Understand the benefits of offering remote work practices and how to improve employee acquisition and retention rates.“It’s so good to get out of the city” – is that a phrase you recognise? There’s a reason that maligned metropolis dwellers temporarily migrate to the Cotswolds, Lake District, or South of France on the regular. Seeking sun, and the soothing effects of nature, it’s seen as the break we all need. Because, as we’re all well aware, place matters.
Green space, health and wellbeing: location is a big factor in our wellbeingBuzzing metropolis, cut-off countryside. Pollution-filled city, blissful rurality. It’s all a matter of perspective, to a point, but what’s clear is the impact of place on our health – mental and physical. An Australian study saw strong links between quality of life and where people live – with rural, regional dwellers coming out as the happiest. But conversely, UK research saw mental disorder rates in children were twice as high in the West Midlands versus London. It’s hard to draw conclusions, but the link between green spaces and wellness is well known – not to mention the myriad issues caused by air pollution, something that is location-specific. And for a long time, people have sacrificed their health (and their space) to live where the work is, i.e. in major cities.
Doesn’t a longer commute offer the best of both worlds?You might be asking why people don’t just do what others do – move further out, to slightly more distant zones or even surrounding commuter towns. Put up with a longer, pricier trip in for the sake of a house by the sea (or a field, or a lake… you get the idea). The trouble is,there’s a lot of negatives to commuting, to the point they could start to offset the wellbeing benefits of living out of the city. Generally, every added minute of commuting impacts mental health, adds strain, and lowers enjoyment of work. An extra 20 minutes is even equivalent to a 19% salary drop, in terms of affecting job satisfaction. So balancing work and a wellness-centered lifestyle is more complicated than you might think.
Forget how we live – remote work means we can rewrite where we liveFor your predominantly millennial workforce, many will be faced with the dilemma of choosing between a successful career and a sustainable future. For example, continuing to stay living in an overpriced rental flat just so they’re in tube-ing distance of your office. But things don’t need to be that way. And employees are quickly realising that. 41% of London employees could work remotely, and many of them have used the pandemic as the push to make the most of that and leave the city. 27% of usually urban-based workers don’t want to go back to city working after being remote during the lockdowns. 43% say flexible working policies would encourage them to head to greener pastures, and is this such a bad thing? Here’s some of the perks for your people:
- Bigger, affordable housing
- Green spaces and nature
- Cleaner air, less pollution
- Cheaper cost of living
- More balanced way of life