Evidence continues to mount to prove what the remote workers of the world already know: working from home—or a coffee shop or library or coworking space—is the new normal.
Here’s more proof remote work is becoming the norm:
The latest proof to throw on the pile comes in the form of Upwork’s recently released Future Workforce Report. Based on an online survey of more than 1,000 workforce hiring decision makers, it finds that people from younger generations (millennials and generation Z) are moving into management roles, and they expect the future workplace to be remote.
For example, 69% of these younger managers say they allow their team members to work remotely, compared to 59% of generation X managers and 58% of baby boomers, the report shows. Those younger managers are more likely to have processes in place to support remote workers, and they believe that two out of five full-time employees will work remotely within the next three years.
“Among those that approve remote work options, 74% reported having team members who spend a significant portion of their time conducting their jobs remotely, whereas only 58% of baby boomers have workers who work a significant portion of their time remotely,” a press release about the report said.
Furthermore, younger managers are twice as likely as baby boomers to have increased their usage of freelancers in the last three years, the report found. Survey respondents indicated that 73% of all teams will have remote employees by 2028.
These results show that, as much traction as remote work has today, it’s only going to increase in the future.
“Millennials are equally, if not more committed to their work. But we expect more from our company,” said Matthew Mottola, future of work and on-demand talent program manager at Microsoft, in a TechRepublic article. “We expect to architect our career according to our lifestyle and our passions. With the various opportunities this generation has at their fingertips—freelancing, remote work, entrepreneurship—companies can no longer assume this generation will settle for the status quo.”
Previous studies have shown that companies must take this shift toward remote work into account if they want to recruit and retain the most talented workers. According to a recent survey by recruiting company Hays, 89% of employers said flexible working options were “very important” or “important” for staff attraction and retention.
The best part of this shift is that it’s good for both companies and employees.
“The biggest driver of the pivot to a remote workforce that’s currently underway in our market is that remote employees simply produce better results than their traditional counterparts,” says a Fast Company article. “While many critics of remote working used to assert that letting employees work from home would drain them of their productive spirit, the past few years have produced conclusive evidence that employees who spend a bulk of their working hours outside of the office are vastly happier and more productive.”
In fact, the article says, recent Gallup research shows that workers who spend three or four days each week working offsite are more engaged in their jobs than their cubicle-bound colleagues.
Taking all of these facts into consideration, it’s no wonder that remote work is no longer looked at as a temporary trend or just the latest business fad. On the contrary, it is a normal and necessary part of business for companies that want to keep their best workers happy, engaged, and productive.
And, clearly, that will only become more obvious in the years to come.
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