How flexible and remote working can improve employee wellbeing
March 31, 2020
Giving employees the opportunity to work on a remote and flexible basis is a great way to test strategies for employee productivity and remote management techniques. Additionally, allowing the change towards this approach can significantly improve staff engagement and job satisfaction, meaning you could effectively sustain a healthier and happier workforce. The benefits include reduced staff turnover, decreased absenteeism, and improved quantity and quality of work; which is mainly due to the multiple wellbeing benefits experienced by remote workers.
Not only does flexible and remote work mean eating better and doing more exercise, it also means employees get more sleep. All those factors combined lead to better overall health and fitness. Eliminating the need for commuting can also reduce the chance of musculoskeletal problems, particularly as long drives and stressed posture adopted while travelling to work can result in the development of back and neck problems. Additionally, your workforce is less likely to spread germs and catch viruses by staying at home, therefore decreasing absenteeism related to sickness.
Optimum time management
Working from home is a great time-saver, particularly with the eliminated commute saving considerable time and headspace. Small day-to-day tasks and chores can also be integrated into lunch breaks to free-up more time later in the day. Flexible working also means work hours can be distributed as efficiently as possible around obligations and appointments to optimise every minute of the day. Additionally, employees who are able to distribute their work hours flexibly generally perform better as they can align their tasks with their own body clocks. For instance, workers who tend to be more productive in the morning may want to start their work days earlier and clock out earlier.
The time gained by flexible and remote work also means employees have the opportunity to look after their physical wellbeing. In fact, the time that would have been spent on a lengthy and stressful commute could easily be swapped for an early morning relaxing yoga class or an energy-boosting home workout. Lunch breaks can also be utilised more efficiently to squeeze in an invigorating walk or go for a quick run. This is highly beneficial for companies as it allows employees to remain energised, motivated and productive throughout their work hours.
Working from home often means a healthier diet. In fact, your employees will be able to prepare healthy lunches by having their kitchen on-site, rather than go for fast foods and unhealthy lunch options in stores. Remote work also eliminates the temptation for junk foods since working in an office involves regular workplace treats being passed around such as sweets, biscuits, and of course birthday cakes.
The average cost of travel faced by commuters in the UK is £146 a month. Whether it is train fares, bus fares, petrol, or car parking fees; these can significantly add up over time and can all be saved by removing the need to travel to work. Additionally, employees will save money on food by having access to their own kitchens as they can reach for leftovers or make their own lunch rather than buy their lunches every day. This will help employees feel empowered to save-up and have a sense of greater control over their finances by eliminating the small unnecessary expenses associated with working in an office.
When it comes to work, stress is one of the greatest issues experienced by employees. Having the flexibility to arrange work hours around stress levels and being able to organise more time around tight deadlines can significantly reduce stress levels and feelings of being overwhelmed. Additionally, being away from an office environment may help workers avoid being affected by their peers’ stresses in addition to helping work feel generally less daunting.
The sense of control felt by employees who work on a remote and flexible basis leads to increased job satisfaction, particularly as this aids employees view work in a positive light, in addition to being able to achieve more and perform better. This feeling of control is also accentuated by having the flexibility to juggle both home and work life demands in a way that suits one’s own situation, which in turn aids loyalty and talent retention. Working along with your employees’ personal lives is therefore less painstaking and tends to be more efficient than imposing a set of policies to micro-manage staff.