How Remote Work Increases Engagement, Productivity, and Profitability
Happy employees mean happy leaders. In other words, when your team members are happy at work, they will stay longer, work harder, collaborate better, and build a productive culture. This is the formula for a stronger bottom line—one of the primary leadership goals. Leaders can measure employee happiness through reduced turnover, lower healthcare costs, increased engagement, heightened output, improved creativity, and an upswing in profit.
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Many leaders fear employee happiness requires a large investment of time and money. Not so. One of the simplest ways to infuse happiness in the workplace is building in remote and flexible work options. The 2020 pandemic, which resulted in employees having time away from the office, was the great experiment in successful remote working. Forced to embrace this new operating style, leaders of organizations discovered its undeniable value—and the resulting spike in productivity, not to mention profits.
When employees are disengaged from distracting chatter and external pressures of the workplace, it provides them, along with their leaders, a unique opportunity to reflect on the pros and cons of a flexible work schedule. This is precisely what happened during the pandemic. Team members and leaders discovered that it allowed them to work smarter and be happier while they worked. Additionally, there came the stark realization they had more energy to do the work when freed up from long commutes, office politics, workplace conflict, and unnecessary meetings. It opened eyes to how much their leaders trusted them to do their work without the need to look over shoulders and micromanage.
People also realized the time saved freed up more quality time for themselves and their loved ones. Healthcare costs dropped for many employees because they were able to take better care of themselves. They had time to exercise, got better rest, had more moments for reflection and relaxation, and indulged in better quality meals with consistent routines for nourishment. They experienced richer encounters with family members, time to pursue hobbies and interests, and they were able to catch up with the world. Overall stress decreased while their indicators of good health improved. As their quality of life was enhanced, they gained a renewed appreciation for how much better their life could be lived.
Looking forward, this has changed what’s desirable in a career, for both employees and leaders. There’s now a consistent refrain revolving around re-defining what really matters in one’s career, as well as their personal life. There are numerous ideas, and they are typically coupled with commitments to live a more balanced life. Because they have had concrete experience, are able to juggle more effectively their work and personal lives, and have found new methods for achieving happiness.
Conversations with and amongst leaders and their teams should inform attitudes and approaches designed for more productive and balanced lives. There’s a need to reshape the thinking, starting in the C-suite and running throughout the organization, for what remote work can do to improve employee happiness. Starting at the top, through the ranks of middle management and onto the ground floor of the organization, human beings should have a balanced schedule that facilitates thriving and flourishing.
This needs to be a priority for organizations that want to attract and retain the very best talent. After all, it’s the number one demand of the most effective performers. To increase engagement, performance, and productivity, remote and flexible work options may well be offered to all employees.
Renwick Brutus' career has spanned roles as research economist, investment advisor, entrepreneur and consultant. He holds an MBA from Fordham University and has been recognized for his outstanding achievement in sales and business leadership. Today, Renwick applies his unique blend of business strategy and interpersonal skills to help individuals prosper and companies grow. He is actively engaged as an entrepreneur, advisor and executive coach to business leaders. Contact him by email and LinkedIn .