With the rising cases of Coronavirus in the UK, businesses are following government guidelines and implementing strategies to prevent the virus spreading in the workplace. One of the preventative measures being taken is to have employees working remotely.
Flexible working arrangements are quickly becoming the new normal across many countries and industries. Across the globe, working from home and remote locations has grown 159% since 2005. A 2019 survey also found 61% of global companies currently allow their staff to have some sort of remote working policy.
A lot of companies are already well equipped for their employees to work from home and are able to utilise modern technology to ensure that business continues as normally as possible, if the coronavirus situation worsens dramatically.
Although the issue of Coronavirus is a concern for businesses, there are some huge benefits to having remote workers:
Without the distractions of an office environment, workers can focus more without any interruptions. Remote workers also have an increased feeling of control over their schedule and workload, meaning they're able to manage their time and priorities to what suits them best, this means that they are often much more productive.
The costs and overheads involved in running an office can really add up. The rental cost of a large space to accommodate all of your employees is the first major saving made from having remote workers. Then there are the other overhead costs associated with having employees on location, items like office supplies and furniture, cleaning services, electricity and heating etc.
Having remote workers also reduces both presenteeism and absenteeism, which a study found cost the UK economy £73billion per year.
Reduce Employee Turnover
Without the stress of the commute and the flexibility that remote working offers, employees will be much happier. By allowing employees to fit their work around family/life responsibilities, they feel more valued and trusted, and this improved work-life balance means that they are less likely to leave the business.
In a 2017 study by Gallup on how important certain attributes are when considering whether to take a job, “greater work-life balance and better personal well-being” ranked second on the list, above job stability and a pay rise.
There are so many benefits to flexible working (and not just in a virus outbreak!) for both businesses and employees.
Although at this point, we don’t know exactly how bad the Coronavirus situation in the UK will get... we do know that it is going to get worse, so companies need to follow government health advice and BE PREPARED. They need to make sure all their strategies and systems are in place for their employees to work remotely if necessary, to try to stop the virus spreading and to reduce the impact that it has on their business.
You can find further advice for businesses on managing a Coronavirus outbreak, in our previous blog HERE.
Government health guidelines for businesses: