Remote working or, as some people say, working from home is on an upswing. Some fields are utilizing remote workers at unprecedented levels. According to the latest Elance study, remote working trends in Accounting are up 134% while such trends in Legal are up 49%. Remember that not all companies are embracing remote working trends and that even those that have in the past, Yahoo for one and IBM in its marketing and engineering departments, are ending or scaling back their commitments to remote working.
Gallup’s latest study on workplace trends, the State of America’s Workplace Report, has given us the latest statistics on remote working. To begin, in 2012, 39% of the work force worked remotely (or, at home.) In 2016, 43% of the U.S. work force worked remotely. As importantly, the amount of time spent working remotely has increased dramatically. 31% of remote workers worked at home between 80-100% of the time in 2016. This is a dramatic increase of 7% increase from 2012.
Industries seemingly most compatible with and experiencing the biggest surge in remote working are finance, insurance and, most appropriately, real estate. Manufacturing, construction, transportation and retail industries are also making a move towards remote working.
To enhance the pros of remote working for employers (fewer employee costs, benefits, training time) Fortune Magazine recommends that Human Resource practitioners embrace new skills in people analytics, internet marketing, branding and new technologies such as wearable Virtual Reality, such as Google Glass, and Artificial Intelligence as companies shift to an on-demand workforce. Remote Hub Spot also recommends that company leadership become more inspirational and collaborative while simultaneously becoming less hierarchal and top down.
As real estate professionals and all remote workers know well, developing and honing time management skills are essential. The abilities to be consistently self motivated, resourceful and decisive fall underneath that heading of time management. Setting up the right work environment outside of an established office, having clear communications skills and balancing flex time with leisure time are also keys to improving productivity.
With more and more “regular” employees wanting to work at home coupled with a growing pool of talented, internet accessible remote workers, this growing trend in working “off site” will only increase. Sooner rather than later, more workers will be at home and fewer workers will be at work…at least for part of each week.