May 2020 edition
In the past few years, there's been an undeniable workplace trend of companies giving more employees the freedom to work from home at least some of the time. A 2019 survey of global workers found that over half spend 2.5 days a week working remotely.1
In today’s COVID-19 world, many employees, even entire companies, are working from home. With social distancing now the norm, the rules of work are changing dramatically, while corporate leaders scramble to maintain business continuity.
Ironically, the sudden shift to remote working is fulfilling the wishes of many American workers: the flexibility to work from home. Indeed, almost one-third of workers have pursued new jobs because their employers didn't offer remote work options.2
Flexibility means less stress, better performance
Beyond retaining more employees through flexible working rules, 85 percent of employees in one study said productivity increased due to greater work rules flexibility.1
More flexible work arrangements can also help workers improve job performance by reducing various forms of stress, such as commuting, time management, or balancing home and family obligations.2
Additionally, with the beginning of summer, employees doubling as parents and caregivers will be looking for a different pace. Thirty-six percent of caregivers are between the ages of 18 and 34.3 And while most are parents providing double duty as teachers since state lockdowns began, some are also caring for adults with medical needs.
Life is less stressful and challenging for these workers as employers offer flexible working arrangements.
Is remote work the wave of the future?
Only time will tell. But as corporate America slowly returns to some degree of normal life in the next several months, it may be awhile before the legions of remote workers start to shrink, if ever.
Many large enterprises have been experimenting successfully with remote workforces since 2009 – long before COVID-19.4 And these firms have discovered its employees value work flexibility more than anything, which also led to productivity gains and cost savings.
Though we can’t predict what the future will look like, companies can be certain remote working arrangements do bring positive benefits – for employees and the bottom line. And are worth consideration.
Remote work can reduce corporate waste, improve culture, and ultimately help companies attract and retain the best employees by offering a highly-sought-after benefit: flexibility.
1. “The IWG Global Workplace Survey,” International Workplace Group, March 2019.
2. Mauer, Roy. “Flexible work critical to retention, survey finds,” SHRM, September 10, 2019.
3. Kuehner-Hebert, Katie. “How to prepare for the new era of caregiving,” February 19, 2020.
4. Batra, Sonu; Andrews, Kai. “How flexible work culture can reinvent your workplace,” January 17, 2020.
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F88782-28 5-2020 DOFU 5-2020