If greater productivity or happier, healthier employees isn’t enough to sway CEOs into the flexible remote working movement, this latest news may.
A recent study by a technology startup has shown that the average public company, with a flexible remote working policy, outperformed on revenue growth over the past three years by 16 percentage points. This is in comparison to companies with return-to-office mandates.
The analysis of remote working policies was done by Scoop, in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group, and looked at the work policies and revenue growth of 554 public companies.
This comes following the recent successful results of Spain’s four-day working week trial, proving that flexible working provides lots of benefits for the employee, business, and our environment as a whole.
Remote Working Works
The report from Scoop, a technology developer that creates hybrid work planning tools, sought to compare the relationship between remote working policies and revenue growth. A link that, until now, had not been studied.
The analysis looked at the revenue growth between 2020 and 2022 across a range of industries. This included technology, media, insurance, and financial services. From here it was found that fully flexible public companies significantly outperformed their peers in revenue growth by 16 percentage points.
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More than that, structured hybrid companies – those who require their employees to be in the office for a certain amount of time or on certain days – also performed better on revenue growth in comparison to those who implement working in the office full time, by 13 percentage points. Companies in the data set with more restrictive policies, including set hours and days or full-time mandates, had only a 5% industry-adjusted revenue growth rate.
On the 16 percentage point revenue growth, Rob Sadow, CEO and co-founder of Scoop, stated: “That gap was really surprising to us and larger than expected”. He went on to compare Scoop’s past research of work policies and employee-number growth and concluded that “collectively they paint a pretty strong picture” for the argument of flexible working.
Flexibility Contributes to Office Culture
The data isn’t suggesting that a remote working policy is the definitive cause behind revenue growth. Rather it’s a contributing factor showing that an open-minded business culture that engages workers with autonomy and trust, and listens to their needs, will naturally support growth.
Add to this the fact that flexible remote working – and therefore fewer commutes – helps the environment and allows businesses to widen their employee talent pool search, and really CEOs start to become hard pressed to find the negatives.
Sadow continued: “The argument a lot of execs and board members have is they believe companies that offer flexibility are going to underperform because they’re not together, that they’re not going to allow for water cooler conversations and relationships to develop. The data suggests not only is that not true in terms of underperformance, but you might actually outperform.”
Younger Companies More Likely to be Flexible
As well as the revenue growth correlation, the study identified a lot of interesting data that displayed the emerging shape of how we now work.
While companies shouldn’t feel forced into being one way or the other, that is either fully remote or full time in the office, it’s clear that flexibility is continuing to grow more prevalent. This is due to figures showing that 38% of companies now require employees to be in the office full time, which is down from the 49% identified at the start of the year.
Similarly, correlation between the age of a company and the likelihood of it offering flexible working was also found. The younger the company, the more likely it will offer flexible and remote options, no matter the size of the business or its industry.
While on the topic of industries, Scoop also found that small companies; tech, media, and finance companies; and those with offices in the West and Northeast United States are all more likely to offer flexible working practices. So, if you’re in need of a career change to something with a little more flex, you now know where to look.