Increased Employee Satisfaction and Retention

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Updated March 23, 2023

You’re reading an excerpt of The Holloway Guide to Remote Work, a book by Katie Wilde, Juan Pablo Buriticá, and over 50 other contributors. It is the most comprehensive resource on building, managing, and adapting to working with distributed teams. Purchase the book to support the author and the ad-free Holloway reading experience. You get instant digital access, 800 links and references, a library of tools for remote-friendly work, commentary and future updates, and a high-quality PDF download.

Hiring is expensive, but hiring people who don’t stick around very long is even more costly. The 2019 State of Remote Work report by Owl Labs and Kate Lister of Global Workplace Analytics have some of the most compelling results about the power of remote work to improve employee satisfaction with their job and increase willingness to stay with their current company. They found that companies that allow some form of remote work have 25% less employee turnover than companies that do not allow remote work, and that remote workers are 13% more likely than on-site workers to say that they will stay in their current job for the next 5 years. The benefits don’t just apply to full-time, remote-only employees, either—even people who work from home occasionally report higher levels of job satisfaction.

Remote work also means that companies won’t lose people if they have to move for any reason. If their spouse gets a job in another city or they need to be closer to family when they have kids, a remote employee can relocate and keep doing their exact same job with almost no impact (although time zones are the potential complicating factor here).

Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion

Companies stand to benefit from more diverse pools of candidates by being able to hire anywhere in the world. Employers no longer need to rely on hiring people who can only afford to live in expensive urban areas, which excludes a significant slice of the population, often along socio-economic and racial lines. Supporting remote work allows employers to hire people who want or need to stay close to home. This can include those who have caretaking responsibilities, which can have an impact on diversity and inclusion, because women are still more likely to be caretakers than men. Hiring remotely also lets employers select people whose disabilities impinge on their ability to commute and/or work in an in-office setting.*

Still, we don’t yet have the data that proves increased diversity of teams is in fact happening at remote companies. found that more women have CEO, founder, or President roles at remote companies: 28%, compared to 5.2% CEOs in S&P 500 companies and 6.4% in Fortune 500 companies. We don’t know of any data related to the diversity of remote teams, but hope that as remote work proliferates, more information will emerge.

contributeWe’d love to hear of any other studies with data on diversity at remote companies. If you know of any, please let us know!

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