Is remote working the future of employment?
31st Oct 2018
In 2018, work/life balance has been a topic at the forefront of many professional’s minds. It can be a crucial factor in attracting and retaining staff, employee engagement and career development. In a recent employee satisfaction survey by Forbes, 51% of people in design jobs and 49% of people in IT jobs say they feel burned out.
This shows a desire for more flexible working conditions such as remote working opportunities. In 2015, YouGov found that 70% of workers feel it is important for businesses to allow their employees to work flexibly. This evolution from the usual 9-5 has arrived at some companies in Northern Ireland such as Flint Studios, The App Builder, i3 Digital and Corvus Recruitment (yes, we offer flexible working hours too!).
What are the benefits of offering remote working?
- Studies have found that you can improve not only employee satisfaction but employee loyalty.
- The average daily commute in the UK is 57mins (ONS 2018) this time commuting could be used to actually do work when working remotely.
- Due to this sense of trust and flexibility, 73% of workers put more effort than is required when working from home ( Cardiff University 2017).
- According to Buffer’s survey 2018, 55% of remote workers take fewer than 15 days of vacation per year.
Who is working from home?
From a TotalJobs survey in 2015, it was found that most professionals working from home are in high skilled jobs.
How important is remote working to employees?
It is believed that the younger generation of workers values working from home more to help balance their work and daily life. 46% of 18 to 34-year-olds would rather work from home, compared to 31% of respondents aged over 55 (Total Jobs Survey of 7,000 workers).
Offering flexible working hours can help reduce stress with employees by supporting their work-life balance but also, reduce sick days.
Not offering remote working opportunities could cause companies to lose talent as 28% of employee respondents would change their jobs if they were not allowed to work from home.
Martin Talbot, Group Marketing Director at Totaljobs, said:
“With the UK in the throes of a productivity crisis, now is the time for employers to find ways of addressing this issue. The research finds that many people work best from home, however, many employers don’t trust their team enough to work independently. [Organisations], as well as the wider economy, would benefit from improving embracing remote working”.
“Our research also confirms a shift towards remote working, with an increasing number of millennials viewing the option to work remotely as a priority when looking for a new job. With news that 28% of [employees] would change jobs if their current employer did not offer remote working, it is more important than ever for businesses to improve their work from home offering.”
The biggest benefit found to working from home is the flexible working hours.
“By 2020, over half of the employees will work remotely, but we still haven't figured everything out to make this work.’ - Amir Salihefendic, CEO, Doist.
As we know, more professionals want this flexibility, but when it comes to making it work for your business, it can be a challenge. A remote working agreement could mean, one day a week working from home. It’s a flexible agreement which suits both the company and the employee.
It was found that most professionals who work remotely feel their biggest negative factor is loneliness and collaborating. This could show that while flexible working opportunities are desired, there is still a need to maintain a company culture to keep all employees engaged.
In conclusion, it’s clear from the research that employees want more flexible working opportunities such as remote working. In particular, it is desired by the upcoming generation which suggests that the 9-5 work day could not be the same by 2020. If you have flexible working opportunities at work, let us know how they have benefited you in the comments.
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