Over the past decade, remote work has evolved from being a cool company perk to an expectation for most job seekers
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Remote work allows professionals to work outside of the regular office environment. Instead of commuting to an office each day, remote workers can complete their work at home, at a co-working space, coffee shop or anywhere that allows them to maximize their efforts. Remote work is becoming popular, especially in the tech industry, because of its cost-effectiveness, flexibility and inherent ability to tap into different talent pools from all over the world.
The Rise of Remote Work
Remote work (sometimes known as working from home) isn’t about rolling out of bed, groggily logging onto your computer and working all day in your pajamas. Today’s modern remote employees are breaking that stereotype and are actually some of the highest-performing and least-stressed members of the tech workforce. As the benefits of remote work for both employee and employer become more clear, there is one statistic that can’t be ignored: employees are clamoring for remote work opportunities. In fact, a staggering 99% of employees claim that they want to have more remote work opportunities in their career.
Why is this? For one, remote work offers employees a very important perk; flexibility (both in their schedules and where they physically work). Most companies give employees the ability to craft their schedules, so they can feel comfortable and can live their separate personal and professional lives to the fullest. Since remote employees tend to have a harder time disconnecting from their computers, companies make it a priority to ensure that these employees prioritize a healthy work-life balance. Do you want to work from 4 AM - noon? How about 11 AM -7 PM? Remote employees are mostly free to determine a schedule that works for them as long as they get their work done efficiently and correctly.
General Remote Work Statistics
- 56% of global employers currently offer at least a partial remote work option.
- 70% of US employees report working from home at least one day a week.
- It’s predicted that by 2027, more people will work remotely than in-office.
The term “work from home” should be rebranded to “work from anywhere” because remote employees have their choice of where they physically do their work. Though working at home is still the most popular option, remote employees can also be seen working in libraries, coffee shops and co-working spaces throughout the world. Remote employees are encouraged to work from wherever makes them feel the most comfortable and focused. And, that employee comfortability is paying off in a major way for most companies. In a recent study, IT firm Cisco reported saving more than $277 million a year because their employees were comfortable and satisfied with their jobs.
Remote work has also been a boon for hiring, both from a job seeker perspective and a hiring company perspective. Instead of only being able to tap into the talent surrounding a company’s geographic area, remote-focused companies can now tap into a worldwide pool of highly-qualified candidates, and vice versa. Engineers, customer service representatives, salespeople and others all over the world now have a wider range of job opportunities to choose from because of a shift towards remote-first options. For example, a company in Chicago could have a team of remote engineers in China, Ukraine or Pennsylvania, and still maintain a high level of output thanks to developments in technology and management practices.
Who is Working Remotely?
- Fully remote employees are usually full-time, college-educated and, on average, 45 years old.
- 84% of remote workers prefer to work at home, while 8% prefer a co-working space.
- A majority of employees either work at small companies or multinational corporations.
Remote work isn’t a flashy trend or experiment. It’s here to stay. Fifty-four percent of US workers already work remotely once a month, while 5% work remotely full-time. These remote employees tend to be happier, more productive and paid better than those who work full-time in an office. It’s clear to see that working remotely isn’t about being slouched on your couch, while half-working and half-watching TV. Work from home employees are reporting higher productivity levels and better work-life balances than ever before. With new technologies and management policies, remote work is becoming the future of work in general.
Check Out Companies in the Nation's Hottest Tech Hubs That Offer Remote Jobs
Benefits of Remote Work for Employers
Employers are seeing the benefits of going remote. In some cases, employers are seeing positive boosts in productivity, while others are reporting an overall happier workforce and lower attrition rates. Below are three benefits employers can expect from a (at least partial) remote workforce:
More Diverse Talent Pools
As stated above, one of the biggest benefits an employer sees when hiring remote employees is an increased level of skill and diversity in candidates. Since employers are no longer bound by hiring from the candidate pool in their immediate geographical area, they are free to seek out the best and brightest around the world. Remote work has been especially helpful for normally disadvantaged groups, like disabled employees, who can now work to their fullest potential in the comfort of their homes. It’s ultimately wise for employers to consider remote hiring, since it’s proven that diversity helps businesses increase innovation, boost creativity and raise employee engagement.
One of the biggest knocks on remote work is that employees are lazy or less productive. In most cases, it’s actually the opposite. According to a Harvard University study, WFH employees could actually boost US workforce productivity by more than 4%. Researchers found that WFH employees actually take less sick time and are more comfortable in their surroundings, which resulted in less errors and billions of dollars back into the economy. Additionally, another Stanford University study of a 16,000-person Chinese travel agency saw a staggering 13% increase in productivity because employees were happier with their careers.
Remote Employee Productivity Statistics
- In a long-term study, it was found that remote employees are 13% more productive than employees in an office setting.
- Remote employees at large companies have been found to be 35% - 40% more productive than employees who work in the office.
- In some cases of remote work environments, employee turnover rates drop to 0%.
Remote work has been proven to reduce operating costs for most businesses. In fact, six out of 10 employers identify remote work’s cost saving effects as a major reason why they are shifting towards telecommunication. For example, technology giant IBM is saving upwards of $50 million a year on real estate costs by moving a portion of their workforce to remote opportunities. Since employees are healthier, happier and more engaged in remote opportunities, there are lower rates of attrition. This equals big bucks for employers, who report that losing a team member can cost them anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 in lost productivity and hiring costs for another employee for that one position.
While technology has made remote working easier than ever, it can still be difficult for remote employees to feel like true members of the team.