How to Improve Productivity and Work-life Balance with a Fully Remote and Distributed Team
Remote work has been a trending topic since the beginning of 2020, and for a good reason. The challenging circumstances of the last two years have caused unemployment rates across the globe to spike, while those who remained employed adjusted to working from home during lockdowns. And if there’s a positive takeaway from this, people came to enjoy the flexibility of working remotely. An impressive 62% of employees expect their employers to allow remote work.
According to the US Department of Labor, the US has seen a plummet in the unemployment rate from 14% in 2020 to 4% in January of 2022. For almost a year, the job market has shifted in favor of the job seeker as resignation rates skyrocketed. One primary criterion for workers is finding a genuinely remote-friendly company.
Even before the pandemic, remote work has always been an ideal solution for improved employee satisfaction, productivity, and other benefits. According to Newsweek, despite most CEOs wanting to return to the office, only 10% of workers want to return full time.
Many companies claim to support a remote work model, yet it’s common for management to require periodic attendance at an office. At the same time, a growing number of forward-thinking businesses have embraced the trend and reap the benefits of adopting a remote and hybrid working culture.
Consumer Acquisition is one such company. We have been fully remote since our founding in 2013, and we’ve thrived in this model. We’ve proven how working remotely has immense advantages for both employees and employers alike. Here are the benefits we’ve seen and how we do it.
Even without your manager constantly looking over your shoulder, working remotely increased the number of actual work people performed in a day. Over 261 working days, remote workers spent 58 hours more on core tasks and 256 fewer hours spent on communication than those working in the office.
Improved Work-Life Balance
Have you ever considered how much of your time is squandered daily by commuting to and from the office? The U.S. Census Bureau clocks the commute at approximately 27.6 minutes each way. That adds up to over 240 hours per year, which means employees spend ten days of their life simply traveling to work! Those metrics can be considerably worse in high-density driving cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Dallas.
Comparing that commute to the time walking from a bedroom to a workstation, workers gain back flexible time otherwise wasted. According to Forbes, work-from-home mothers reported a massive 30% increase in job satisfaction due to telecommuting, citing improved work-life balance by working remotely.
Time is money, but can we put a price tag on time? According to FlexJobs, the benefits of working remotely add up to a whopping $4,000 a year in savings. If you aren’t required to go into the office, you’re not tied down to a location because of work. Employees can work from places with lower living costs and get the most bang for their buck.
One of the most significant benefits of working remotely is the freedom you have over how you work. That may mean taking our laptops outside on a sunny day or setting up shop in a favorite cafe for some of us.
Or for the digital nomads, working from a different city every few weeks. Why not work from the beach in Hawaii one week and a cafe in Berlin the next? If that’s not exciting, we don’t know what is.
Employers Benefit Too
When it comes to remote working, employers also get a great deal. We have access to a significantly wider talent pool and greater levels of diversity since we don’t limit ourselves to the geography of our employees.
Remote and distributed teams also reduce turnover. OWL Labs found a 62% increase in employee company loyalty of employees allowed to work remotely.
Additionally, Flexjobs states that 58% of workers said they would look for a new job if their current one discontinued remote work.
How We Do It
We hire passionate employees who are the best at what they do, no matter where they are located. Our team currently has fifty-five employees across eleven countries. Our employees with families appreciate having the flexibility to attend their children’s events or family appointments as they need to. Employees who love to travel enjoy working from anywhere they like. Working with us, night owls and early birds all have a chance to thrive. And everyone benefits from working with people from different cultures and different perspectives.
We’ve learned to embrace asynchronous progress. Working across time zones means projects may evolve in different and unexpected ways. We leverage Google suite, Dropbox, Slack, and Monday.com to help us stay organized. We prioritize tangible benefits over perks because mandatory team “fun” or a fancy break room in a hybrid office won’t make up for time away from family. Ultimately, to ensure our employees remain productive, loyal, and happy, we share expectations early and adapt to challenges as they arise.
We recently welcomed our first non-US-based brief writer to the company. Maritza L. joins us from Mexico as a Junior Creative Director and Brief Writer. For those considering international, remote hiring, Maritza said, “Making the shift to an international model provides people with diversified knowledge that directly impacts performance. It opens new collaborative opportunities based on flexibility and openness. And it is in this flexibility that we can transform and develop new creative models. It’s a panorama of worldwide, connected, creative production.”
Now’s the Time for Change
With the rise of remote work and distributed teams, we’d encourage you to consider going fully remote in 2022. The past two years have taught us that people are highly adaptive to changing work environments and that the infrastructure is in place to enable fully remote teams that are also productive and happy.
It starts with hiring passionate people and creating a flexible environment for asynchronous work, fueled by tools that foster communication and collaboration. There’s never been a better time for change and for exploring what’s helpful to your business and your people.
By Brian Bowman, CEO of ConsumerAcquisition.
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