks. And keep in mind that encouraging employees to get a drink, fresh air or other wellness activities is a great way to help productivity, whether your workers are in the office or at home.
Dan Adair is an assistant manager at Coastal Community Credit Union’s Relationship Centre. If you have any questions about your financial health, please call 1-888-741-1010. One of our experts will be glad to help.