As we ease into the New Year, it is only natural to make projections and prognostications about the upcoming 12 months. Many forecast 2015 to be the year of the remote workforce and increased work flexibility, as workers strive for more freedom and balance in their lives the enterprise is embracing the trend of the telecommuter.
A recent blog post from the Miami Herald lists greater work flexibility as its top prediction for the year. Conference call services and the like afford employees the freedom of working from home while maintaining the same level of productivity and in the meanwhile saving money on commuting and childcare cost. It allows parents the opportunity to be there when little Tommy gets his first base hit in Little League.
CEO of Sherlock Talent Alex Funkhouser told the Herald that seven out of ten workers would change jobs if they could work remotely just two days out the week. He goes on to state, “They even would take a pay cut just so they wouldn’t have to commute into an office.”
Techvibes echoed the support of this growing movement. Global workspace provider Regus recently released some intriguing results on telecommuting as a whole. The report surveyed 22,000 employees in over 100 countries and found that over the past five years 70 percent of respondents stated they have seen an increase in the flexible workforce. Both Canada and the United States surpassed the average, boasting 76 and 80 percent of those surveyed see the trend.
The industry with the largest increase was finance at 91 percent with media and marketing coming in second at 85 percent respectively.
The study notes that company size plays a large role in the availability of telecommuting. As smaller companies (<49 employees) are most likely to offer the option whereas companies of over 250 employees are much less likely to offer the same flexibility.
An interesting point of note is where respondents found themselves to be most productive, while many detractors of the telecommuting movement believe working from home is a distracting and less productive environment 41 percent of those surveyed felt they are most productive at home. Only 12 percent preferred coffee shops and a meager 7 percent favored libraries and hotel lounges.
“As more forward-thinking companies adapt to a new way of working, the remote worker is becoming much more popular when compared to the workforce five years ago,” said Wayne Berger, VP, Regus Canada. “We are seeing more and more companies allowing their employees to work flexibly, however there’s still the challenge of finding the right place to work flexibly.”
Finding the best work arraignment is something many struggle with; thankfully conference call services allow for an expanded applicant pool and remove geographical boundaries. Job seekers with the hopes of working from home fear not, as this is only the beginning for the remote workforce.
Edited by Alisen Downey