How Flexible Work Environments Can Help Women Advance in Their Careers

It actually helps even the playing field

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Many companies have begun to recognize the benefits of a remote work environment, including access to top talent, increased productivity, reduced costs and other advantages. For women, specific advantages like location and schedule flexibility can make a huge difference when choosing careers. In a world where the gender gap and gender bias still exist, remote work can help level the playing field.

Here are three key benefits of remote work environments and how they can foster the continued professional advancement of women.

Flexibility and career advancement

Among parents, women are much more likely than men to experience family-related career interruptions, and 51 percent of women say that being a working parent has made career advancement more difficult. Remote work can change that.

Remote work flexibility combats the countless women passed over or forced out of work due to the assumption that having a family will decrease their contribution.

A flexible work environment offers women the ability to work in a fast-paced industry and experience career advancement that’s otherwise difficult to come by while juggling commutes, children and family demands. Additionally, women can transform time spent commuting into training and education and continue their career development. They can also balance additional life responsibilities as they arrive, like starting families and caring for aging parents, with the demands of higher-level roles. Remote work flexibility combats the countless women passed over or forced out of work due to the assumption that having a family will decrease their contribution.

Productivity and focus on results

Several studies highlight the connection between remote work and increased productivity. For example, fewer distractions and more effective time management allow employees to focus on results. Work can then be measured by the impact of driving the business forward instead of time spent in the office. This is particularly beneficial to women who may also face bias more often associated with traditional office environments. There’s also the ability for women to choose comfortable clothing and eliminate the pressures that come with dressing for work.

Remote workers tend to have better tools in place for communication and collaboration, along with more robust knowledge management. This allows women easy access to information that can help advance their careers, which would otherwise be missed in a traditional environment. Remote environments also tend to foster fewer office politics or even watercooler conversations on your way to the break room. Engagement is intentional, and employees can structure their days with periods of focused work time.

Work-life integration and overall well-being

If you’ve ever worked at an agency or other high-pressure environments, you know the feeling of still being in the office at 7 p.m. You’ve felt the pressure to put in long hours and be visible. Remote work allows women to not only best design their lives to be more productive and advance their careers but also enhances overall well-being. Women can reduce the stress associated with achieving an optimal work-life balance by integrating their lives through remote work. Working from home also allows for the seamless integration of health and wellness activities into your day.

Women can even save money simply by working from home. Setting up shop in your home saves money spent on things such as dry cleaning bills, commuting expenses and eating out. This puts dollars back in your pocket to save or even invest to reach those coveted financial goals.

These benefits not only help more women progress professionally and live fuller lives, but companies also benefit from retaining women and having more of them in decision-making roles. Companies without remote work options can start by offering a flex program or adding one work from home day per week. Finding ways to increase flexibility and promote work-life integration are key to supporting women, and companies can reap the rewards, too. Women can continue pursuing their career ambitions, and businesses can experience the benefits of keeping women actively engaged with the long-term growth of their business.