As more employers and employees are exploring the idea of remote work, there are more statistics to inform decisions.
1. Remote work can increase worker productivity.
Companies and at-home employees say that remote work is a boon to productivity. Distractions like impromptu meetings, chatting with colleagues, and office noise are no longer an issue. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed said that they preferred to work alone to “hit maximum productivity,” while two-thirds of managers said that employees who work remotely increase their overall productivity.
2. It drives employee efficiency.
For the disciplined remote worker, fewer distractions can lead to higher efficiency. About 30% of people surveyed said that telecommuting allowed them to accomplish more in less time, while 24% said they were able to accomplish more in about the same amount of time.
3. It lowers stress and boosts morale.
Stats show that 82% of telecommuters reported lower stress levels, according to one study. The study found that 80% of workers reported higher morale when working from home, while 69% reported lower absenteeism.
4. It decreases real estate costs and overhead.
Companies of all sizes report significant decreases in operating costs, stats show. One large US company said that about 14,500 of their 35,000 employees don’t have an “in-office” desk. This means that the company was able to shed 2.7 million square feet of office space, saving US$78 million. American Express reported annual savings of between US$10 million and US$15 million because of remote work options.
5. It often leads to greater employee engagement.
Remote workers are often more engaged with colleagues and supervisors than in-office workers, Harvard Business Review concluded. Technological tools help workers stay connected. A separate study found that 87% of remote workers feel more connected through the use of video conferencing.
6. It positively impacts the environment.
Going green is a big incentive in the shift toward remote work. Studies show that employers who have embraced telecommuting have helped reduce their carbon footprint.
7. It meets the demands of younger workers.
Sixty-eight percent of job seekers who are millennials said an option to work remotely would greatly increase their interest in specific employers, according to one survey. “Policies that cultivate a flexible, fun, and casual work environment have a positive impact” on young people’s interest in specific employers, the survey found.
8. It’s the future of work.
In 2015, 23% of employees reported doing some of their work remotely, up from 19% in 2003, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows.
9. It’s a global phenomenon.
Worldwide, more than 50% of people who telecommute part-time said they wanted to increase their remote hours. About 79% of knowledge workers said that they work from home, and 60% of remote workers in the survey said that if they could, they would leave their current job for a full-time remote position at the same pay rate.
10. There’s a growing digital nomad population.
A rising number of young professionals in the last ten years, primarily from the US and Europe, have leveraged the use of technology to work remotely and live a nomadic lifestyle. A forecast of employment trends by the World Economic Forum called flexible work, including virtual teams, “one of the biggest drivers of transformation” in the workplace.
11. Employees are working remotely more often.
The number of workers in the US who work one day or less from home decreased from 34% to 25% between 2012 and 2016, one survey said. In the same time period, the number of people working remotely four or five days a week rose from 24% to 31%. According to one report, 43% of Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely in 2013, up from 39% in 2012.
12. It keeps older workers in the workforce longer.
The US, people over the age of 64 are working more than any other time since the turn of the century. Seventy-four percent of older Americans would want work flexibility and 34% would like to work from home. Increasing life expectancies and inadequate retirement savings have forced many people in this age group to delay retirement.
13. Remote work may benefit your marriage.
A UK-based study found that married people who work from home are happier than traditional workers. The conclusion is based in part on housework and home-based chores, with remote workers reportedly feeling there was a fairer and more gender-neutral division of housework. The study did not report any effect on the love life of single employees in the UK.
14. Working from home is not a detriment to productivity or employee engagement.
A recent study on “the state of remote work” found that remote employees have “slightly higher levels of investment in their work,” and benefit from “clearer boundaries and work habits” needed to be successful. The data reinforces findings from previous research showing that people who work from home are fully engaged with fellow team members, and often are more productive.
15. More companies are embracing “remote teams.”
Companies are increasingly embracing “remote, agile” teams to complete projects and meet deadlines, according to one study. The survey of more than 1,000 US-based managers found that the continuing “skills gap” is driving the trend toward hiring more virtual workers.
16. Flex workers may lack adequate tools to work from home in inclement weather.
Reflecting the global reach of remote work, a survey in Ireland found that about two-thirds of the country’s workers weren’t adequately equipped to work effectively from home on snow days. The survey was based on questions put to IT professionals at more than 75 organizations across the country. Failing to offer technical support that supports working from home when needed can be detrimental to a company’s bottom line, the survey found.
17. Hiring managers expect more full-time staff to work remotely over the next 10 years.
In a survey of 1,000 hiring managers, 55% agree that remote work among full-time employees is more common now, and say they expect up to 38% of their full-time workers will be working remotely in the next decade.
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