As workplace restrictions related to COVID-19 are lifted, employers are assessing the benefits of the work-from-home approach. The current reality of working remotely has proved popular, it seems. A survey by the IBM Institute for Business Value found more than 75% of adults indicate they would like to continue to do their jobs remotely at least occasionally, while 54% would prefer it to be their primary routine.
Many businesses have taken notice. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that in the next five to 10 years, half of its employees could be working remotely. Other businesses with similar goals include Nationwide, Shopify, Twitter and Barclays Capital.
So what makes working away from the office so appealing? A survey of hiring managers done by the global freelancing platform Upwork Inc. identified several factors. No. 1 was “no commute” (49% of the vote), followed closely by “reduced meetings” (46%) and “less distractions” (41%). Fewer than 2% of respondents said that nothing was working well.
A decentralized workforce has the potential to benefit companies, too. The shift removes geographic limitations to hiring and allows employers to seek the best talent regardless of physical location. Employees living in areas with lower costs of living don’t need to be paid what their big-city counterparts make, and if businesses no longer must maintain a full office workspace, they can reduce spending on rent.
While economists at the University of Chicago estimate that just 37% of U.S. jobs can be done entirely from home, data shows that the move to a decentralized workforce is well underway.
This article appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of Insigniam Quarterly. To begin receiving IQ, go here.