Working remotely is helping people be more productive

Some 92% of employees say working remotely saves them time, with 85% agree it saves them money. New findings, from global HR company Deel, demonstrate the enormous value of flexible working patterns to workers. Deel surveyed almost 2,000 UK adults to understand how emerging work trends are impacting the modern workforce, and found that those working in remote or hybrid roles are enjoying a wide range of benefits, from an improved work-life balance, more time to sleep, exercise, and spend time with family, increased financial security, and boosted productivity.

Time to sleep, exercise, and spend time with family

Remote working has proven to be an incredibly effective time saver, with nine-in-ten (92%) respondents agreeing working remotely has saved them time. A third (34%) of respondents overall are saving 4-5 hours per week, a further one-in-five (19%) are saving 6-8 hours, and one-in-twenty are saving a staggering 11-15 hours every week.

Commuting emerged as the number one time drain being dodged by remote workers, with 80% saying it’s where they save the most time. Food preparation followed at 62%, with 52% selecting getting dressed for work. Meetings ranked next, chosen by 46% as a source of saved time.

When asked about how that time is being spent, exercise, household chores and sleep came out on top, all chosen by 37% of respondents. Time spent with family members followed, at 34%, with a quarter (26%) also pointing to being able to devote the time to childcare. 17% are spending the time on their hobbies, 13% are putting it towards personal development and 11% chose professional development.

As the cost-of-living crisis bites, remote working supports workers’ financial security

85% said that working remotely has saved them money. As a result, two thirds (66%) say remote working is making them feel more financially secure. When asked where they were saving money, 53% said petrol, while just over a third also cited public transport (35%). A third (33%) said that the ability to eat at home rather than spending money on food near the office is helping them save. One in eight (13%) called out childcare as an area where they are saving, illustrating the financial benefits that flexible working patterns afford to parents.

The research from Deel also finds that the money saved thanks to remote working is being used to adapt to the increased cost of living. 46% said they were putting the money straight into savings, while 27% said it was helping with housing costs (e.g. mortgage and rent payments). One in five (21%) said they were using the savings to cope with increased prices due to inflation, and 14% said they were using it to pay off debt. The current economic climate is certainly weighing on workers’ minds, as the vast majority (83%) of respondents say the state of the economy makes it more likely they will continue to work remotely.

Remote work benefits mental health and job satisfaction

The results show that flexible and remote working arrangements are supportive of the movement towards “bringing your whole self to work”. 82% of respondents agreed with the statement “I can be more myself” when thinking about remote working, and the vast majority (86%) say when working remotely, they are more comfortable. Encouragingly three-in-four say that their mental health has improved.

There are positive knock-on effects in terms of job satisfaction and output. When asked about how working remotely has affected their perception of their employer, 82% feel positively about their work-life balance, and 61% feel it has benefited advancement potential and access to innovative and challenging work respectively.

Four-in-five (82%) say they are now more effective and/or productive than before they started to work remotely, and three quarters (76%) feel they now have more autonomy at work. Further, 83% believe they can now manage their time better.

Commenting, Matt Monette, UK&I Country Lead at Deel, said: “The benefits people enjoy from being able to work remotely and flexibly are significant and far-reaching. From home life benefits like being able to dedicate additional time to family life and childcare, to health benefits such as getting more exercise and sleep, and financial benefits like saving and helping to cope with the cost of living crisis. Better still, it’s clear that people are getting more out of their jobs and feel more satisfied at work, which is resulting in more comfortable, productive and motivated employees.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to work patterns. Some will prefer fully remote and can make that work for them and their employer, while others embrace the hybrid approach. To employers who remain reluctant to move away from full-time office roles, this research is stark proof of the financial benefits more flexible working patterns can bring to workforces, alongside the wider positive impact on wellbeing and productivity.”