In recent years we have seen a lot of changes in the traditional workplace paradigm. Perhaps none so much as the increasing acceptance of remote employees. More and more companies are allowing flexible scheduling including giving employees the option to work from home or only work remotely.
Having more control over your time and workspace is increasingly desirable among workers. That same Gallup poll revealed that 37% of employees would change jobs if it meant they would have more control of where they worked. Employers have responded by allowing an increasing number of employees to work remotely at least part of the time.
OwlLabs’ recent State of Remote Work report revealed that 56% of companies surveyed globally offer some degree of remote work, with 16% being entirely remote. A recent Gallup poll revealed that between 2012 and 2016 the number of workers in the US who work entirely remotely grew from 15 to 20% and continues to increase.
For employees the benefits are clear. It gives them more control over their day. Not being tied to a physical location means they don’t need to make excuses to attend personal appointments or have more time for their family. They save time and money by skipping the commute and tend to be healthier than their officer counterparts.
It is also helping them focus on their work. Workers are reporting increased inability to concentrate at their desks, with modern open concept offices being the worst culprit. Loud workspaces and other distractions leave many considering remote work as a solution to productivity. Workers cited improved focus and better productivity as the leading reason for choosing to work remotely. Better work-life balance and no commute were also significant contributing factors.
But it makes sense for employers as well. Remote workers have consistently shown to be more productive, have been shown to have higher job satisfaction, and have higher engagement. Having a significant portion of your team working remotely can also reduce costs and help all team members be more engaged.
Online tools have made it easier than ever for distributed teams to collaborate effectively. Project management software, video conferencing programs, and chat apps allow teams to be more engaged with each other across the world than some colleagues are the hallway from one another.
The advantages of working remotely for both employers and employees will ensure that the number of remote workers will only continue to grow in 2019.