As more companies embrace the concept of a remote workforce, new information regularly emerges about the people who do it and the employers who hire them. Here are four findings from recent studies worth pondering.

Four Facts You Didn’t Know About the Remote Workforce:

1.  In the next decade, more employees might work from home than in the office.

Research by PSFK, a provider of innovation insights for creative professionals, found that 60 percent of today’s office-based employees are expected to work remotely by 2022.

Smart business leaders need to think about the implications of this information so that they can prepare accordingly.

What equipment will remote workers need? What are the best ways for employees and managers to keep in touch? What technology will facilitate this arrangement? How is managing a remote workforce different from overseeing an in-house staff? What changes do we need to make to our recruiting/interview structure to determine which candidates will thrive as telecommuters?

Perfecting the answers to these questions will take time and research.

2.  Flexible workers tend to be happier with their jobs.

This Forbes headline says it all:You’re 87% More Likely to Love Your Job If You Work from Home.

A study conducted by Leadership IQ revealed that just 24 percent of people who work in an office say they love their jobs. But 38 percent of mobile workers (those who use multiple workspaces in and out of the office) and a whopping 45 percent of telecommuting workers love their jobs.

The opportunity to achieve a better work-life balance undoubtedly plays a huge role in the satisfaction level of remote employees. Just forgoing a commute can get the day off on a better note. But don’t ignore the influence of other factors, too.

Telecommuting encourages people to work at their most productive times, not always bound to traditional hours. Chances to move around help eliminate sluggishness, aches, and boredom. And remote workers know that telework involves a great deal of trust on the part of employers. When your manager displays this type of confidence, you’re bound to feel more positive about your job.

3.  A correlation exists between telecommuting opportunities and educational attainment.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that compared with workers with less education, employees age 25 and over with a bachelor’s degree or higher were the least likely to work at their workplace on days they worked (74 percent) and they were the most likely to do some or all of their work from home (39 percent). By comparison, 94 percent of workers with less than a high school diploma worked at their workplace on days they worked and seven percent worked from home.

Another victory for higher education! The types of jobs that lend themselves most readily to remote work often involve holding a college degree.

Think about the work-from-home potential for writers, information technology specialists, online class instructors, financial advisors, marketers, and other professionals compared with fast-food workers or janitorial staff.  

4.  The federal government is ahead of the curve with telecommuting.

Things have been busy since the Telework Enhancement Act was passed. Since being signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010:

  • More than 300,000 federal employees have telecommuted at least once a week
  • More than eight out of ten executive agencies have telework policies
  • More than nine out of ten agencies have “telework managing officers”
  • Almost one out of three federal employees telework at some point during the year
  • Nearly one out of seven federal staffers now work from home at least one day a week

Also, remote work helps the environment by reducing the number of cars on the road, ensures continuation of services when inclement weather or emergencies make travel dangerous, and improves the overall well-being of employees. Time for the private sector to catch up!

Looking to build your remote team? Post a remote job opening.