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In 2022, it’s estimated that 16% of companies globally are remote. Fingerprint is part of that 16%, proudly employing over 100 team members from across the globe, with team members signing on from over 20 countries. While working remotely is often comically characterized by working pajamas, midday naps, and taking meetings from airports, it has many other life-changing benefits that hold much more value than working in slippers and sweatpants.
Offering employees the ability to work remotely doesn’t just benefit the employee. It helps the employer as well. These employer benefits include reduced real estate costs from having less or no physical office space and improved employee retention. One report said that 74% of employees would be less likely to leave a company if they could work remotely.
Let’s dive deeper into the motivations behind my fellow team members at Fingerprint as to why they choose to work remotely instead of in a physical corporate office. This blog post is the start of a new series where we will look into data and insights about telecommuting. This first installment will focus on the benefits you may not consider when working remotely and why offering telecommuting could improve your employee experience.
Greater Access to Companies and Career Opportunities
Some may see the ability to work remotely as an opportunity for urban employees to flee cities for the suburbs; however, working for a remote company changes millions of employees’ job search parameters and career trajectories on a global scale. Workers previously limited to the companies headquartered in their region can now expand their networks far and wide outside of their rural towns in places from Kentucky to Spain to Peru. This also gives employers access to a much wider pool of candidates.
A few things our team members shared about this:
“Remote work gives me access to a huge number of companies, much more than I have in my city. More options mean a higher chance of finding better conditions (in terms of personal development opportunities and compensation). My local companies can’t compete with the global market.”
“I live in a rural town, in a foreign country, surrounded by beautiful nature and wild animals, all while getting to do stimulating, meaningful work with a group of brilliant and globally-minded peers.”
“My fiance owns a contracting business in our small mountain town; however, the marketing jobs in this area are few and far between. By working for a remote company, I am able to utilize my talents to create great content while also supporting my fiance's dream to run his business. It's the best of both worlds!”
Increased Ownership of Calendar and Time
The most common thread through all the conversations around what it’s like working remotely touched on a core aspect of an effective work/life balance: the freedom and ownership team members had around how they spent their time.
What does this look like on a daily basis? Let’s first look at the life of “work/life balance” and how things shift with no commute. It ranges from the ability to spend more time with their young children to running errands midday to being more active and joining an extramural league, all of which previously spent commuting.
“I get to spend much more time with my wife and 10-month-old son than if I were commuting to an office. I’m also healthier in terms of eating and exercising, and we save a lot of money! Working remotely has allowed me to enjoy life more instead of sitting in traffic while commuting or stressing about all of the chores/errands I need to complete after leaving the office.”
“I do not have to worry about the cost of commuting, and I am using the time saved to be more productive at work for longer, joining a volleyball league, and being more available for my family!”
Giving employees more autonomy about how and when they spend their time, working remotely, by its nature, allows them to set schedules to their preference better and prioritize their preferred work hours when possible. Employees can optimize their time to when they feel most productive.
This could be a typical eight-hour work day, or it could be dedicated work blocks that span earlier and later than standard work hours or something else entirely. Employees can choose how they work best without feeling obligated to be seen constantly working at an in-office desk space.
“I am in more control of my time. I can block my calendar, prioritize events, and focus on areas that need improvement. It has also shaped my daily interactions to include more global, cultural, and dynamic challenges that were not present before.”
“I waste less of my time. I don’t have to spend time commuting, and when I need to do personal affairs in the city, I can choose a time when there are no traffic jams. I’m more productive because there are no distracting noises and activities at my working place. I appreciate the ability to practice English with people from all over the world during my regular work.”
“It has allowed me to put more focus into my work and made me more deliberate about how I use my time. Being able to step away from the computer and go for a walk around the block is super helpful when I’m thinking over a problem or just stuck in a rut and having a hard time focusing.”
More Time for Career Development
When there’s more time to do things that people enjoy and more opportunities to take time for those things, the range of options for career development expands widely. When required to work in an in-person office setting on a regular cadence, employees might be more limited in their career development opportunities, such as in an academic environment, with local night classes or online certification programs.
In a world where office attendance is not a condition for employment, employees can access more time and resources to develop their careers and skill sets. They can set aside time to build their career and set goals. Because of this, employees find themselves overall happier and more balanced in their daily lives.
“I have more time and energy to study and read, which is crucial for career development.”
“I’ve had more career growth and success since working remotely while also making deeper connections with my teammates. Remote work has allowed me to be more productive at work while also being happier and balanced in my personal life.”
Additionally, remote employees can hone their soft skills, such as written communication, problem-solving, and autonomy, in a less frequent way in an office setting.
“Making remote work a priority definitely shifted my career path, and I believe it actually led me towards a more like-minded, forward-thinking group of people, who I enjoy working with every day.”
“It has shaped me into someone who can operate independently without much supervision. It has helped me enhance my problem-solving abilities since I prefer to conduct research first before reaching out to my colleagues for assistance.”
One of the biggest misconceptions about working remotely is that those who prefer to work remotely are less motivated, less productive, or less engaged employees than those that prefer to work in an office. These assumptions have been disproven several times, including in this two-year study by Great Place to Work, where remote employees were more productive.
If you’re looking for a growing and dynamic company to continue or begin your remote work career, we’re hiring for several positions across the organization. You can learn more about current opportunities and our benefits on our careers page.