As the year draws to a close, now is an opportune time to examine your business model and see what’s working and what isn’t moving into the New Year.

In 2018, you might want to consider making a big change that many other companies have already embraced: abandoning the 9-to-5 workday.

The Future is Remote

It might sound shocking, but CNN Money reports that “the number of telecommuting workers has increased 115% in a decade” and will only continue to rise in the future.

One of the reasons that the “work from home” trend is here to stay is because the traditional working office environment has become increasingly toxic.

As our lives have become busier and laden with technology, workplaces demand more and more of employees: the American Institute of Stress reports that 46% of Americans stress comes from the workplace, which is the highest consistent source of anxiety by far in the survey. Add a commute and inflexible hours on to that 9-to-5, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Fast Company reports that “The pace at which we’re exposed to information today is overwhelming to our brains, which haven’t adapted fast enough to easily separate relevant data from the irrelevant at the speed we’re asking it to.”

This is where remote working works beautifully; if your team is self-motivated and self-managing, they can get their work done and then some with a better work life balance. Using technology to your advantage by letting your team work remotely will prevent high tension and burn out. Remote workers actually end up working more than 8 hours a day, and on top of that, 91% report feeling more productive and happier.

The Millennial Factor

Another big reason the 9-to-5 is on its way out is the rise of Millennials in the job market. HuffPost reports that By 2020, Millennials will become the largest generation in the workforce. Keeping this in mind, it might be a good time to re-evaluate the structure of your workplace. Changing over from a traditional office space and a 9-to-5 schedule could be a smart move for your company, financially and socially.

77 percent of millennials say having flexible work hours would make them more productive, according to a study by Bentley University, and flexibility is more important than a higher salary for many workers. A staggering “76 percent of millennials polled by Qualtrics would take a pay cut of at least 3 percent” to work for an organization with flexible office hours.

Companies that won’t budge from tradition are paying for it: Forbes reports that “60% of Millennials are leaving their company positions in less than three years.” When considering the cost of the hiring process and training necessary to replace said employees, losing your Millennial employee will cost your business at least 20K.

Old ideas about company loyalty and lifetime service are out the window in the modern workplace; Millennials, perhaps as a reaction to the 2008 recession, are cautious about dedicating their lives to a cubicle. By giving your team the option to work from home just a few days a week, you will gain an edge over your stricter competitors.

The Benefit to Business

Now, you absolutely should pay your employees well for their work, but by dismantling your office’s 9-to-5, you’re cutting out the costs of a maintaining a physical office space, the cost of technology for employees, and the price of company activities.

Entreprenuer.com reports that typical business would have on average $11,000 if they allowed employees to work from home half the time.

Not only are you saving money, you are opening up new opportunities for business. Working with a virtual team means that you can pick and choose what positions you want to stay in house, and what can be done remotely.

It might be a good idea to keep your core staff in the office, but marketing, advertising, and reception are all smart areas to outsource. Business to Community says, “It’s important to know how to utilize your own talents as well as the talents of your team, and sometimes, the best option is to outsource tasks that take up a lot of time and resources but end up becoming essential to a solid marketing plan.”

This transition doesn’t have to be dramatic; by offering “work from home” days on a trial basis, you can show your team that you value their time and test it out before you have to make the switch. Experts predict the “death of the nine to five” as soon as 2030, so make sure you’re ready for a dynamic, flexible work environment.

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Parker Davis
Parker Davis is the CEO of Answer 1, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology enabled answering services industry. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. In 2016, Answer 1 achieved record revenues while also being awarded the Top Companies to Work For in Arizona award. Parker is also the Managing Partner of Annison Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership. Follow him @Answer1 and on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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