Is remote working here to stay?

While many people have predicted the rise of remote working over recent years, nobody expected it to rocket its way to the forefront as it has during 2020. It’s difficult to remember what life was like before the Coronavirus pandemic forced governments and businesses worldwide to implement drastic changes in order to keep people safe and control the spread of the virus. 

However, as the number of cases thankfully begins to dwindle, and as lockdown measures begin to ease, many businesses are finding themselves at a juncture – do they simply open their doors and go back to how they operated previously? Or do they take this as an opportunity to implement more flexible ways of working permanently? 

The sudden shift to working from home has been the greatest workplace experiment ever conducted, and before asking employees to dust off their travel cards and commute back to a central office – companies should consider what benefits the newly tested alternative ways of working have brought to their business. 

At Tyto, the concept of working remotely has always underpinned our business. This model means that we have an entirely remote workforce that works as one team across Europe. While there are many compelling reasons for businesses to continue working remotely, here are just two of the key benefits for employees and employers: 

For employees – Cut commuting costs

We recently analyzed the time and financial impacts that working from home can have on an employee. 

When looking specifically at the costs faced by London-bound commuters, we found they spend an average of £5,114 in travel costs annually. This is a massive financial burden to simply travel to and from work – and equates to spending a fifth (18%) of the average annual London salary after tax. 

On top of this, the vast majority of employers don’t cover the costs of commuting, which means it’s time that employees aren’t paid for. We’ve done the maths, and on average, London commuters spend 23.5 days a year traveling to and from work – which equates to £10,020 in unpaid overtime.  

For parents requiring childcare, the picture is even bleaker, with the average cost of wraparound childcare required to cover commute times equating to £12.17 per day, or £2,873 per year – which is 10% of the average London net salary post-tax. 

By allowing employees to cut out the commute, you can bring them considerable financial, time, health, and welfare benefits. Happier, healthier, and more financially secure employees can only be a great thing for business. 

For employers – Attract top tier talent

Secondly, having a fixed office can be one of the greatest constraints on access to talent, as it massively limits the catchment area from where you can recruit the best people. And while many professionals feel compelled to flock to live in or near city centers, there are many dedicated employees out there who simply aren’t able, or don’t want to move for work. 

Career advancement shouldn’t be down to a postcode lottery, and by restricting your company to only hiring from a small area – you could be missing out on a diverse, global pool of talent that could transform your business for the better.

Remote working could be the foundation of a healthier, happier, and more diverse workforce. We’ve seen firsthand how it’s not only benefited our employees but also benefited our business. So as the world begins to open back up again, it’s worth considering whether your business could benefit from making flexible working a fixture for the future. 

By Brendon Craigie, Co-founder and Managing Director of Tyto PR.

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