Remote work has long been much more than a fashionable slogan encouraging young people to work in startups. This solution becomes the dominant aspect of the modern labor market. We don’t just say this because we run a remote team of recruiters ourselves! Below are some powerful statistics that will allow you to consider changes – whether you are an employer or someone planning to change your routine. Find out what remote work is nowadays!
It’s hard to believe how much has changed over the last decade.
Home office has been functioning for a long time, but rather in the case of a very narrow group of professions – superiors rarely decided to grant remote work opportunities to employees who by default performed their work fully in the company’s office at certain hours. Working from home was an exceptional situation rather than standard practice in large enterprises.
What is remote work ? The term, however, has been around since the 1970s. In 1973, the American physicist Jack Nilles introduced the concepts of “telework” and “telecommuting”. After all, before the Internet, the telephone was the main instrument for contacting remote workers. There is no doubt that it was the development of the ICT industry that had the greatest impact on the accessibility of remote work solutions that we deal with today.
Remote work: what is it and where did it come from?
The idea of remote work was born as a result of the American heyday of the 1960s and 1970s – the centers of large cities were filled with office buildings, and employees commuting from the suburbs by cars spent long hours in traffic jams. Interestingly, the situation was also complicated by the fuel crisis – in 1973 the Americans supported Israel during the Yom Kippur war. In response, OPEC imposed an embargo on the United States, which quickly pushed fuel prices up by around 600%. It was the perfect time for Nilles to introduce the standards by which remote work would function.
Still, remote work was still quite a niche solution – In 1980, only 100,000 Americans worked from home (or 0.002% of 226.5 million). In 1990, there were 2.5 million remote workers in the United States, and in 2006 – 30 million.
And today? If you believe the research carried out for IWG by Zug last year, now as many as 70% of professionals around the world work remotely at least once a week! Of course, among the jobs where it is physically possible. The United States is of course at the forefront of this ranking – therefore we have no doubt that remote working is not just a trend. It’s a solution that is becoming a global standard, and decentralized remote teams will only grow in strength.
However, is this the dominant motivation among remote workers?
It turns out that by no means! Research shows that the group that cares most about remote work are parents. The possibility of working from home, in the case of a child’s illness, for example, eliminates the problems with dismissing from work in an emergency.
More and more often, when we talk about remote work, it is not only about individual people who have a temporary need to work from home. The number of companies that work on the basis of dispersed teams or operate 100% remotely is growing every year. Some of them have no office at all! Others, such as Talent Place, create remote teams – in our case, a remote recruiting community that works with the company 100% remotely.
It’s easy to talk about the positives – I admit that I am very pleased that I am writing this article from my favorite coffee shop. The flexibility associated with remote work from the employee’s point of view allows you to settle matters in offices without leaving the office, or the ability to change the environment to more stimulating creativity when we need it. If we delve into the reports on this model of work, the number of arguments “for” remote work is staggering – according to the annual report on remote working prepared by Buffer, already 99% of respondents work or would like to work remotely for a while. Already practically every fourth company covers the costs of home Internet or coworking space for its remote employees!
Remote work from the employer’s point of view
According to the OWL Labs 2019 State of Remote Work report, remote work has more tangible benefits for employers than just cost reduction. The respondents of the study, who were both remote workers and people working from the company’s office, answered questions about whether, due to remote work, they would be more likely to recommend the company to friends, or working from home, it is easier for them to avoid stress, or whether working remotely they would feel that they’re the employer has more confidence in them. The number of responses in favor of remote work among both groups, for each question, was over 70%. On average, 71% of respondents would choose an employer’s offer that gives you the opportunity to work outside the office!
If we look deeper at these results, we have no doubts – remote workers are more loyal to their employers – 76% of the surveyed remote workers agreed that this solution would significantly reduce their willingness to change jobs. Moreover, 82% of them say that remote work helps them alleviate conflicts at work. Among the respondents, the number of people who plan to stay in the company for the next 5 years is higher by as much as 13% among remote employees!
Of course, the benefits of working from anywhere in the world can also be a disadvantage-especially if employees are denied it! 55% of remote workers would start looking for a new job if their teleworking opportunity was taken away, and as many as 61% of respondents would demand a raise in return for resigning from the home office.
Naturally, in the case of remote communities of recruiters, dispersed teams, and simply employees who can work in the home office model, savings are the most measurable profit for the employer. The mere fact of fewer sicknesses and fewer sick leaves significantly reduces the company’s expenses – and there is much, much more! Employees interested in working in a remote team often have prepared workplaces at home – that’s why we reduce not only the cost of office space, but also equipment. It does not matter whether we use hot boards or a part of the team working remotely living abroad – the cost reduction is huge. This is much more than the cost of water and coffee at the office.
What awaits us in the future?
There is no doubt that the remote system model will stay with us for good. However, is this related to the fact that companies will close their offices and in a few years everyone will be working from home? We suspect not. It is very possible, however, that models such as crowdstaffing will be adapted in their appropriate form in other industries – today remote recruiting teams are something completely new on the Polish market, but it is possible that this solution will stay much further than just recruitment. Millions of freelancers, both in creative and IT professions, have chosen their path due to the flexibility of work. At the same time, more and more of them choose a steady income and a stable position in a company that simply allows them to work remotely.
If as an employee you are considering remote work – you can try to negotiate more home office days as an alternative to a raise and see how it works for you. Many remote workers treat this benefit as much more important than, for example, the amount of earnings. On the other hand, if you are an employer who is still hesitant about whether people working remotely will pay attention to their tasks equally – maybe this is a good time to try this solution? One thing is certain – if you do not introduce solutions such as home office in your company, and remote working seems to be just a trend in the headlines next to the word “millennials” – it’s time to look at this solution from a new perspective. The remote working model will stay with us for good.