Remote Workforces Are Not The Future, They Are The New Normal

It appears employees and employers are on the same page about remote access. Work-from-home flexibility delivers benefits that make Cloud networks worthwhile.  

Shifting profit-driving endeavours to a remote workforce is no longer the wave of the future. The wave has made landfall, and many businesses are already reaping newly discovered benefits.

Remote force growth — also referred to as work-from-home — has enjoyed substantial growth over the past 15 years. The decade-and-a-half timeline indicates that remote employees are not necessarily a product of the recently trending Cloud.

Remote Workers In Ottawa During Coronavirus

Consider Remote Workforce Statistics

“A special analysis done by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics found that there has been a major upward trend in the number of people working remotely in the U.S. In the span of one year, from 2016 to 2017, remote work grew 7.9 percent. Over the last five years, it grew 44 percent, and over the previous ten years it grew 91 percent,” the Remote Work Statistics: Shifting Norms and Expectations report states. “Between 2005 to 2017, there was a 159 percent increase in remote work. In 2015, 3.9 million U.S. workers were working remotely. Today that number is at 4.7 million, or 3.4 percent of the population.”

In Canada, that same trend was underway with 47 percent working from offsite at least one day per week, 39 percent primarily working from home, and 11 percent exclusively, according to a Benefits Canada report.

“These results show that today’s workforce is truly mobile. Only a tiny proportion of workers are true home-based workers spending all of their time away from the main office in a home office,” Regus Canada vice president Wayne Berger reportedly said. “Workers report that they are not looking to replace one fixed office space with another such as the home but are declaring that they need places to stop off and regain productivity while travelling to and from business meetings on their own, or in other cities.”

Remote Work Option Delivers Qualitative & Quantitative Benefits

With Millennials who grew up in the digital age engaged in the workforce and the Cloud delivering cost-effective connectivity, live-work attitudes have shifted. Polling data supporting the report highlights the reasons why remote workforces are fast becoming the new normal.

  • Remote Positions Regionally Driven: According to the report, remote positions tend to cluster around cities where knowledge-based occupations are located. Also, areas with labour-intensive industries such as agriculture have far fewer work-from-home options.
  • Talent Retention: A reported 80 percent of potential employees polled reportedly said they might turn down a job that did not offer a remote option. And, one-third stated that such flexibility was more important than a higher position, according to the International Workforce Group.
  • Productivity Increases: Upwards of 85 percent of companies indicate that productivity increased among performance-based employees. Approximately 90 percent of workers claim that flexible work options drive motivation.

According to research by online employment giant Indeed, there is a wealth of mutually beneficial reasons for companies to offer location flexibility. That two-way street can cut payrolls while delivering the work-life balance valued by today’s workforce.

“Among employees who are allowed to work from home, the overwhelming majority (75 percent) say that doing so has improved their work-life balance. More than half say it reduces stress (57 percent), absences (56 percent) and sick days (50 percent) and improves morale (54 percent),” an Indeed survey states. “Employees don’t want to lose this benefit, either — almost one-third of remote workers (30 percent) say they would consider looking for another job if their companies took away the existing remote-work policy.”

How To Gain Remote Workforce Benefits

Organizations that have not yet offered valued employees flexibility might view making changes as a way to tap into the obvious benefits of remote work. In reality, the culture shift began at least 15 years ago. Not having this perk to offer top talent places you in a less competitive position. Doubling down on that issue, remote workforces also lower business infrastructure costs and overhead.

Necessary next steps include moving to a Cloud-based system, ramping up endpoint connectivity, and enterprise-level cybersecurity. All of these things can be accomplished by contacting a third-part managed IT specialist and scheduling a remote workforce consultation. At Fuelled Networks, we deliver trusted managed IT services throughout Ottawa, ON Canada, Kingston, ON Canada and throughout Eastern Ontario.

Published On: 31st March 2020 by Ernie Sherman.