Remote work, the latest trend in the working world, is gaining popularity among employers and employees alike, but it comes with pros and cons.
In the US alone, as of 2018, 57 million Americans are working remotely, and about 85% of US companies allow some form of remote work as of 2017. A survey carried out in 2017 also revealed that 24% of all full-time employees in the US spent a certain amount of time telecommuting. That only proves that remote jobs are becoming more important in the business world.
It is estimated that US employers lose about $1.8 trillion annually, mainly due to factors like employee distraction, lack of productivity, health issues, and similar. Remote work counteracts the effects of most of those factors, and that is why 75% of companies worldwide are already adopting flexible working policies. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, those numbers have skyrocketed. So with remote work and remote schooling becoming the norm, we wanted to take a closer look at what to expect.
Why Remote Work?
Right now, most of us are working from home to stay safe from infection but before the coronavirus, there were many other reasons to work remotely. For those businesses that are yet to jump on the remote work bandwagon, there might still be doubts as to how it can contribute to a company’s growth. An excellent example of how effective remote work is can be seen in China where companies implemented the remote work model months ago.
Research shows that if employees telecommuted for just half the time, an average business could save around $11,000 per year. That is because over 30% of telecommuters are likely to accomplish more in less time.
According to a recent survey by GoRemotely, 61% of business owners said telecommuting increased profit, and 83% of entrepreneurs reported that flexible hours boosted productivity.
When interviewed, 51% of telecommuters said no amount of money would make them switch back to a traditional job, 54% said they plan to work remotely for the rest of their lives, and 83% believe they do not need to be in an office to be productive.
Pros of Remote Work
Reduced Cost of Operation
Remote work saves money in various ways. One such way that it can help reduce the cost of operation is through the elimination of workspace. Fewer workers on site means less space!
Companies that operate remotely do not have to pay for office spaces since the whole concept of remote working is to allow employees to do their job from any location.
Not paying for office space alone can save businesses millions of dollars yearly (think about all of the telemarketers who could work from a small desk at home instead of a huge room full of dozens of other employees). One such example is the Aetna life insurance company. According to reports, Aetna was able to save up to $78 million after cutting costs on its office space. Also, reports from telecommuters indicate that 76% of employers are not paying for co-working spaces used by employees, and over 80% of employers do not cover the cost of the internet used by remote employees. Bills and expenses like electricity and office supplies can also be avoided.
Not everyone is a morning person, and not everyone is super productive when working a 9-to-5 job. With remote work, employees can choose their own time and place of work to be more productive.
By doing so, everyone can work according to their schedule and be more productive as a result. Depending on the company, a shift from hourly work to objective orientated work can make a huge difference to the bottom line.
According to reports by different companies, remote workers are more efficient when compared to their office counterparts. Factors like more sleep, healthy eating, more physical activities, and reduced stress contribute to a more positive attitude and better mood, which inadvertently leads to higher productivity on the job.
It Gives Employers Access to a Wider Talent Pool
The internet has made communication across the globe more accessible. Businesses are no longer limited by geographical location when recruiting staff, and interviews can now be conducted via video calls. Tools like Zoom, Teams and Skype help make remote work possible.
Moreover, employers can hire people from developing countries where the cost of living is quite low, thereby saving more money on salaries.
Less Time Spent Commuting
It is often the case that office workers call in sick, which can also be connected to stress and fatigue. One such factor contributing to continuous pressure and stress is the amount of time spent commuting. More and more, people are developing anxiety due to going out or seeing people and being judged. These things may seem minor but they can mount up and create health issues.
Over 84% of remote workers are already working from home most of the time, thereby drastically reducing the amount of time spent commuting.
The whole concept of remote work is to have workers working from home while also being productive. According to reports, 52% of remote workers are less likely to take time off, even when they are sick. Depending on your illness, that makes sense! For instance, many women experience intense menstrual pain, which prevents them from going to the office, but not from working from home, when that is possible.
Cons of Remote Work
Lack of Communication
About 38% of telecommuters reported lack of information from employers as one of their major struggles.
Sometimes, advanced communication tools cannot replace the need for face-to-face interaction when it comes to certain issues related to work. That is why companies operating remotely organize team-building activities and different events now and then to help bridge the gap between team members.
Are these things you have experienced since working remotely? Let us know!
19% of remote workers have indicated that they struggle with loneliness. That comes as no surprise since working from home means there is no interaction between colleagues.
Distractions at Home and Unplugging After Work
If you have kids, distractions are inevitable because kids require special attention and care. Distractions can also come in other forms, such as TV, social media, house chores, etc.
Also, the issue of unplugging after work seems like a herculean task, as reported by 22% of remote workers. Most telecommuters find themselves working late hours to make sure that they round off a particular task.
Top Jobs That Can Be Done Remotely
- E-book publishing
- Software development
- Customer service
- Video editing
- Graphic and web design
Job Boards for Remote Work
If you are thinking about jumping on the remote work bandwagon, here are some job boards that can help you find your dream job:
- Virtual Vocations
- Authentic Jobs
- Ruby Now
There are also a number of job boards, which are for remote work in specific fields. Check them out on the Jobboard Finder.
Countries That Offer the Highest Number of Remote Jobs
- The US
- The UK
Remote work provides an array of benefits, ranging from a reduced cost of operation to increased employee productivity, among other things.
Despite some challenges, going remote is still profitable for businesses across various industries. Jobs like writing, app development, and customer service, are already on the rise in the freelance marketplace.
We would like to thank Raj Vardhman for this contribution. Raj is the co-founder of GoRemotely.net. He is a WordPress virtuoso and white hat SEO expert with a passion for developing SEO strategies. His experience and work over the years have driven him to give other individuals lessons about taking control of their work and finding remote jobs.
Author: Ali Neill
As the job board tester and blog editor for the Jobboard Finder, Ali works on job boards from all around the world and keeps a close eye on the recruitment trends thanks to a number of sources, including the website’s social media pages.
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