Normal life is on the horizon.
While most are rejoicing and easing back into pre-pandemic activities, a looming question is top of mind for many.
“Will my employer be asking me to go back into the office?”
With a plethora of WFH experience under the belts of teams, leaders across industries recognize the need to proceed with a remote-first approach.
Each week, more and more employers are coming out with their remote-first policies, joining organizations like Shopify, Instacart, Spotify, and Deloitte.
Here are some of the many reasons employees and employers love remote work and are building cultures that support this approach.
Less Time Commuting = More Time for Family & Friends
In 2016, 1.5 million Canadians spent at least 60 minutes getting to work. With the evolution of city density over the past years, it's only reasonable to assume that this time spent commuting has increased exponentially.
With the ability to work remotely, employees can reclaim time that was previously consumed by travel. Getting in a morning walk with a loved one or an earlier dinner with the family allows employees to reclaim important time with important people.
Ability to Live Anywhere
Let’s face it; living in the city’s downtown core is pretty unrealistic in 2021 due to high living costs. Pre-pandemic, this high cost was something that many were forced to take on to be close to offices.
With a remote-first policy in place, home-buyers and renters (especially young people) can look outside cities for more affordable housing. A more affordable housing arrangement allows employees to live more comfortably, both financially and physically.
Reallocating Office Investments Elsewhere
Office space is a heavy-duty investment. This investment seems even more significant when it’s sitting idle. CNBC explains that “bigger employers are closing facilities, consolidating space and exploring ways to provide workers with flexible arrangements.”
Without significant budget allocation to permanent office spaces, leadership can allocate funds to other areas of the business that provide more of a return on investment.
Increased Employee Productivity
Managers used to fear what they couldn’t see in front of them. Unless they could look over at their teams’ area and see productive work happening, there was an assumption that no work was happening at all. Statistics Canada found that “90 percent of employees feel they are as productive, or even more productive while working from home”.
With a year + of experience managing remote teams, leaders can find peace knowing that their teams will be equally, if not more, productive when working remotely.
Ability to Recruit Top Talent, Living Anywhere
Pre-pandemic, talent pools were limited by geographic boundaries. Recruiters and HR leaders were challenged to restrict their search efforts to those that could make it into their physical office spaces. Not only does this make their jobs harder, but it stifles the potential of an organization by missing out on top-tier talent.
When location becomes unimportant, hiring managers can focus on talent and fit as the top criteria when it comes to potential candidates. Forbes points out that this also allows for a “more diverse and inclusive workforce”.