Your boss is putting an end to teleworking? As CEO, let me tell you why they are wrong | Dan Price
The average worker registers almost an hour of unpaid work every day for no good reason.
I am talking about the commute, which for decades was considered a necessary part of the working day, but which has recently turned out to be completely unnecessary for a large number of workers.
The miserable walk on the freeway or the sweaty wait for a late bus is back in fashion now that companies from Apple to Amazon and Goldman Sachs to JPMorgan Chase have told their employees to come back to the office as well. large number. They say they have to do it to foster innovation and increase productivity.
As a CEO, that doesn’t make sense to me.
Our credit card processing company, Gravity Payments, has been working remotely since the start of the pandemic. How has our productivity been affected? In April, we set a revenue record. In May, we broke it again.
The extra revenue allowed us to surpass 200 employees for the first time, and remote working has significantly opened up our recruiting pool: we now have workers in 24 states.
Nationally, research shows that working remotely has resulted in a 5% increase in productivity, largely because people are not exhausted from commuting.
What motivates you? The chance to have a pizza party at the office? Or knowing that you can spend rush hour having dinner with your family instead of being honked by someone who just cut you off?
The truth is, companies have done it too well for too long by forcing staff to spend unpaid time getting to and from work just so managers can feel in control.
Let’s do some basic math to illustrate how commuting is gross business for workers:
The average worker spends 55.2 minutes commuting each day, up 10% from 2006.
The typical worker earns $ 20.17 an hour. But add the commute time and that pay rate drops to $ 18.09 an hour.
Here’s another way of looking at it: If you were actually paid for commute time, the median worker would earn $ 4,800 more per year.
Add to that the high cost of travel and it’s not hard to see why so many workers are leaving jobs that require them to return to the office.
And money is only half the story: Research shows workers experience more negative emotions during their morning commute than at any other time of the day. How Does Making People Unhappy Before Working Unlock Productivity?
What is the solution ? Just ask employees what they want.
Instead of making a top-down decision as CEO, I asked our staff how they wanted to work. Only 7% wanted to return to the office full-time, while 31% wanted a desktop-to-remote hybrid and the remaining 62% wanted to work from home all the time. So I told them: that sounds good. Do what you want.
This stuff is not difficult. Employees know how to do their jobs better than any CEO.
The move to remote work can change the lives of employees. Like many businesses, our head office is located in a high cost city. Here in Seattle, basic necessities can be tough even with our company’s median salary close to $ 100,000. Now employees have been able to keep their wages and move to more affordable areas, where they have for the first time the opportunity to afford a home and start a family.
For employers, there are many advantages to putting employees first. I keep reading the headlines on companies unable to find workers. But we had over 300 applicants per vacant position this year. We’ve always had a lot of applicants due to our minimum wage of $ 70,000, but nothing like the flood of interest we’ve seen since we made the job postings eligible remotely.
Overall, eliminating commuting is probably the most important thing a business can do to protect the environment. Every time I turn on my TV I see advertisements from companies claiming to be green. Then I open the newspaper and read how they ask office workers to spend an hour a day blowing exhaust fumes into the atmosphere to reach an office park that is not accessible by public transport.
I know businesses that are already hired for millions of dollars in office leases want to use their space. But forcing all employees back to work is wasting money after the bad, and will create additional short-term costs (like turnover) and long-term costs (like low morale) .
There are many businesses that really need to operate in person and specific roles that require face to face interaction. But people who have shown in the past year that they can do their jobs as well or better at home deserve to choose how they want to work – and companies will be better off by stepping aside and letting workers decide. .
Dan Price is CEO of Gravity Payments. In 2015, he cut his salary by $ 1 million to enact a minimum wage of $ 70,000 in the company