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The Evolution of Remote Work

October 26, 2019

By Mary E. Corrado, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE 

Remote work is quickly becoming a necessity that organizations must offer, rather than just a “nice perk.”  A recent survey by Flex Jobs shows that 81% of millennials seek work-life balance over both salary and health insurance.  Telecommuting was the top choice for flexible work arrangements for millennials.

I have found that this expands well past millennials. With commutes becoming increasing gruesome and families being busier and busier, employees of varying demographics appreciate and seek out the ability to work remotely. In fact, another study by Airtasker showed that 25% of employees have quit a job due to a long commute.  The report also found that remote workers:

  • Are healthier – Remote workers exercise an average of two hours and 44 minutes during the workweek compared to two hours and 19 minutes for office workers.

  • Save money – Remote employees save an average of $94.23 per week on fuel – which is also good for the environment.

  • Save time – Remote workers save an average of 8.5 hours a week in commuting time.

  • Have increased productivity – Remote workers average 27 minutes per day of unproductive time compared to 37 minutes for office employees.

  • Work more – Remote employees work 1.4 more days every month which equates to 16.8 more days annually than office workers.

  • Value work relationships – Employees who work remotely still place a high value on relationships with coworkers.  70% say that work and relationships with co-workers were equally important.

  • Are less distracted – 22% of office workers report that their boss distracts them during the day compared to only 15% of remote employees.

One of the most fascinating stats I have come across as I continue to research remote work is that many remote workers struggle to find a work-life balance. This is likely due to the fact that the line between home and work can become blurred.  Some tips that we’ve incorporated at ASE to help our employees, who work remotely twice a week, be more productive and improve their work-life balance include taking regular breaks, having set working hours, and having a designated area for work.

I also read an article recently that talked about the difference in the mentality of using the verbiage “working from home” versus “working remotely.”  The author suggested that working from home carries a much more casual connotation to it and should only be used for people that normally work in the office but need to work from home on special occasions.  If you have staff that work full-time remote and have a set remote schedule, using the term “remote work” is more effective.  Working from home is viewed as more of a temporary situation, but a remote work is considered more permanent and would likely involve a dedicated workspace offsite – whether it be at home or elsewhere.  I agree with this and try to use the term “working remote” or “telecommuting” over “working from home.”

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