According to the latest research, around 52% of workers worldwide work remotely at least once each week. While the actual number varies by country, it's clear that remote working is transforming how we work.
Defining working remotely
What exactly does working remotely mean? Working remotely and work-from-home are sometimes used interchangeably, but working remotely is a much broader term. While some people do work from their home offices and kitchen tables, others are set up in co-working spaces, coffee shops, libraries, public parks and more. In some cases, remote workers work with other people at least some of the time.
It's a common misconception that remote work only applies to office workers, but frontline workers can work remotely, too. For example, for salespeople, working remotely means working on the go. They log in when they're on the clock and log out when they're finished, but their location can be restaurants, trains, doctor's offices, hotel rooms and more.
Other people might be using the term "remote work" because they're adopting some remote work elements, like video chatting with their team in other regions while working from their own workspace. So, in short, working remotely simply means working from wherever you are.
Organizations go fully remote.
No matter which type of remote work we're talking about, there's no denying that working remotely has entered the mainstream. As we talked about above, many people work remotely just some of the time. However, there are many people who never go to their office. In fact, in the United States, 25% of workers work remotely 100% of the time. That's a significant increase from just a few years ago.
It's not just employees, either. Now, complete companies are going fully remote. They're getting rid of their offices and opting to keep in touch via work-from-anywhere technology.
In all its varied forms, remote work has become much more than an add-on to conventional business practice. As the figures suggest, many employees work remotely just part of the time. But some will never or rarely go to their organization’s business premises: A little under half of US employees who work remotely do so full time, according to Gallup’s latest State of the American Workplace Report.
Then there’s the rise of fully remote companies – they don’t have premises. Instead, colleagues use technology to keep in touch with each other. It’s about as far from the traditional setup as you can get.
5 benefits of working remotely for employees
There are several advantages to making the switch to remote work. Whether it's full-time remote work or part-time, employees who switch to remote work can enjoy several distinct benefits. Here are the top five.
Improved work-life balance
When you don't have to commute, you have more time available to do the things you love. Whether it's spending time with your family or working on your favorite hobby, you get a greater work-life balance when you eliminate the commute time.
You enjoy a lot more autonomy when you work remotely. You get the choice of where you work, but you also get more of a say in how you work, too. For example. you can decide what to tackle first, who to have conversations with and how to show up to meetings. Additionally, you don't have to sit in freezing conference rooms or try to tune out background chatter. You really get the choice to make your working environment your own.
When you eliminate the stress of office politics, commuting and stringent work arrangements, your overall wellbeing tends to improve. In fact, studies show that working remotely reduces physical and psychological stress. Additionally, people who work remotely, even just one time a month, are 24% more likely to be productive and happy.
Greater job choices
When you work remotely, you aren't limited to companies in your area. Instead, you can apply and work for companies from around the world. This gives you a real sense of freedom and potential that isn't available in in-person environments.
Approximately 40% of remote workers say that increased flexibility is the biggest benefit of working remotely. It's important to note that remote work isn't always flexible. However, in general, remote working arrangements tend to be more flexible than traditional work environments.
8 benefits of working remotely for employers
Remote working benefits aren't limited to just employees. Companies that have made the switch enjoy several marketable benefits. Here are eight of the most substantial ones.
Study after study has shown that remote workers are more productive than in-house workers. They tend to work more hours on average and have higher performance than their in-house counterparts.
The pandemic really highlighted the importance of being able to run your business remotely. Companies that already had remote work options had a much easier time transitioning during the pandemic's peak. Companies who make the switch to remote are essentially future-proofing their business and ensuring continuity - no matter what comes their way.
Opens talent pool
When you're able to hire globally, you get access to the best talent in the world rather than the best talent in your geographic region. In a period of skill and staffing shortages, having the ability to attract talent from anywhere is a huge advantage.
Creates a better work-life balance
Remote work tends to offer a greater work-life balance. Offering work-life balance is a terrific way to attract and retain top talent from around the world. Also, employees who have a good work-life balance have better overall wellbeing, lower stress and higher rates of employee engagement.
Attract (and retain) top talent
Some of the best employees out there are only looking for remote work. Offering the option to work remotely will help you attract and retain employees for those hard-to-fill positions.
Having the ability to work remotely has been proven to improve employee engagement. As a result, it's a great thing to add to your employee engagement strategies. It also boosts loyalty and makes your employees happier and more productive overall.
Decrease real estate costs
There's no need to purchase or rent costly real estate if your team works remotely. If your business is remote, you eliminate all the costs of running a physical office. Even if you go with a hybrid model (where employees work remotely part-time), you can save substantially.
Help the environment
If your company strives to do its part to reduce its carbon footprint and help the environment, then working remotely just makes sense. Transportation is one of the leading sources of carbon emissions, and traveling to and from work every day contributes to this. By eliminating commuting and opting for video conferencing, you can rest easy knowing your company is doing its part to reduce its carbon footprint.
How to get working remotely right
Working remotely can be a huge adjustment. However, as long as you can provide your employees the support they need and develop some effective meeting strategies, you and your team can enjoy all the advantages of working remote.