At certain points in our lives, most of us will probably have to work in one or two less-than-ideal jobs simply for the sake of putting bread on the table. Mortgages, rent, car payments, cell phone bills, student loans — costs add up, so we need to earn our keep. Consider George Orwell’s description of miners in England at the beginning of the twentieth century: Bent at the waist, they’d walk hunched-over, in three foot tall tunnels for a mile before starting their twelve hour shift, crouching in the pitch blackness, doing hard labor… Okay, maybe you’ve never had such an intense job, but you get the picture. Employee experience isn’t always a top priority for every employer.
So imagine a time where you could work a job — out of passion or necessity –without having to leave the comfort of your living room or favorite coffee shop. Is that time now?
Millennials and The Remote Work Revolution
Golden Girls trivia and recipes for cherimoya pudding might have existed before the dawn of the world wide web, but they certainly weren’t so widespread. The internet has brought us some interesting things — some more useful than others.
The one thing most wouldn’t have predicted was that the internet would provide people the opportunity to escape traditional work settings. Some studies estimate that up to 70% of the workforce works remotely at least once a week — and that’s a global estimate.
Working remotely has parallels to modern homeschooling. Both ditch the rigid structures, the endless routines, and potentially irrelevant information. Both focus solely on the essence or primary purpose of the job (or lesson) at hand.
The remote work revolution is probably here to stay. In five years, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce — and many of them will be bosses. Broadly speaking, millennials are a group often seen as impatient with inefficiencies, including sitting in office cubicles for the majority of daylight hours when they could just submit an assignment by email.
The Benefits of Working Remotely
Working remotely is arguably beneficial for both employees and employers. Why would businesses continue to spend money on renting office space, paying electricity bills, hiring janitorial staff and replacing uncool furniture every five years if they didn’t have to? And if they didn’t have to, why would employees continue to spend the majority of their waking lives sitting in traffic, sizzling under fluorescent lights, or dealing with the neighborly noise of open office plans?
Additionally, avoiding the office and working from a device offers a plethora of environmental benefits. Simply working at home brings with it an unprecedented reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption, fossil fuel reliance, air pollution and plastic and paper waste results from people staying put during a work day.
Retain Your Employees — Tell Them Not to Come In
It’s a cliche, but employees are indeed one of the most valuable assets of any company. Satisfy your best workers and not only will you retain them, you’ll also attract the best up-and-comers. Having the brightest, most highly skilled and best-trained workers under your metaphorical roof will make your business more profitable, more publicized and more prestigious. And a major perk any company can offer a potential employee is the chance to not physically not come to work every day.
A 2014 study by a leading provider of software services found that 80% of remote workers reported higher morale, 82% said it helped lower their stress levels, and 69% reported lower absenteeism. So, building culture, supporting employee well-being, and saving the environment? What’s not to love?
The Future of Remote Work
If the majority of the workforce eventually doesn’t have to ‘go to work’, what will our society look like? An eight hour day’s work completed in three? The rest of the day spent with family, cooking, surfing, or taking lawn bowling classes? Office buildings bulldozed and transformed into green spaces? Freeways used for jogging, cycling, and dog-walking? It’s an exciting transition and what it will ultimately look like is absolutely anyone’s guess.
“It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.”
― Edgar Allan Poe
What employee benefits would your team value most? Will remote work have more than a remote chance of success in your organization? Our team is ready to help you with your team! Connect with us for an EX consultation and see how Sogolytics can deliver for you.