3 reasons to rethink remote work options.

  • workforce insights
  • April 26, 2018

The standard nine-to-five schedule is not a thing of the past just yet. According to Randstad’s Workmonitor survey (Q1 2018), 68 percent of U.S. employees say they still work in a traditional environment, where everyone works at the office during open hours. Despite this fact, the conventional workplace is still managing to change thanks to advancements in technology which make it possible to accommodate both full-time employees and the growing agile workforce (made up of temporary, contract, consultant and freelance professionals). As we enter the post-digital era, technology will fade to the background as an invisible reality of everyday life. In fact, it’s already dramatically transformed how and when we work, enabling millions of workers to choose remote work arrangements and nontraditional career paths. In fact, 65 percent of employees prefer to occasionally work from home or another location when possible.

Although this changing landscape poses challenges for employers, it also provides great benefits and opportunities for companies to thrive in the post-digital workplace. Here are three reasons employers should consider providing more flexible work arrangements to their employees:

access to a globally diverse workforce.

Leaders are catching on to how remote work opportunities can entice talent, once previously beyond their reach, to join and contribute to their organization. According to Randstad Sourceright’s 2018 Talent Trends Report, 76 percent say the right person for a role could be an employee, contract or contingent worker and could come from anywhere in the world. Nevertheless, this is extremely telling in terms of how global talent is being sourced and demonstrates how willing employees are to work remotely, regardless of location. Employers who utilize the right technologies to keep communication lines and collaboration opportunities open can draw upon a diverse set of talent from across the globe.

increase employee engagement.

Contrary to some beliefs, working remotely can actually boost engagement, rather than distract employees from their duties. In fact, 82 percent of U.S. workers surveyed say the ability to work from anywhere at any time allows them to maintain a good work-life balance, and 80 percent say it increases their productivity, creativity and job satisfaction. A majority of employees have voiced desire for more flexibility in their work, which employers can fulfill by developing more remote-friendly workplaces. The fact that 66 percent of employee respondents want to work from home, or another location on occasion, speaks volumes. Employers who embrace this trend will be seen in a more positive light and rewarded with a happier, more productive workforce.

less time to hire.

The current talent shortage requires employers to get creative with their employee attraction and retention strategies. A tight labor market has a direct influence on an organization’s bottom line. And as a result, companies are feeling the weight (and cost) of unfilled positions. By tapping into a remote workforce, companies can broaden their talent pool and provide opportunities to employees with less traditional schedules. Employers who make working remotely a possibility for alternative hires can defray vacancy costs and fuel projects supported by a much deeper talent base. Whether choosing to work as a freelancer, easing into retirement with a less demanding schedule or reigniting their earning power to supplement dwindling nest eggs, even more tenured workers are being drawn to the flexibility that alternative work arrangements provide.

It’s hard to deny the benefits that a remote workforce could bring to your organization. However, many companies are failing to provide employees with the necessary tools to work remotely. Over a third (35%) of employees disagree that their employer provides the technical equipment needed to effectively work from home.

Employers who leverage technology to make flexible work more accessible will win when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. It’s important to stay ahead of the curve to accommodate the latest workplace trends and experience these benefits firsthand. A more remote-friendly workplace is bound to be a win-win for all stakeholders involved. But first, it takes assessing your company’s digital capabilities to see if you’re up to speed with employees’ digital expectations. Find out where your organization lands on the spectrum of digital transformation — take our digital readiness assessment.