Fun fact: unscheduled employee absences cost the U.S. a whopping $300 billion per year, in what is mostly no mood for work. Studies have showed that 78% of employees who call in sick, really aren’t. According to Global Workplace Analytics, they actually do so because of personal needs.
Everyone wakes up on the wrong side of the bed from time to time. Because we understand that and because we value employee satisfaction, here at 4PSA we have a No Mood for Work policy.
Whenever we’re in distress and a day at work will only make things worse, we can have a No Mood for Work Day. We use the compensated day off to recharge our batteries and on the following day we get back to work with a better focus. Needless to say, we understand this is not something to be abused.
If you can’t beat-em, join em
Remote working isn’t new, and its benefits have long been exposed. People who are left working remotely report lower stress levels and a sense of control over their lives. Not surprisingly, they’re also more productive (for the most part). At the other end of the spectrum, those who are forced to come to the office have more bad days than their telecommuting counterparts, and they absent themselves anyway.
Research firm Global Workplace Analytics has published a whitepaper that compiles data from 500 individual studies to reveal how remote working improves employee satisfaction and retention, reduces unscheduled absences, saves everyone money, and increases productivity. It also shows the cons of telecommuting, because your mileage may vary depending on the organization, the workforce, and even the geography.
The hard facts
Regarding unscheduled absences, these cost employers $1,800/employee per year, which adds to a whopping $300 billion/yr for U.S. companies. Organizations that implemented a telework program reported a 63% reduction in unscheduled absences, and the teleworkers themselves typically continued to work even when they were sick. This not only bolsters productivity levels within a company, it also saves otherwise healthy staffers from catching the flu.
Furthermore, teleworkers are able to get behind their desks faster following medical issues, because their workstations are in the safety of their homes. Finally, flexible hours enable teleworkers to schedule appointments and run errands without losing the whole day. This is crucial for parents, for example.
Take the good with the bad
It’s not fair to trumpet solely about the benefits of remote working. Although most studies focus on the good part of teleworking, there are downsides as well. For instance, some people lack the social interaction typically associated with the office environment, while others lack self-direction and easily get distracted. Some aren’t comfortable with the technology or the arrangements made for remote tech support, while others don’t have a well-defined home office space.
Finally, some employees fail to understand that telecommuting is not a suitable replacement for daycare and don’t schedule work hours around the needs of their offspring. However, before leaving here with a bad impression about remote working, know that the benefits outweigh the negatives by a factor of 20 to 5.