The Future is Remote Work | Company Connecting

Remote work has never been as prevalent as today. Advances in technology make it possible for most office jobs to be done remotely, all you need is a laptop and a decent internet connection. A study led by freelancing platform Upwork found that out of 1000 hiring managers surveyed  55% of them have since a significant increase in remote workers within their organisation in the past three years. Studies have also shown that remote work often results in higher productivity, lower stress levels and boosts employee morale. Let’s dive deeper into why the future is remote work:

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1. Technology

The technology is here, there is a vast choice of tools to use which facilitate remote work. You’ve probably heard of digital tools such as Skype, Google Drive, Dropbox and Slack. However, there are so many more such as Timestatic a holiday planner for remote workers or Freckle which allows remote workers to track how much time they spend on a task/project. Remote companies like Github, Buffer or HotJar are entirely dependent on such tools. Buffer has written a great blog post outlining all the tools they use to run an entirely remote operation, read it here.

2. The Millennial Workforce

There is a growing demand for remote work from the millennial workforce, a study by Deloitte which surveyed over 7000 millennials in 29 different countries found that 75% of millennials involved in the study said they’d prefer more opportunities to work remotely. It is particularly important to look at the millennial workforce as they are expected to make up 35% of the global workforce by 2020. 

3. Remote Work Increases Employee Satisfaction and Decreases Employee Turnover

A global study by OwlLabs has found that workers who are allowed to work from home at least one day a month are 24% happier than those who are never able to work remotely. Additionally, the same study found that there is 25% less turnover in companies which allow remote work.

4. Remote Work Increases Productivity

Without constant distractions from co-workers, endless meetings and the commute to work, employees can become more productive. MIT professor Nicholas Bloom conducted a two-year study to find out the impact of remote work on productivity, you can watch him talk about his research in this Ted Talk.

Using China’s largest travel agency Ctrip as a test subject for his research, Nicholas effectively proved that working from home does, in fact, increase productivity. As part of the experiment, Ctrip initially offered their call centre employees the option to work from home, those who took them up on the offer increased their productivity by 13%. They were taking fewer breaks and sick days, the quieter work environment also allowed them to place more calls per minute. Due to the success of the experiment, Ctrip offered remote work to all 16’000 employees of which half decided to take them up on the offer since then the company has seen a 22% increase in gains.

5. Remote Work Has a Positive Impact on the Environment

No commute and less paperwork results in a reduced carbon footprint for companies which offer remote work opportunities. If the global workforce worked remotely for just half of the week, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons. 

This is also one of the reasons why millennials are so eager to flexible working arrangements.

As we can see, there are many digital tools which facilitate remote working, remote work also increases productivity and employee satisfaction, reduces stress and employee turnover. There is also a demand for more remote work from the millennial generation which will soon be the majority of the global workforce and lastly, remote working has a positive impact on the environment. These are all the reasons why the future is remote work! 

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"The Future is Remote Work" First published on Company Connecting February 2019

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