The Increasing Popularity of Remote Work
We already know remote work is insanely popular—and for good reason. Employers are able to choose from a wider pool of talent, while employees are finding it an increasingly essential part of striking that ideal work/life balance. In fact, according to a 2017 Gallup survey, 43 percent of the 15,000 employed Americans polled spent at least some time working remotely. They also reportedly discovered “flexible scheduling and work-from-home opportunities play a major role in an employee’s decision to take or leave a job.” The real estate, finance, and insurance industries are already invested in allowing employees the flexibility of a teleworking option, but companies across the board are slowly catching on to the numerous benefits that this once-unusual practice provides both employers and employees.
Save Money when Employees Work Remotely
Having employees who work from home saves the need to spend on obvious expenditures like office space and worker facilities. But it can often save on salaries, as many people would prefer the option of telecommuting to a flat pay increase. The use of video conferencing and other technologies when “meeting” with employees working offsite tends to make training and sharing resources more efficient and, therefore, more cost-saving for the company as a whole.
Gain Access to a Wider Pool of Talent
Without the restrictions of a local talent pool, you're free to hire the absolute best talent available. Your employees are also able to access resources and talent from all of your business locations in a timeframe that's most convenient for them. This means more information sharing, which means even more skills are developed and honed—and your expert group of employees has become even more capable!
Make Use of a Benefit that's in Demand
In a highly competitive hiring market, it’s important to have an edge in order to attract the kind of talent you want. An offer to work remotely demonstrates you're ahead of the curve and value your employees’ time and effort. This, even more than paid sick leave or a good 401(k) plan (although also important!), is an extremely good indicator of the kind of employer you want to be: one that attracts—and retains—the most qualified workforce the industry has to offer…regardless of location.
Gain a More Positive Work/Life Balance
While it may seem like a buzz-phrase now, the idea of “work/life balance” is an essential part of an employee’s overall experience. Whether it’s a telecommuting dad who can pop over to pick his kids up from school, or a remotely-working woman who can run to the grocery store in the middle of the day for an emergency carton of milk, the idea of integrating work into one’s life boosts morale and productivity in ways that simple monetary bonuses cannot.
Are Often More Productive
Although it sounds almost counterintuitive, releasing the physical office’s death grip on its employees is likely to help them get more done—not less. While you might have nightmares of personnel lounging on their couches watching Netflix all day instead of working, Forbes found the reality of modern telecommuting—especially with the rapid increase of technological advances that make communicating with the home office easier than ever—is that most employees are actually more productive.
So how far will remote working go in the future? It depends on who you ask. A number has been floating around recently that over 50 percent of American workers will be remote by the year 2020. While that’s certainly possible, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will become the norm. But as data continues to be released, showing remote's opportunities to cut costs and improve productivity, more and more companies are welcoming remote colleagues to their staff, potentially leading to a complete revolution in the way Americans work and live.
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