By Career Advice

The workforce is not what it was 50 years ago, nor 20 or even 10 years ago. Welcome to the future of work.

The now all too apparent casualisation of the workforce has seen a distinct drop of permanency within many traditional fields including marketing, information technology, customer service, sales and general office administration. This has caused loyalty to fall by the wayside, high turnover and expendable staff at the click of a manager’s fingers.

The good ‘ole days of fronting an office for 10 years or more is of a bygone era. Technological  advancement and a new generation of workers wanting more than just money is at the forefront of this change. Workers today want options; flexibility, recognition, and for their skills to be valued. They don’t want to be just another cog in the wheel or someone just clocking on for the 9 to 5 shift.

Statistics collated by Global Workplace Analytics provide a compelling case in favour of employees and employers adopting the remote mode of productivity. Here are some insights from recent studies out of the USA:

Remote Work Improves Employee Satisfaction

  • People are sick of the rat-race, eager to take control of their lives, and desperate to find a balance between work and life.
  • Two-thirds of people want to work from home.
  • 36% would choose it over a pay raise.
  • A poll of 1,500 technology professionals revealed that 37% would take a pay cut of 10% if they could work from home.
  • More than 50% of hiring managers believe Gen Y’ers are more difficult to recruit and retain, and find they are particularly attracted to flexible working arrangements – rating these benefits as an 8 on a 10 scale for impact on overall job satisfaction.
  • 80% of employees consider remote work a job perk.

Remote Work Options Reduce Attrition

  • Losing a valued employee can cost an employer between$10,000 and $30,000 USD.
  • Recruiting and training a new hire costs thousands.
  • 14% of Americans have changed jobs to shorten their commute.
  • 46% of companies that allow remote working say it has reduced attrition.
  • 95% of employers say remote work has a high impact on employee retention.
  • Almost half of employees feel their commute is getting worse; 70% of them feel their employers should take the lead in helping them solve the problem.
  • 92% of employees are concerned with the high cost of fuel and 80% of them specifically cite the cost of commuting to work. 73% feel their employers should take the lead in helping them reduce their commuting costs.
  • Two-thirds of employees would take another job to ease the commute.

Remote Work is More Cost Effective

  • If a typical business allowed employees to work from home just half the time they would save, on average, US$11,000 per year.  Costs that can be reduced or avoided include mortgage or lease, utilities, janitorial services, office supplies, coffee and water expenses, office equipment, furniture and transit subsidies.
  • Up to 78% of employees who call in sick do so because of stress or personal issues. Remote workers are better able to deal with these issues and continue working without significant absences from work.
  • The average cost of a domestic business trip is US$949 per person, while an overseas trip costs around US$2,600. Businesses using cloud-based tools and software to communicate and collaborate virtually are able to forgo the need for costly business trips.

While some companies may still shy away from offering remote work options to staff, it’s clear this is the future of work and something that employers should seriously consider when trying to attract good staff.

Communication is key and it’s important for employers to set the right expectations around remote work during the onboarding process. Recruiting seasoned remote workers will help to pave the way as they can provide guidance for the rest of the team.  Over time, the company will develop a set of principles around how to work remotely effectively and efficiently, and reap the benefits this model provides.


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