When the pandemic forced many businesses to send their entire workforce home to work, saving money was probably not an expected outcome.
But many of these businesses have reported financial benefits: increased productivity, reduced employee expenses, access to a larger talent pool, and reduced employee turnover.
Even before the crisis, there was an upward trend in remote work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, more than 26 million Americans work from home regularly. Remote work is no longer a short-term response to maintain business continuity. It's a financial windfall for businesses.
Entrepreneur Inc. recently surveyed more than 500 founders of venture-backed companies. It found 70% would let some (or all) of their employees continue to work remotely after their offices fully reopen. And 66% said they're reconsidering investments in their offices.
The financial services industry has embraced flexible employee schedules for some time now. About a third of companies reported at least 60% of their employees work from home at least one day a week.
Executives also said 95% or more of their office workers switched to remote work in response to the pandemic and by and large maintained or improved productivity. Post-COVID, 69% report they intend to have at least 60% of their workforce continue to work from home at least one day a week, according to PWC's Remote Work Study.
Employees are also embracing the trend. More Americans are moving in record numbers to the suburbs to work from home. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com, "The experience of being at home for a long period of time has everyone rethinking their priorities. People recognize space is more important, so they're looking for more affordable areas where they can have more space at the same price." This movement ensures there is a permanency to this trend of remote work that companies need to embrace.
Rocky Kalmanovitz, Vice President of LPL Admin Solutions, is no stranger to managing a remote team. More than 25% of his workforce worked remotely before the pandemic. Now 100% of his team works from home. "Remote work is here to stay," Kalmanovitz says.
"In the financial industry, we grew up on relationship sales being propelled by face-to-face interactions. So it can be a bit scary to think about doing business another way," he continues. "But now many businesses are embracing digital communication and finding their employees are more productive at home with fewer distractions, and take fewer breaks and days off."
A recent study found that companies reported a 12% to 13% increase in productivity on average. "These double-digit gains in efficiency are hard to ignore," Kalmanovitz said.
Companies are also reporting a reduction in employee-related expenses. Employees who work remotely at least one day per week save the company, on average $11,000 a year, reports Global Workplace Analytics. Employees are also saving $2,500-$6,000 annually on job-related expenses, such as transportation and clothing.
How can small business owners invest in mobility tools and remote talent to take advantage of this trend? "That is where the power of partnership with LPL comes in," says Kalmanovitz.
"LPL financial professionals can take advantage of enterprise-level technology through Remote Office Solution to help power a remote workforce. So when you combine that with solutions like Admin Solutions, we can pretty much assure business owners that working remotely can be done effectively and securely," he continues.
Remote Office Solution makes it possible for advisors to create a flexible work environment using cloud-based technology to have their staff safely access sensitive business files and share documents with colleagues and clients online, from anywhere.
How It Works
Businesses might also find that making a traditional hire is not what it once was. Although the unemployment rate is high, recruiters say it's challenging to hire and maintain new talent without some work-from-home consideration. The reasons most often given by candidates are fear of infection in the workplace or access to adequate and reliable child care. Stephen Locker, CEO of Beacon Financial Group, said, "We found using Admin Solutions is a cost-effective way to bring on talented staff quickly. I think we have increased our service capacity by 20%.”
While the pandemic will pass, threats to business continuity will never go away. That means making remote work options is necessary. For more information, visit Technology Solutions to learn about Remote Office Solution or see how one advisor maintained operations during a hurricane with the support of Admin Solutions.