- Companies that harness technology to enable flexible, "work from anywhere" cultures could contribute more than $2.36 trillion annually in gross value added to the U.S. economy, according to a report by the U.K.-based Centre of Economics and Business Research (Cebr), supported by software company Citrix Systems, Inc.
- In an online poll of 2,502 U.S. knowledge workers in office-based roles, Cebr found that by offering remote or virtual work opportunities, along with supportive tech tools, employers could improve their recruiting of candidates in untapped talent pools, including parents who set aside their careers to take care of their children, people who quit their jobs to care for aging family members and retired baby boomers who want to work a few hours a week in non-office settings.
- Cebr found 69% of unemployed or "economically inactive" respondents said they would be encouraged to start working if flexible opportunities were offered. Most part-time workers surveyed said they would put in extra hours if they could work remotely, while flexible schedules could reduce employee time spent commuting by 5.8 billion hours per year. Additionally, 93% of all workers said virtual or remote options would help them better manage their time and allow them extra hours to devote to their tasks, researchers said.
More workers expect flexible work hours to be part of an employer's benefits offerings. Certain positions are more natural for such arrangements, including those in which most work is already performed remotely. IT developers, for example, increasingly see flexible work schedules as the norm. In fact, 43% of developers in a July study by DigitalOcean said that a remote-work option was a "must-have" in considering a job offer.
More American businesses are responding to the high demand for remote-work, work-at-home and telecommuting options among workers by including these offerings. Forty-one percent of global C-suite executives and managers polled by U.K.-based software firm Condeco said their companies already offer flexible work options, including 43% of U.S. employers. Employers also have the option of providing a hybrid form of remote work, as did more than half of the workplaces in a 2018 OWL Labs study.
Caregiving duties can pose an obstacle to some workers, forcing many to quit their jobs, cut back on hours, change jobs or take lower paying positions. Caregiving absenteeism costs the U.S. economy an estimated $25.2 billion in lost productivity each year, according to the National Business Group on Health. However, remote-work options could allow these individuals to keep their jobs and pay caregiving costs, which can be excessive: unpaid caregiving costs total $67 billion annually and are likely to double by 2050, according a study published in July by Stipica Mudrazija, senior research associate at the Income and Benefits Policy Center, Urban Institute.