by Dr. Betty Johnson
Remote and hybrid work is here to stay. From one Boomer (me) to you: It’s time we stop thinking, “How do we get them to come back?” Accept the new reality. Remote work does work, and hybrid is here to stay.
Remote workers can accomplish more while building solid relationships that sustain them—and keep them with you—for the long term. You want that. Right?
Looking in the rear-view mirror helps you be aware, but too much focus on the in-office memories behind you can slow your team down and create anxiety and dissatisfaction. Getting hip to now propels you toward the realities of what’s ahead. It creates energy! It moves you and your team forward.
Remote work works. Not convinced? Check this out.
1. Remote work saves cash.
For your business to be fiscally healthy, you need cash assets for operations, purchases, and acquisitions. Cash is king. And Global Workplace Analytics shows mid-market employers can save $11,000 per remote employee—every six months!
Cash is king for your employees, too. Every six months, remote workers spend $2,500 to $4,000 less than in-person workers in the same jobs.
So, unless you’re prepared to give your workers a hefty bonus every six months just for coming into the office, develop your leadership skills to make remote work work.
How should you do that in your unique situation? Lead to Succeed™ gives you the path.
2. Remote workers are more productive, more likely to hit their goals.
If what you want is engagement (what leader doesn’t?), look at what Gartner found: Remote employees go above and beyond their employers’ expectations, more than at-the-office workers.
Woah! Going above and beyond is the stuff we want!
Gartner has another mighty prediction: 75% of organizations with frontline decision-making teams distributed across geographies and with diverse mindsets will exceed their financial targets by the 2022 year-end.
Let that cross-geographies data sink in. What does it say about your day-to-day leadership? It says, instead of trying to contrive situations to get staff to return to the office, turn your attention to supporting their needs to stay productive.
Start here: Eliminate video meetings that are useless to your employees. How good are you at that? You’ll be surprised. Take our free survey.
3. Remote Work Enables Diversity
If you want to exceed your 2022 financial goals, Gartner says you must have teams with diverse age groups, ethnicities, and diverse geographies. Teams with that sort of diversity perform 12% higher than non-diverse teams.
But diversity without inclusion leads to expensive turnover. That’s because inclusion is what fosters a sense of belonging. Belonging is like, “yes, I fit here, I am valued here, so I like being here.”
Our latest research project explores how dignity at work fosters that sense of belonging, of inclusion. And we need your input. Will you help us by participating in our 20-minute anonymous survey? By helping us, we aim to help you with evidence-based, practical guidance for everyday leadership.
Inclusive leadership fosters innovative behavior, consistent success, and belonging. As Verna Myers famously said, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” Inclusion pulls people together instead of pushing them apart, so it is essential for remote workers who might otherwise feel disconnected.
How inclusive are you? Find out right now. Take a scientifically-validated assessment and get confidential results showing exactly where to focus your efforts.
4. Remote workers stay healthy.
Once Covid-19 loses its pandemic status (some experts say that will not be until 2023 – ugh), it will remain endemic, like seasonal flu. Even then, leaders cannot afford to have large numbers of sick workers away from their jobs, if only due to temporary flu-like symptoms.
Consider this: is the likelihood of high absence rates during high-season outbreaks enough to make you want to get ahead of the game now? If so, learn how to be an ace at building accomplishment and relationships in your remote and hybrid team meetings. My new book, Making Virtual Work, shows you how.
5. Forget trying to convince them: Valuable talent is not going back.
Maybe you somehow dodged The Big Quit bullet in your team. Maybe not. Either way, get hip to the stats: A Bloomberg study shows that 49% of millennials and Gen Z workers would rather quit their jobs if their employers were inflexible about remote work.
Are you still romanticizing bygone days of management by walking around? If so, I feel your pain. But this thinking is the route to stuck-ness and failure. Instead of putting your energies into resistance to their wants and schemes to “get people back to work,” let’s recognize that work-life is different today.
Remote work can be work “places” where people thrive! But it’s up to you. You must build the bridge between dysfunction today and the high-functioning you want. Scientific research shows the way. Listen to the excerpt of my interview. Do the few powerful things that capitalize on the value remote work can bring.
Every week, I share articles, tips, and advice on my LinkedIn company page. For more up-to-date straight talk and tips for building performance and relationships, follow us there.