Do remote workers beat office workers?
A company called Ctrip wanted to save costs on space and furniture by having people work from home. They calculated a downside due to people leaving the office discipline. Then something different happened. In stead of a downside they gained productivity equal to another working day per week. That’s a huge advantage. But there was more. The workers are not only significant happier with their jobs, they perform better then the average office workers all together.
Does remote working work?
What makes remote working gain interest within companies? A quieter working space is one important reason. Offices are areas of distraction. Not only is working remote quieter but also the time spend for other distractions like lunches, coffee breaks and chats is higher in office environments. This callcenter saw mainly upsides in the survey.
Ok, but does this count for knowledge workers also? The least you can conclude is that it is hugely beneficial to the well-being of employees, helps attract talent, and lowers attrition. Some groups benefit more than other. “Right now the employees who spend significant amounts of time working from home are on either end of the income spectrum: solitary, per-hour workers like call center reps, proofreaders, and software developers, whose output can be easily tracked; or professionals and senior managers, who presumably are highly self-motivated.”. That’s a huge shift. Developers are the biggest group of knowledge workers shifting to remote working. This is also visible in this figure from Gallup.
The shift to remote working
What about the fact that you ‘miss out’ on colleagues? Being less connected directly and physically to colleagues doesn’t count that hard. 42% of remote workers feel they’re just as connected with colleagues as if they were working on-premises, and 10% feel even more connected. This means more then half of your company feels very connected.
This benefit is due to our adoption of communication tools. People have a variety of tools to communicate now. Of the digital communication and collaboration tools available, email is the most used at 88% with instant messaging (47%), video conferencing (36%), VoIP/Skype (32%), and presence functionality (30%) also commonly relied upon by remote workers. 28% of those surveyed use an enterprise unified communication solution, such as Microsoft Skype for Business.
Remote workers feel more valued than office workers. That’s odd since remote workers often have problems related to feelings of isolation and lack of daily contact with co-workers. What did Gallup found out here? In answer to the question, "How valued do you feel at work?" - remote workers scored 7.75, compared to all workers' 6.69. While remote employees do rate their "relationships with co-workers" lower than average office workers (7.88 compared to 8.47), this social drawback was still outweighed by the multiple benefits remote employees perceived. A possible explanation is the better planned interactions between workers and managers with remote workers.
Is your organization ready?
The young professional changes fast: “Over the past decade, a rising number of young professionals, primarily from the United States and Europe, have leveraged the use of technology to work remotely and live a nomadic lifestyle. A forecast of employment trends by the World Economic Forum called flexible work, including virtual teams, “one of the biggest drivers of transformation” in the workplace, while a Gallup poll found that 37 percent of respondents have already worked virtually.
The challenge is mainly within the organizations now and the need (scarsity of talent) is getting bigger for remote working solutions.Do you work with software development and still have no solutions for remote workers? The time is now to find ways to adopt your organization to attract these ‘digital nomads’. They are the new talents. Especially in the field of computer software development and information engineering. According to research the resistance comes from middle management so this is where the change is needed most. Start talking about this and bring this debate to them.
Remote working is becoming the new normal. The ‘digital nomads’ are on the rise. The ability for them to cut across so many boundaries and access knowledge within minutes is something to be marvelled at. Being able to work across borders is what we think will truly bring the world together and move it forward. Collaboration truly drives innovation.
Join and meet our community of ‘digital nomads’ at WorldCoders.
To Raise Productivity, Let More Employees Work from Home by Nicholas Bloom - https://hbr.org/2014/01/to-raise-productivity-let-more-employees-work-from-home
CoSo Cloud Survey Shows Working Remotely Benefits Employers and Employees
by CoSo - http://www.cosocloud.com/press-release/connectsolutions-survey-shows-working-remotely-benefits-employers-and-employees
In U.S., Telecommuting for Work Climbs to 37% by Jeffrey M. Jones - news.gallup.com/poll/184649/telecommuting-work-climbs.aspx
Employment Trends by World Economic Forum - http://reports.weforum.org/future-of-jobs-2016/employment-trends
Why remote working is the future of research and innovation By Ramya Sriram - https://blog.kolabtree.com/remote-working-future-research/
Are Remote Workers Happier And More Productive? New Survey Offers Answers by Victor Lipman - https://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2016/05/02/are-remote-workers-happier-and-more-productive-new-survey-offers-answers/#1df45d3f6663