If you’ve followed along in this weekly series, you’ve probably clocked the rise about the growth in remote working (or “location-independence”, “digital nomads”), as increasingly, people opt to work flexibly from their laptops from the comfort of their own house or shared office spaces across the globe.

In fact, the World Economic Forum cited “remote work” as one of the biggest drivers of transformation in the workplace. Freelancing, co-working spaces, and virtual teams are all on the rise as they transcend the physical boundaries of the traditional office cubicle.

“The challenge for employers, individuals and governments alike is going to be to work out ways and means to ensure that the changing nature of work benefits everyone.” — World Economic Forum

Companies big and small have responded: Dell, Amazon, Apple, GitHub and American Express allow their employees to work remotely (depending on the position), while multiple startups on the 2018 LinkedIn Top Startups list are said to be “changing the ways we get our jobs done” by hiring anywhere and posting remote job positions. Better yet — Halo Top Creamery (#2) is proof that great work can be done even without any office at all!

Needless to say, it is more important than ever before to prepare for this emerging trend. In this week’s article, I’d like to share 7 ways how developing a remote workforce benefits both organisations and professionals according to several studies on the topic:

1. Remote work often increases worker productivity.

Distractions like co-workers dropping by your desk, snack breaks, office gossip, and endless number of meetings… A recent study shows that remote work increases productivity levels with 86% of workers stating they prefer to work alone to hit maximum productivity, while 65% believe a flexible and remote work schedule increases their productivity.

2. It lowers stress and boosts morale.

Imagine a work schedule where you save hours of time each day by limiting commute time while planning your work day around your day-to-day responsibilities (bringing the kids to school, walking the dog, taking that much-needed powernap…). Data shows that 82% of telecommuters reported lower stress levels with significantly higher morale and lower levels of absenteeism — a major benefit to both employee and company.

3. It reduces employee turnover.

Remote work can significantly reduce employee turnover — especially among younger generations, who change jobs faster than ever before and demand flexible work options. In fact, a recent Stanford University report found that job attrition rates fell by over 50% for companies offering remote work options. Which leads me to the next point.

4. It decreases real estate costs and overhead.

A remote workforce means a significant decrease in operating costs, with companies like American Express who reportedly saved millions (!) of dollars thanks to its remote work options by saving on big office spaces, in-office perks and employee turnover costs…

5. It often leads to a happier workforce.

Picture this: today you could work from home while doing the laundry in between meetings and spending break time with your family, while tomorrow you could work from a nice cafe or co-working space somewhere in the south of Portugal…

With key motivational drivers as work-life balance and having the freedom to design their own work schedules, remote workers are found to be happier at work and feel more valued compared to their traditional counterparts.

6. It meets demands of younger workers.

It comes as no surprise that this growing trend of flexible work schedules and working from anywhere is especially popular amongst younger generations. In fact, 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.

7. It’s the future of work.

The world of work is changing — we can see it in the numbers. With more and more professionals yearning for more flexible work options, they should leverage its opportunities while companies should invest in hiring and maintaining a remote workforce to stay ahead of the curve. And, if we do it correctly, this changing nature of work should benefit all of us.

I’m curious — Is your organisation already providing remote work options? Do you applaud the opportunity? If so, why (not)?

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