First-Time Remote Workers Want Permanent Flexibility, Study Shows.


By: Partnership with Coworker

In recent weeks, many conversations have taken place regarding the future of work. While a small number of jobs may always require a traditional office setup for success, the surprising truth that’s been unveiled by the COVID-19 pandemic is that many businesses have experienced continuity — and even improvement — in their operations with an entirely remote workforce.

This has led a variety of companies, large and small, to consider permanent work-from-home setups. For instance, Twitter announced that all employees can work remotely “forever,” while Fortune 500 companies like Dell Technologies and Nationwide have made plans to transition to a more remote workforce moving forward.

What’s perhaps most interesting is the response by people who have been forced to work remotely for the first time. 

For a majority of first-time remote workers, having added flexibility, being able to work from anywhere, and avoiding commuting proved to be a more ideal style of work. In a recent study of first-time remote workers, 70.6% claimed that their new setup allowed them to be more productive than they were at their offices.

This provides useful evidence in the big debate that business owners often have of whether employees lose productivity when remote working. Numerous studies have been carried out to weigh in on this issue, including a revolutionary two-year study by Stanford University in 2017.

The Stanford researchers — who analyzed the work habits of 16,000 remote employees at China’s largest travel agency, Ctrip — found that remote work led to an astounding productivity boost equivalent to a full day’s work. The company’s work-from-home employees worked a true full-shift (or more) remotely, finding it less distracting and easier to concentrate at home.

For these reasons, it’s worth considering the factors that might contribute to this increased productivity. According to respondents in Coworking Insights’ study, several factors were most influential in their success while working from home, including organization and time management (67.03%), effective communication (65.93%), freedom and self-reliance (57.14%), software and technology tools (57.14%), and sticking to a routine (45.6%).

This study, which was carried out by analysts at Coworking Insights in partnership with Coworker, found that first-time remote workers reaped a number of benefits from their new working arrangement, extending beyond increased productivity. For both first-time and long-time remote workers, a majority agreed that their remote setup had a positive impact on their finances (77.5%), mental health (77.2%), physical wellness (77.2%), family or social life (76.4%) and their career success (60.7%). 

These statistics are noteworthy, revealing that the experience of remote working has led to many advantages for first-time remote workers, both personally and professionally.

As a result of this increased productivity and widespread satisfaction, 52.9% of first-time remote workers in the study said they now aspire to work remotely for the remainder of their careers. 

This may very well signal a permanent shift to a remote workforce for many employers, or, at the very least, it will compel employers to view flexibility as an integral part of employee satisfaction. In the coming months, these statistics foreshadow a shifting workforce where more businesses will look to update their flexibility policies and fulfill their employees’ aspirations to now work remotely full time. 

This blog post is contributed by our partner, Coworker.

Coworker is the leading global peer-based platform designed specifically to support workers of all kinds to spark true change in the workplace.

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