For years, in-office work was deemed to be the best arrangement for operational success. Companies have long been stuck on the notion that mandating employees be in an environment that is solely dedicated to work ensures productivity. However, a recent shift towards remote arrangements has proven that working from home can be just as effective, or even more so, than working at the office.
Take it from Brian Doubles, the president and CEO of Synchrony, a consumer financial services company. In a recent article for CNN Business, Doubles explained how his opinion of remote work changed when the pandemic hit in 2020. Initially, he was concerned that switching to remote arrangements would cause a slew of problems to surface, mainly "technology challenges, productivity issues, and inertia."
However, after the pandemic forced his company to implement work-from-home protocols, he was pleasantly surprised to see that productivity numbers were not only meeting targets but also exceeding them in some cases. After conducting a company-wide survey of its 16,500-person workforce, it was revealed that 85% of employees were in favor of a remote arrangement even after the pandemic. The company then decided to give employees the option of working remotely on a part-time or full-time basis, while keeping the office open for important meetings or company events.
"Today, I'm a true believer in this new way of working. I am convinced that in the post-pandemic world, flexibility (combined with fair pay and great benefits) is the new currency. It's the foundation of a more engaged workforce and competitive advantage," Doubles said.
The success of Synchrony's model comes from its employee-focused construction. It truly addresses the employees' concerns and looks after their best interests without compromising the company's needs. In theory, it makes a lot of sense—as long as everybody puts in their time and gets all of their work done, why should it matter where they do it?
Letting employees work from home allows them to set up a work-life balance that suits their needs, and in turn, that helps reduce the stress and burnout that often affects productivity.
"Our leadership team has committed to working remotely a few days a week to demonstrate flexibility — reinforcing that it is acceptable and even encouraged to embrace flexible work options. This is not a one-size-fits-all approach. We want all employees to believe that when we say flexibility is your choice, we mean it."
At the end of the day, happier employees means more productivity, and more productivity means better business. If all it takes to make employees happy is letting them work from home, why not jump on that opportunity?
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