The modern 40-hour workweek seems to have existed forever even though it has existed since 1940. Every day employees get into the office for 9 AM and leave at 5 PM to go home, eat dinner, sleep, and do it all over again the next day until the weekend. After a brief two days off, it starts over again for the majority of the year with limited sick days and vacation days.
As the workplace evolved over time, employees fell in line and dutifully continued the routine and became the norm. Millennials, the children of these employees, began joining the workforce, but the stability of the 9-5 work week started to collapse. The swelling number of people entering the working world started to deteriorate it.
How the Regular Working Week Started to Fail
The established practices of the 9-5 did not consider the growth and evolution of work and created problems like:
- Financially and emotionally draining commute times
- Less entry-level positions
- Overall poor employee morale
5 Reasons Why Remote Works Better
A 2016 study found that 55% of people said that they felt more stress because of their long commute.
This extra stress impacts their working habits to the detriment of their employer. The option of remote work introduced an opportunity for people to do their jobs in the comfort of their homes.
Though traditional work expectations discourage this practice in fear of decreased productivity, it did just the opposite and benefited both the employer and the employee with:
- Increased productivity levels
A two-year Stanford study found that between remote workers and traditional workers in the office, productivity for remote workers was equal to a full day’s work each week.
- Decreased costs
In the US, depending on the state, the average commuter can spend from $2000 to $5000 annually to get to work. Cutting the commute puts more money into a person’s pocket and adds more time to do work.
For employers, remote work practices can save them overhead operating costs, including real estate. US companies with remote workers saved an estimated $5 billion!
- Higher diversity
Remote work opens doors for acquiring more talent from around the world as the Internet provides a global pool of potential hires.
- Higher employee morale
Without the stress of the commute and the freedom to control their schedules, a study found that 24% of people who worked from home at least one day a week reported being happier and more productive with their work. This improved morale increases employee retention, lowering a company’s turnover rate, and ultimately employers can save on training and hiring costs.
- A smaller carbon footprint
Studies show that remote work decreases the negative impact of commuting on the climate. Fewer cars on the road improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Just like everything else, work practices must adapt to emerging trends. With the Internet, offices are no longer required. Remote work will soon become the norm over traditional working practices, benefitting everyone involved.