The past decades have shown significant growth in several remote work trends.
Challenging problems and unknown risks that made remote work difficult were faced by employers and employees. Today, this has changed. The future of remote working is bright.
New statistics about work show employers and employees the benefits of people working remotely. Better remote work tools have eliminated many problems. There are a growing number of remote work opportunities for freelancers as they become a normal part of businesses.
Statistics and Studies on Remote Work Trends
One of the notable remote work trends is the increased number of telecommuters and professional employees working from home at least part-time. A survey showed that for every seven managers, six are expecting that teams comprised of remote workers will soon be the norm.
Growth shown in past remote work trends supports this remote work prediction. The American Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2003 that only 19% of employees were doing any of their work from home. Twelve years later, that number climbed to 23%. By 2020, this number is estimated to exceed 50% of workers.
From 2005 to 2015, telecommuting increased by 115%. One-third of telecommuters worked from home less than 20% of the time in 2012. More telecommuters began working from home more often by 2016, with 75% reporting they worked from home at least 20% of the time.
Internationally, this number is even higher. According to the International Workplace Group, 70% of employees work from home one day a week or more. At least half of these remote workers are working from home for 50% or more of the week.
These past statistics all show that telecommuting is one of the growing remote work trends becoming more widely accepted.
Remote Work Studies Show Benefits from Employees Working Remotely
Another one of the remote work trends is increased acceptance from employers of offering a more flexible working policy.
This is the result of new data being discovered about the benefits for both employers and employees of working from home, as well as the advancement of technology in recent years. The advantages of offering remote work options provide more opportunities for businesses.
Increased Growth and Competitiveness
One study in 2018 found that companies offering flexible work options saw a 22% increase in business growth from 2016 to 2018.
Competitiveness, which can dictate a company’s long-term survival, also saw a 28% increase from 2014-2018 for businesses with flexible work.
Ultimately, business is about maximizing the bottom line. Flexible work options also give most companies the upper hand on this metric.
In fact, 83% of companies that utilized remote work in 2018 reported increased profits.
Better Access to Top Talent and More Hiring Opportunities
Given that top talent in many fields prefer to work remotely, it comes as no surprise that businesses that offer flexible working options have an advantage.
From 2016-2018, 16% of companies reported an increase in their ability to keep and attract this talent. Of these businesses, 80% stated that it helped them retain talented professionals, while 64% use remote work offerings to take advantage of the increased recruiting options.
Businesses refusing to offer remote work opportunities are shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to hiring. One-third of employees reporting that they would leave their job for another remote job opportunity if it allowed remote work.
Any perceived benefits of a rigid office policy are usually outweighed by the risk of losing valuable employees to competitors.
Increased Remote Worker Productivity
Working from home productivity statistics support the theory that many employees who work from home are more productive.
From 2013 to 2018, businesses offering flexible working options reported a 7% jump in productivity. In fact, two-thirds of companies have reported an increase in productivity from their remote workers.
Some remote workers are outperforming office workers – or believe that they are. A remote work productivity study showed that 24% of employees believe they get more done when working remotely.
Productivity likely increases when working from home for a few reasons. Fewer office distractions and interruptions are one. The ability for employees to optimize their schedule is another.
Working remotely also reduces other stresses, such as the difficulties of the work-related commute. It even improves factors such as marital relationships, which translates into happier and more efficient employees.
Remote Workers Report Improved Job Satisfaction
Another benefit of remote opportunities for employees and remote workers is higher job satisfaction.
Employees want to be trusted, and remote work is one way for employers to help build this trust. It also shows a sense of confidence in the employer’s team, which remote work studies show motivates remote workers to work harder for longer hours.
It’s no surprise that satisfying the common reasons people start working remotely – the desire for freedom and trust – improve employee satisfaction. This helps increase employee retention rates.
Finding and training new employees is a considerable cost for businesses, so offering remote work opportunities is an excellent way to help attract and retain long-term employees.
Changes in the Remote Workforce and Its Capabilities
An interesting part of the remote work trends is the shift in the type of employees who work from home.
Early on, telecommuters were usually minimum wage workers – for example, telemarketers or customer service. Now, there is an increase in the number of full-time workers with a professional career taking part in the remote work trend.
Additionally, many top talent professionals love working remotely. It’s likely that top talent – who have more power to dictate their terms – will continue to gravitate toward remote work.
Improving Technology for Remote Workers
Better remote working technology has created remote work opportunities for more positions and careers. Maintaining communication with teams – a staple of higher-grade professional jobs – is becoming easier than ever.
Increased call quality with Krisp, video conferencing options, constant email access, and live text chat all offer incredible resources to the remote worker. Two decades ago, staying in touch with a team is difficult. Now, with smartphones and high-speed internet access, disconnecting poses more of a challenge.
Freelancers Will Form a Large Part of the Future Workforce
The growth of the freelancer marketplace is another one of the significant remote work trends. In the last couple of years alone, the use of contract workers and freelancers as a regular part of a business’s workforce has significantly increased.
Companies Are Turning to the Freelancer Marketplace
From 2017 to 2019, the number of freelancers used by businesses increased by 24%. In fact, 59% of hiring managers report using this type of remote worker.
As tasks become more specialized and small businesses continue to grow, hiring a freelancer for a particular job often makes sense. For example, why waste capital by hiring a full-time graphic designer when only a small project is required?
This trend is expected to continue accelerating. Some remote work predictions expect a 168% increase in freelancers and contract workers during the next decade.
Job and Social Sites Like Upwork and LinkedIn Fuel Freelancing
It has become simpler to connect businesses with qualified freelancers through websites during the last decade. This contributes to the rise of freelancing as one of the important future remote work trends.
Job sites such as Upwork make finding and vetting remote workers far more straightforward than it was in previous years. These sites often offer payment protection and the social proof of earlier clients. This helps give employers more trust when hiring a contract worker.
Social networks like LinkedIn also help businesses vet and discover freelancers. These networks also help professionals showcase their credentials and skill endorsements. Plus, they make it easier to find and apply for remote work opportunities.
Remote Work Trends Show Promising Future Growth
The incredible boom in remote working is likely to continue – or speed up – during the next decade.
Technological advancement, remote work studies showing the advantages of remote work benefits, and the growth of freelancing are all remote working trends that are here to stay.