Remote working was once a fantasy for most people. It was a pipe dream where people would imagine how nice it would be to have the opportunity to sit at home in their pajamas while working. Being in a position where you do not have to get dressed and come to work just to reiterate a fake "How are you?" by the water cooler sounds enticing. Avoiding the hassle of having a boss breathing down your neck while tapping on the recesses of your mind, reminding you about your deadlines feels like an unattainable dream to most or, at best, like a situation only "the lucky ones" get to be in.
Those days are long gone. In this day and age, not only is remote working a possibility, but it is also becoming a reality for a growing number of individuals. You are still not convinced? Visit any coffee shop during the day and see how many laptop users you can find. Our guess is that you will find a lot of people who choose not to have an office 9-to-5 job.
Remote working has experienced a boom recently. The employment industry across the globe gives more remote working opportunities than ever. Many companies, big or small, are eagerly starting to create and promote remote positions.
There are even some companies (an ever-growing number of them) that have thousands of remote working staff. Some of those companies also rely solely on remote workers, negating the need for physical office spaces, which is a lucrative move for companies that want to save a lot of money along the way.
According to studies, over three-quarters of people would happily leave their current office-based job in favor of a remote position. That is a hefty poll result in favor of remote working.
The allure of not being tied down to a desk is very enticing. For employers that wish to stay competitive, current, and effective in the job market, a great move would be to create and implement remote working policies. Conversely, if such policies are already present within a company, a prudent move would be to make them widely available.
Over 95% of employees in the US alone have expressed a desire to work remotely (a figure that is skyrocketing worldwide). Out of those people, nearly 70% have been reported to have said that they would willingly quit their current job and take a remote opportunity with a rival company.
Remote working has become a valuable bargaining chip, one that companies would be foolish not to use. Attracting new talent, by offering remote working opportunities, is not only an enticing offer for prospective employees, but is also a great deal for employers. Those who wish to save money on workspace setup costs would be surprised at how seriously large that number could be.
At present, it is estimated that over 28% of US workers do not work remotely because the opportunity is not available. Those workers desire the option to work remotely, but are left unfulfilled due to their current employers operating on archaic employment systems—ones that fail to move with the times and needs of their employees by not offering remote working options to their employees. At first glance, the employers may view such "wants" of their employees as being exuberant, and something that can be ignored or overlooked. And yes, in the short term, it is very easy to ignore the requests for remote working from your employees, assuming that they will eventually simmer down and get back to work.
Such attitude is common amongst employers, as they often view their employees as people that are devoid of choice. After all, some employers reason with themselves so the employees have no choice, right?
Wrong. In the present employment climate, people do not just have choices, but they have a wide variety of them. With the growing number of companies that employ remote workers and the increase in companies that have no physical office space and rely on remote workers, the chances are that you will lose your employees to your rivals who are forward thinkers and offer remote working opportunities.
After all, it has been recorded that over a quarter of employees have already left a job because they were not offered remote working or flexible working hours. Employees around the world are letting their employers know that remote working is something they desire, and sometimes they will do anything to attain that goal.
Remote working might be seen as a perk, but it is becoming an increasingly desired one. Nearly 50% of workers have been recorded saying that the option to work remotely is one of the perks they desire the most. Employees rated remote working as their priority, something which ranked higher than the usual benefits such as long lunches, paid lunches, flexible working options, and increased vacation time annually. Even recreational activities at work, such as ping pong or video game time, came far behind remote working options.
At present, the spread of remote workers is as follows:
Let's take a look at a more detailed analysis of why more people want to work remotely:
Working remotely is a money-saving machine. That is because remote working saves money for not only employers but employees as well. Companies get to save on office space setup cost, they minimize equipment and electrical costs, and in some cases where companies work 100% remotely, they can entirely avoid office rental costs.
On the other side of the equation, employees that work remotely get to save on a lot of costs too. They save on commuting costs, car maintenance costs, and even clothing costs as they do not have to buy outfits to look good at work.
Working remotely has obvious financial benefits for both employees and employers.
Being able to work remotely offers location independence. That is the most significant benefit offered to remote workers. If there is wi-fi available, you have a workspace. If that workspace happens to be a coffee shop, a park, a beach, or even your own bed, it does not matter to employers, as long as the work gets done.
That type of freedom boosts employees' morale as they feel more relaxed. That further leads to happier employees, resulting in a more productive workforce.
As well as boosting productivity for companies, having remote workers also increases the pool of talent available to companies. Back in the day, companies were restricted to the people that could work for them from their companies' offices, as the only option was to choose employees based on the shared location. Now employers can attract a bigger talent pool from around the world. That option can increase the skill level within a company, by allowing local professionals to interact virtually with their colleagues around the world, which leads to creating a more enlightened and capable workforce, something that every company can benefit from.
Working remotely provides employees with more time with family and friends. On the surface, that sounds like a recipe for chilling out and relaxing. However, it is more deeper than that.
Being able to spend more time with family and friends improves one's mood, and improved mood leads toward a better psyche and a stronger immune system. If your psyche is in a more positive state, you tend to be more productive. If your immune system is working in a higher state, then you tend to be healthier. As an employer, having a more productive and healthier employee is something that will obviously serve you in the long run.
In connection with our previous point, productivity is proven to skyrocket when employees are working remotely. That fact alone should be enough to sell the intelligent employer on the idea of remote working.
Having a workforce that is mentally healthy, positive, and strong is akin to having an army that is fit, skilled, and ready to fight.
Remote workers have been known to work more productively and enjoy high levels of mental health.
The feeling of freedom and liberation they enjoy has been something that is proven to boost their productivity up to two times that of their colleagues who are working within offices.
Remote working is good for the environment. In fact, it is great for the environment. By working from home, we lower the number of cars on the road, reduce exhaust emissions, and ease the strain on the environment.
Additionally, having an increased number of remote workers means less congestion on the roads and less of a need for taxis and busses, all competing for asphalt space during hectic traffic hours.
All that leads to a healthier environment of less monoxide-based fumes, allowing us to take in a deep breath of fresh air without having to worry about harmful chemicals.
Being a remote worker means you can spend more time with your pets, something that will put employees in a better mood and make them more productive.
Being a remote worker gives you access to a lot more relocation options because you are not tied down to one area or place of work.
Starting a family can be stressful, but being a remote worker means that you are present and available to work on/with things related to your new family. Being present is very much a gift in itself as it allows you to form a strong bond with your family.
With aging relatives comes the increased risk of health problems. With health problems, comes stress. Expecting people to come to work and not think about their relatives is very unrealistic as the employees' minds will undoubtedly be preoccupied.
The best way to tackle this dilemma is to let them work from home.
The employees get to see that their relatives are fine while working from home at the same time.
Most employees claim that they are at their peak productivity when they work from home. That may sound like a fantastic excuse for being able to work from home in your underwear. Still, if we analyze things carefully (the productivity stats, not the underwear) then we will see that the claims of these workers are actually based on facts, not whims.
Let's take a closer look:
40% of employees say they are more productive when not working from the office. That figure reduces by a staggering 10–30% in total, when looking at the percentage of people who feel they get more done in the office.
Only 9% of workers feel they get the most work done in a coworking space.
Full-time remote workers typically spend more effective hours on tasks each day, compared to their office-based colleagues. The implication revolves around the quality of time spent on a task, as opposed to just time. Anyone can sit at a desk for eight hours, but out of those eight hours, how many hours are productive? Remote workers have been proven to be both faster and more productive.
Remote working is on the rise. More people are demanding it, and it makes perfect sense from both the employers' standpoint as well as employees'.
The real question is whether companies have the foresight to be able to abandon old working practices such as the office working model, in exchange for more modern practices such as remote working.
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