Money Saved on Remote Working Should Be Spent on “Social Glue”

jabra.social.glue.image.2014Working from home increases productivity and saves companies fortunes. If you re-invest some of your savings in gluing the members of your remote teams together into well-functioning teams, you will boost customer loyalty, productivity, and profits as well.

Old school managers might hate it – but the employees and the procurement department love it: remote working.

It’s the simplest and best deal in the world. You work from home (or in your car, summer cottage, or wherever makes you happy) instead of commuting all the way to the office, wasting time on traffic jams, noisy colleagues, endless boring meetings, and all the other stuff that seems to be the inevitable part and parcel of modern knowledge worker life.

The arrangement is worth a lot of money. Research shows that most employees spend the time saved on commuting to work more. Productivity is generally higher at home, and companies save a substantial amount of office space, as more employees can share fewer tables, telephone lines, etc.

Money in the bank! But there is a catch…

Re-invest in your staff

Most companies tend to take the money and place it right on their troubled bottom line. However, I have a much better idea: companies should re-invest the money on the workforce instead. The purpose: to build “social glue.”

Working from home is efficient, but it also detaches you from the rest of the employees in the company. That may hurt your sense of belonging and commitment to your company’s vision, targets, and goals -and that’s not good for business.

Research shows that strong teams with a common target and shared values are by far the most efficient grouping, outperforming all the competition in the market. The experts call it an in-group; a band of brothers (and sisters), where you can be yourself in a group of like-minded individuals.

Experts call it the cult-paradox. We feel more individual and free when we are in a group – as long as it is the right group for us. You may be a dentist, a postman, or a mechanic. But you really don’t feel like you are the best version of yourself until you join the other guys and ride your Harley Davidson in the Harley club, meet for soccer practice, or share stamps at the annual stamps fair. You are an individual at peace, feeling comfortable in a perfect team.

Increase your customer loyalty, productivity, and bottom line

This type of togetherness fosters commitment and engagement with the team and the company, and that’s worth a lot of money. According to Gallup, companies with engaged employees have 38 percent higher customer satisfaction, 22 percent higher productivity, and 27 percent higher profits than companies with a majority of disengaged employees.

That’s why you have to reinvest in your staff. Working from home makes them happy and productive. Securing their team feeling with a common purpose makes them profitable and committed to your company, customers, and subsequently, their bottom line.

What does it take then? Not much, actually. First of all, you need a common vision and purpose: why are we here, together? Then, you need to build informal relationships, breaking down the barriers people may have in a group – especially if they rarely meet – and finally, each member must feel indispensable as individuals, yet be rewarded for their efforts in the group.

It may sound easy, but it’s not easy at all – unless you invest in it, of course – and with all the money saved on real estate, you finally have the chance to do what’s right. So get on with it!

jabra.holger.reisinger.image.2014Holger Reisinger is Senior Vice President of Marketing for Products and Alliances at Jabra.

For additional Information see Jabra’s Company Profile

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