4 Reasons Why Remote Workers Are Healthier – And Why The Boss Should Care
Remote workers are more productive. Study after study has proved it’s true, whether it be hard figures reported by companies on the number of calls answered, or project hours spent or the more subjective question of asking an employee, ‘Do you think you get more done at home.’
One reason for that is that remote workers are also healthier. With sick days accounting for almost 3% of an employee’s time, it makes sense to keep those to a minimum. So how does working from home have this magical effect?
They can work when they’re most able. Some people work best by burning the midnight oil; their brains are at their best once the sun goes down. Some people leap out of bed full of joy and do their best work as it comes up. For others, there are peaks and troughs, times when their focus is at a maximum, times when their brain needs some downtime. Working from home gives your remote team the chance to work when they’re most able. The result is better sleep hygiene, mental health and blood pressure.
Talking About Blood Pressure… One in three adults in the USA has high blood pressure and more than a thousand people die every day where hypertension was a contributor. It costs the US $46 billion a year – so it’s only patriotic to try and bring your virtual team’s BP down to normal levels! Why does working from home bring it down? A big part of it is cutting out the commute.
Commuting is not good for you. When you’re sat in your car in a queue of traffic that stretches as far as the eye can see, it’s hurting your body. Your cholesterol, blood pressure and anxiety are all increasing. General happiness declines and the risk of cardio vascular disease rises. Sitting in a car causes back pain; the leading cause of work absence. No wonder you get out of the car all cranky!
Being at home is good for you. By contrast, spending more time at home has all sorts of health benefits. It’s especially good for mental health, helping to build secure families and give your team a better work-life balance. It lowers blood pressure and increases the opportunity exercise which helps build healthy hearts and strong backs.
So, what’s in it for me?
Really? You’re not a philanthropist whose only interest is your employees well being? Well, we’ve already made a case for increased productivity and less employee absence, so if we absolutely must quantify human happiness in terms of dollars then letting your team telecommute has some obvious financial advantages – not least the fact that they won’t be using a desk.
More than that, though, allowing working remotely makes a statement about your company culture, and that’s more important than it’s ever been Why? Because the workforce is now made up of a higher proportion of millennials than anyone else, and Generation Z are entering the employment market.
Here at DistantJob we generally don’t generalise. We prefer to look at companies and candidates as individuals and use our mojo to bring them together. But there some truth in these stereotypes, so we’ll use them here.
Millennials, generally, like to work for a company with great values. They’re looking to be part of an environment where they feel supported and valued, and where their ethics are mirrored in those of the company. How do you do that? Letting them work from home, when they need to and recognising their efforts when they do. Oh, and recycling.
Having a remote working policy that emphasises the benefits to employees says something about your company culture. In return, you’ll get increased loyalty and happier, healthier team members. The next time someone starts to get sick as a deadline approaches, they’ll be more likely to get the job done.
Generation Z are described less entitled than the millennial generation, but they make up for that with strong social consciousnesses. To win the loyalty of the Z-er, you’ll need to be authentic, and to care about the people around you. As well as working for the greater good, prioritising your team’s health and wellbeing is of primary importance.
This generation are true digital natives; the netgeneration. They’re used to everything being mobile, they’re comfortable online and many of them are interested in freelancing or being entrepreneurs. These are the digital nomads you’re hearing so much about in the media lately.
In summary – if you want to appeal to the younger generations of employees, then remote working is a great way to do it.
For us, remote working is a no-brainer. Not only are your staff healthier, happier and more productive you’re also more likely to retain them, saving the costs of recruitment. Now, telecommuting isn’t a panacea and for some people it really doesn’t work at all.
But here’s the good news – we’re here to help! If you’d like help to recruit the very best from the global talent pool, whatever stereotype you prefer, just give us a call