While employee compensation remains one of the, if not the, most important factors in employee job satisfaction, there are a number of nonfinancial elements that have a strong influence on attracting and retaining top talent. These perks include flexible work hours and the ability to work remotely.
Many employers are reluctant to embrace such policies. Some fear these policies may make employees less productive individually. Others believe such practices eliminate the benefits of team cohesion gained from having coworkers together in the same physical location.
Remote Work on the Rise
Despite common misconceptions, new data suggest that employers may find it increasingly difficult to resist the tide of remote employment. For its 2018 Global State of Remote Work report, OWL Labs surveyed 3,028 employees across the globe, representing 23 countries on 6 continents.
Based on the results of the survey, OWL Labs found that 56% of companies around the world allowed remote work, were fully remote, or were “hybrid companies”—meaning employees worked remotely part of the time and from the office part of the time. While this research indicates that 44% of companies offer no remote work options, the report found that 16% of companies are completely remote.
The significance for employers is that based on these survey results, the majority of companies worldwide allow some form of remote work, and the expectations of employees is likely to follow suit.
Addressing Employee Demand for Flexibility
Rather than simply a nice-to-have perk, the ability to work remotely is likely to become an expectation of employees. If it does, the minority of companies not offering such options will be at an increasing disadvantage. This is especially true domestically. While 44% of companies worldwide don’t allow remote work, only 15% in the United States in 2017 did not.
Offering remote employment options is increasingly common as technology and employee expectations evolve. While there are certainly implications for employers from a communication and teamwork perspective, there are clear benefits, as well—especially in a tight employment market.
According to the OWL Labs report, remote-friendly companies see 25% less turnover than those that don’t offer these options. How might remote work options meet the needs of your employees and contribute to lower turnover and, potentially, greater engagement and productivity?