Every few weeks, a new story is published touting the benefits of remote work or disparaging the practice as dangerous for your business. Just how prevalent is remote work becoming, and what are the impacts that companies are seeing? Is communciation technology helping managers to support their teams, or is productivity plummeting?
At our employee feedback software company, we were curious about this phenomenon and its impact on business. So, we asked 500 managers, supervisors, and executives from all over the country about their experiences. We discovered that remote work has indeed become more prevalent in the last decade, largely due to millennials desiring flexible work arrangements and improved work-life balance.
The shift from clocking-in at a desk to working from home is also being made possible by advances in technology. Communication and collaboration tools help keep teams connected and productive no matter how far apart they are geographically. Many of these tools are available on mobile devices, whose use has also become far more prevalent. As evidence: 68 percent of respondents answered our survey on a mobile phone or tablet instead of at a desktop.
Many employers make these non-traditional work arrangements available to save on overhead or to access a global talent pool. Our survey respondents said they'd found that flexible work arrangements helped curb attrition by over 50 percent. Remote employees were also more engaged and rated their leaders higher than those who worked in the office.
Of course, remote work remains a scary prospect for some managers, who may feel that employees will shirk their duties. Their is also a fear that relationships with managers and other employees will suffer. How do flexible work arrangements really impact employee performance and communication?
Check out the infographic below for remote work trends, and for techniques that managers can use to keep their distributed teams connected and on-task: