- Workers in a Softchoice study expect their employers to provide the technology tools that allow them to work remotely from anywhere. Softchoice, the IT solutions and managed services provider, found that 85% of office workers want the tools that make it possible to work in the office, from home, in coffee shops and other remote locations. The firm surveyed 1,000 North American workers with computer and mobile access.
- Key study results show that 74% of workers said they would quit their current jobs to work for an organization offering remote-work options. The study, Collaboration Unleashed, examined technology trends, including the use of office automation tools, the movement among employers to equip workers with tools that make them productive and remote-work flexibility.
- Around 69% of workers believe technology has made them more productive, but nearly 25% believe technology will replace them in their jobs; and 83% of workers use technology to collaborate in real time, but 78% said technical problems disrupt the collaborative experience.
While some employers like IBM and Yahoo! have "co-located," or reeled in remote staff, more employees want to work off-site. And some are willing to leave their current employers for companies that offer it.
Studies put the rise in telecommuting and other remote work as high 114% within a 10-year span. More job applicants are specifically looking for employers that provide remote-work opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey shows that at-home workers grew from 19% to 22% between 2003 and 2016.
The remote workforce is growing, and employers who want to reverse the trend might find it difficult to compete for talent against employers who embrace it. A thin labor market puts employers at an even greater disadvantage; candidates have more work options and, in some cases, can negotiate their benefits preferences.
Employers might have to be flexible about how and where employees want to work, as the desire for work-life balance gains more traction. Allowing employees to work from home a few days a week or rearrange their work schedules as personal matters arise could be a fair and reasonable alternative to ending remote work entirely.