The rise of remote working

It’s Monday morning. The alarm rings, you press snooze for the umpteenth time, and sleepily attempt to drag yourself out of bed. The yoga and smoothie you had planned gets pushed aside as you rush around getting ready, before flying out the door to get to the office on time.

We all know that feeling. So, how different would your morning be if you didn’t have to go into an office at all?

What is remote working?

Remote working, telecommuting, or working from home enables an employee to perform their job role in an alternative location to the office. Remote working isn’t limited to the same city, many companies have employees in different states, provinces, or countries entirely. As long as the employee has the correct tools to do their job, a remote worker can happily work wherever they choose.

The concept of being a remote worker is made possible by the rise and continual improvement in telecommunications, for example the Internet, modern smartphones, and office equipment. Without these products and services, many remote workers would struggle to complete their daily tasks.

Remote working is becoming more popular. Findings by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics found that on average 24% of employed people did “some or all of their work from home” and remote working has grown by 103% since 2005 alone.

Should you implement remote working in your business?

Remote working is more common than you probably think. Research by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 60% of companies offer the option of working from home on a regular basis. Here are a few of the reasons why.

Work life balance

It’s fairly common knowledge that work life balance is an important consideration for both new, potential, and existing employees. Nobody wants to be working in a job that continually negatively impacts their home, family, or social life.

A meta-analysis by Pennsylvania State University of 46 studies involved the critique of almost 13,000 employees and found that remote working has a beneficial effect on lowering work vs family conflict. Unsurprisingly, this makes for happier employees.

Remember Monday morning? Now imagine that you work from home. The alarm sounds, you have time for a short lie in, to make that smoothie and practise some yoga. The dreaded commute is now walking ten paces to another room in your apartment. You’re able to take time to yourself, to breathe and relax into your working day.

Remote workers are more productive

It makes sense that remote workers are less likely to be distracted when working from home. After all, there’s nobody around to ask questions or gossip by the water cooler. A huge 65% of employees surveyed for the State of the Workplace Productivity Report “think that a flexible and remote work schedule would increase their productivity”. And they’re not wrong.

A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research analyzed the working habits of 16,000 employees at CTrip, a Chinese travel agent. The study broke employees into two groups: one worked from home and the other in an office. The group who were remote working had a 13% performance increase and took fewer breaks and sick days in comparison to the office workers.

Remote employees save a business money

Implementing remote working can actually save a business money in the long run. One less employee in the office means one less overhead.

Every savvy business owner knows that it costs more to hire a new employee than retain a current one. With this in mind, remote working in actively reduces employee turnover, therefore also saving a business money.

Remote workers are the future

The World Economic Forum reports that telecommuting is “one of the biggest drivers of transformation in the workplace”. Companies across many sectors are onboard with remote working and can see the benefits it has on their business. Don’t get left behind!