Millennials want to work remotely- Should we let them?
Is your company considering allowing employees to work remotely? If so, what are the risks and benefits?
A large majority of Fortune 500 companies today are allowing their employees to work one day a week from home. From a culture shift, this is huge. It’s a foundational step in the shift to a global and more flexible work environment.
But it’s not enough.
Millennials are asking for more flexibility and companies are at risk of losing their best talent if they can’t shift their policies in time to accommodate this need.
“Gallup consistently has found that flexible scheduling and work-from-home opportunities play a major role in an employee’s decision to take or leave a job,” one survey found.
Can corporations keep up with this shift to more flexible work?
I speak with clients whom head large corporations and, on an individual level, would love to work remotely on a larger scale themselves. But they joke it would never happen for them or their company because they “move too slowly” on policies. It was hard enough getting stakeholders to let go of control of their employees in order to work one day a week from home.
Their board worries about employee engagement, productivity and innovation. These are valid concerns. I hear the honest worries of: ‘Will our ROI fall off a cliff if we allow this shift to more flexible schedules? We need more engagement in order to move ahead and this feels like going backwards.’
Do flexible work schedules equal disengaged employees?
“Workers who spend none or all of their time out of the office reported feeling equally engaged last year. Those who spent 60 percent to 80 percent of their time away from the office had the highest rates of engagement.” — The New York Times
Studies have shown that innovative and high revenue companies are able to pivot to this new demand of more flexible schedules- and it’s paying off. Allowing remote work for more than one day a week actually produced higher engagement in their employees.
Will my employees actually do work if I let them travel abroad?
Employers are scared their employees won’t work as hard when they are away in some exotic location. From my research speaking with hundreds of employees working remotely in all corners of the world, I’ve found employees work harder than they do if they were required to work in the office.
They put in longer hours, are more creative and have more ownership over their work. This is due to their jobs being the main source of their lifestyle and the cause of their work/life balance.
They want to prove to their employers and their teams that they’ve got this covered, they can do the job while living away. With the integration of tools like Slack and Google docs, and Dropbox, teams are able to collaborate successfully as long as they have solid internet connection.
Will this shift save my company money?
The data shows “If those with compatible jobs and a desire to work from home did so just half the time (roughly the national average for those who do so regularly) … a typical business would save $11,000 per person per year [and] the telecommuters would save between $2,000 and $7,000 a year.”
This cost savings doesn’t take into account the revenue from increased creativity and loyalty that remote working employees are proven to produce. Imagine what this could do to your bottom line?
What’s the next step?
Looking to boost energy, innovation, and worldwide reach of your team? Send them to work away at a coworking space far away and see what happens.
They will be inspired by the people they meet at the coworking space who are from all over the world and in different industries. They will network, learn from each other, and bring all of these creative ideas back into their teams they work remotely for.
More importantly, they will be loyal to you. And in this era, that’s hard to come by.
Want to learn more about how to successfully transition your team to a more remote work style? Reach out to me here: