Working Remotely a Key Desire in Job Applicants
One of the important job trends that has emerged in recent years is an increasing desire among job candidates to work remotely.
A global survey of 14,000 workers across 19 countries showed that remote working and schedule flexibility are among the top three career considerations today.
The US had the highest number of job candidates (45 percent) who seek work flexibility, and as many as 63 percent of them would prefer to work remotely. Another study by FlexJobs showed that telecommuting in the US has grown by 115 percent over the last 10 years.
Focus on Work-Life Balance
The increasing desire to work remotely clearly indicates that job candidates are looking for career opportunities which allow them to integrate work and home life.
The personal rewards in terms of an improved family life and reduced stress levels that remote working promises is an attractive proposition for a significant part of the workforce.
New Communication Technologies Support this Trend
Innovative workplace communication technologies such as HipChat and Slack are making remote work a practical possibility for many companies. The trend is more distinctly visible in tech-oriented companies where it is possible to work on software product development using an online platform.
The nature of the job of a software programmer or a developer is such that they can work individually while remaining connected with their project team remotely.
These jobs also require long hours of focus, creative thinking, and deep attention to detail. Remote working can often cut down the distractions for these workers, which improves their work efficiency.
Flexibility Leads to Improved Productivity
Some analysts are of the opinion that remote working improves an employee’s productivity because they can work at hours when they are most comfortable (though there are businesses that still don’t allow telecommuting and have ended this practice – IBM for one). Some workers may perform better when they have home comforts surrounding them or a TV or music system nearby.
If the worker’s personality type is such that office chatter becomes a distraction, he or she might do far better by working remotely.
While there are no research studies to conclusively determine how far remote working improves productivity, a study conducted by University of Illinois found that remote workers performed at least as well as their in-office colleagues.
The study found that remote workers like to be perceived as the company’s “good citizens” and go the extra mile to justify their preferred telecommute work arrangement.
Health Advantage for Remote Workers
An employee who works from home is likely to have a better opportunity to eat fresh, homemade food, and strike a healthy work-life balance.
At the same time, having more time to be among the loved ones (and their furry friends/pets) at home can help them feel less stressed about work. A research study by Staples showed that home-based workers on average experience 25 percent lower stress levels.
Employers can Benefit Too
Remote working is not only advantageous for the employees, but also for the companies. Telecommuting saves on office costs, reduces absenteeism, and increases overall productivity.
Companies with flexible workplace policies that allow remote working are also likely to attract better talent and earn a concrete and superlative reputation in the job market.