Remote Workers: Not Just a Trend
If you’ve done any hiring recently, you know the competition for talent is growing increasingly stiff. The U.S. unemployment rate is currently 3.9%, which by many measures is close to being considered full employment. But employees are more transient than they have ever been. Approximately 40% of workers surveyed say they plan on switching jobs within the next year. So, what can an employer do to attract and retain talent? There are many actionable steps you can take to make your company attractive and one of the ways to do that is to provide opportunities for remote employees and work from home flexibility.
Let’s take a look at some of the statistics and trends that are happening in the remote workforce space.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of employees working remotely has increased 115% from 2005 to 2015. There are over 4 million workers who work from home at least half of the time. 43% of US employees work remotely at least occasionally. So what is driving this trend of not driving to work? In many cases, it is the employees themselves. They are drawn to the flexibility of remote work. FlexJobs.com reports on studies that have shown employees are already mobile and away from their desks 50-60% of the time. The technology is there that makes this possible. Employees don’t have to be physically tied to a desk in an office to be working and productive.
As the size of remote workforce increases, it is beneficial to view work place flexibility not only as a job perk, but as a business strategy to drive recruitment and increase retention. Offering these opportunities when possible increases the scope of the available talent pool by allowing employers to look at underutilized workers who need flexibility. You may immediately think employees who have children at home are the ones looking for remote and flexible work options, but that is just one of many groups to consider. Some others include people who care for aging parents or relatives, veterans transitioning to civilian life after their time in the service, those with disabilities, and students can. These people can all be vital and productive employees who may need the flexibility that remote working can provide.
GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com reports approximately 50% of the workforce has a job that is already compatible with at least partial telecommuting. Are you curious as to which jobs are at the top of the list? Here are a few.
Customer Service Representatives
Teachers and Faculty
Healthcare Professionals including Physician’s Assistants, Occupational Therapists, and Medical Coders
Exploring the possibility of remote work options has benefits for both the employer and employee. See our past blogs on other aspects of hiring and managing remote employees: