How often do we hear our peers at work complain about their commute? This always seem to be the biggest grouch. So, doing away with the commute makes it one of the most attractive features of working remotely. There are many benefits of working remotely for employers as well. Many employers are now making changes to the traditional office structure when they think about hiring and these are a few reasons why.

1. Companies can attract a wider talent pool

While hiring, most companies are limited from recruiting the best talent as they look for candidates from their geographical area. If they look further afield then they have to make a higher than normal offer to get new candidates to relocate. The beauty of working remotely is that you can hire where you find the best talent.

You can even open the talent pool by looking at a group that are no longer open to working in a traditional office – parents with young kids. When we at discussed this with our HR clients, they tell us that they find a lot of success in recruiting from this pool of expertise. Many freelancers, millennials and working mothers are now being recruited by companies who realise the benefits of having remotes employees.

2. Employees become more productive

This goes against what many managers swear by – the need to supervise their teams to get the best from them. The truth is that studies show that remote workers are much more productive. Not everyone can fit into a 9 to 5 work schedule. Some get their best work done late at night while others would like to take off to the gym in the afternoon and take up work where they left office the morning. This flexibility often finds people working remotely putting in more hours at work. After all, neither are they being distracted by long meetings or extended lunch hours with colleagues. And add to it the reduced commuting related stress and you end up with a happier workforce.

3. Businesses cut costs

Employers can spend over $10,000 on each employee, each year. These costs are spread over utilities such as expanding the office space, new equipment, replenishing stationary and other overheads that eat into the bottom line. Cost saving ion overheads is therefore another of the benefits of remote working for employers. Companies like IBM have cut real estate costs by $50 million by increasing their teleworking workforce.

Working from home also reduces the number of days employees call in sick. Further, it has been found that people at work can spend almost 8 hours each week on non-work-related activity. In working remotely, employees often bill only for the hours they are on the job, making this a very big cost saver in the long run. Another of the benefits of having remote employees is that they spend no time on commute and so employees often take a lower pay package by factoring in these savings.

4. Improves employee retention

Most companies know the pain of losing employees to other companies. Attrition is particularly stressful when it is in the middle of project execution. This is particularly true when the hire is in niche jobs and when the employee is very competent and productive. While loyalty is an unseen commodity, happy employees are invaluable. This is in light of the fact that more employees quit because of dissatisfaction rather than any other reason.

Employers with a strong telework force find that 93% of their employees stay with them for longer than the industry norm. Working remotely and its resultant higher satisfaction levels therefore improves bottom line as less time goes in down-time offinding, hiring and training a new replacement.

5. Remote yet technologically connected

Creating a home office is now easier than ever before. No longer do you need an IT guy setting up expensive equipment. All you need is a wi-fi connection, a laptop and a cell phone. The cost saving factor is that it all comes without having to pay for extra office space. Before high speed internet and low phone costs, working from home used to be a challenge. Now it is easy to collaborate with colleagues spread all over the world. Also, there is easy availability of a large number of software that can track employee productivity, making it easier to set up employees for working remotely.

The benefits of remote working for employers and employees has made many companies to invest in cloud-based technologies to make this collaboration possible. However, remote workers might not be for every business. Where a more hand-on approach is needed, working remotely might not answer. However, where possible, incorporating a viable telework force will give businesses a competitive advantage.