A record number of people are now working remotely according to a recent Office of National Statistics study. Figures show that 13.9% of the workforce either work solely from home or use their home “as a base” whilst working from different locations.
These figures are unsurprising given how easy it has become for employees, especially in the IT industry, to set up and work from anywhere. Coffee shops are a popular choice, increasingly filled with caffeine-fueled digital workers grinding away on their laptops and taking calls on their mobiles.
Happier, healthier and more productive
Various studies have shown that employees who spend all or some of their week working remotely are happier, healthier and more productive. They also benefit from lower anxiety, blood pressure and stress levels. Sure, some of this can be attributed to the cutting out of that rush-hour commute but there is no denying that the flexibility that remote working offers can increase an employee’s sense of responsibility, commitment and self-worth.
Employers benefit too
Traditional fears of disconnected and out-of-touch remote workers have all but disappeared thanks to the proliferation of fibre broadband connections, 4G networks, video conferencing and cloud-computing. In fact, the Internet itself has teared-down traditional geographical boundaries and created opportunities for individuals and businesses from across the world, who previously would never have crossed paths, to work together on projects in real-time.
Employers benefit from this directly by saving money on property, rent, hardware and software costs. Furthermore, they are not restricting themselves by geographical area when trying to recruit the best candidate for the job at hand.
Embracing remote working
Amazon, Dell, IBM and American Express are some of the bigger companies offering remote job opportunities, whilst sites like Remote Jobs help connect smaller employers with remote candidates.