This article is a collaboration between Make the Leap Digital & Remoter as a result of their research into how remote work attracts & retains top talent. Originally posted on DailyRemote.

In Laurel Farrer’s ‘Remote Working – Is it a Trend?’, she cites that remote work is no longer a ‘perk’, ‘lifestyle’, or ‘policy’; over the past few years, it’s fast becoming a global industry. We live in an ever-evolving era where remote work is becoming a mandatory requirement and not just a competitive advantage. As technology empowers employees to share and access more information — thus allowing them to take work beyond the traditional workplace and office hours — employees expect more flexibility from the companies that hope to attract and retain them.

“Work flexibility is becoming the norm. The challenge is how fast can organizations provide it. Those that can are going to be in a far better position to retain top talent over the next three to five years.”
— Jason Phillips , VP Digital HR & Global Chief of Staff, Cisco 
(LinkedIn Global Talent Trends 2019 Report).

Therefore, companies wanting to attract and retain talent should start preparing for the future by thinking about their own remote work policies.

95% of U.S. knowledge workers want to work remotely, and 74% would be willing to quit a job to do so.”
(Zapier Remote Work Report 2019)

Consulting firm Make the Leap Digital and the Remoter Project took a look at some of the statistics. After perusing through the results, here are 5 reasons why remote work attracts and retains top talent:

  1. It improves employee work-life balance.

According to the LinkedIn Global Talent Trends 2019 report, over 5,000 talent professionals in 35 countries with LinkedIn’s behavioral data cited that 72% of talent professionals agree that work flexibility is ‘very important to the future of recruiting and HR,’ and 77% of talent professionals say an improved work-life balance is among the main benefits of work flexibility.

“Appen saw its turnover quickly decline. In just one year, the company’s employee attrition rate fell by 5%.”
— Kerri Reynolds, SVP of Recruiting and HR, Appen 
(LinkedIn Global Talent Trends 2019 Report).

With work flexibility defined as ‘empowering employees to work when and where they want,’ remote work is key to encouraging employees to improve work-life balance with the freedom to work from anywhere and to design their own work schedules. With that comes an added level of self-discipline, but when adjusted correctly, it can provide an abundance of benefits- not just for the employee, but also for the employer.

2. It encourages Millennial retention.

According to the LinkedIn Global Talent Trends 2019 report, 54% of talent professionals say work flexibility encourages employee retention, while the 2019 Zapier Remote Work Report shows that 31% of U.S. knowledge workers don’t currently work remotely because their company doesn’t allow it.

It’s no surprise that this workplace trend is popular, especially among younger generations. In fact, Linkedin data shows that 40% of Millennials and Gen Z professionals are motivated by work-life integration, and almost 3 in 4 Millennials (71%) believe the traditional office will be replaced with most roles being performed remotely.

“Millennial workers, in particular, are now looking for that ultimate work-life balance with the addition of travel, new experiences, and meeting like-minded communities along the way.” (LinkedIn Editors).

3. It attracts candidates.

Nearly 3 in 5 knowledge workers (57%) say the option to work remotely is one of the perks they’d most prefer to be offered by an employer (2019 Zapier Remote Work Report). In addition, 68% of Millennial job seekers said an option to work remotely would greatly increase their interest in specific employers, making it a great office perk for companies to attract and keep younger talent.

Remote work is now often a top priority for candidates when choosing a job, and employers increasingly promote their flex policies in job posts. Most online job boards and portals now offer a filter option to choose for posts that allow for remote work, an important addition that was definitely not as popular a couple of years back.

“+78% increase in job posts on LinkedIn that mention work flexibility since 2016.”
(LinkedIn Global Talent Trends 2019 Report).

4. It increases productivity.

In the 2019 Zapier Remote Work Report, 42% of knowledge workers believe they are most productive working from home, compared to just under a third (32%) who feel they get more done in an office.

However, it is important to note that productivity doesn’t just come from working from home. It’s very important that employers take into account of providing their employees with proper work equipment and teaching their employees to find their most comfortable work setting. The onus is still on the employers to make sure their employees are well-equipped, educated and prepared for the remote work lifestyle.

5. It expands the available talent pool.

“Offering robust flexibility helps the company attract talent and allows them to source candidates from areas beyond their local offices.”
— Kourtlee Gravil, Director of Talent Acquisition, Humana. 
(LinkedIn Global Talent Trends 2019 Report).

Women are 22% more likely than men to cite flexible work arrangements as a very important factor when considering a job, but also people with disabilities, military spouses, people with health problems, caretakers, and people living in rural or economically disadvantaged areas (LinkedIn Global Talent Trends 2019 Report). Remote work also plays a large part in digital inclusion, which contributes to the expansion of the global talent pool as well. Bottom line is, if you aren’t offering flexibility, you’re clearly missing out on a truly diverse range of candidates.

We believe that the majority of people are aware of the realized benefits surrounding remote work when digging into the topic of talent attraction and retention. However, until seeing the data and statistics laid out, it’s hard to really put your finger on the scale of the matter. But the numbers don’t lie; if an increasing amount of the workforce continues to push for more remote work policies to be put in place, then eventually, the companies will have to listen. 

This article is part of the Rise of Remote Work LinkedIn Newsletter covering stories and insights from remote work leaders, experts, and advocates around the world. Interested to learn more about remote work? Feel free to schedule a 30-minute strategy session or download your free remote work policy checklist.