If you’re considering taking your company into the telecommuting realm, you’re in good company.
According to the article “Will Half of People Be Working Remotely By 2020?”, telecommuting will truly be the future of work. During a recent survey of business leaders at the Global Leadership Summit in London, 34 percent stated that more than half of their company’s full-time workforce would be working remotely by 2020. And another 25 percent said that more than 75 percent would not work in a traditional office by 2020.
If you’re wondering how this will happen, you have the millennials to thank. Millennials (formerly known as generation Y) want flexibility and are helping to shape the future of work to fit their needs, as well as the needs of future generations. Now in their 30s, millennials are moving into management positions, thereby helping to redefine the workplace and how it functions, according to Adam Kingl, director of learning solutions at the London Business School. “They are starting to be the architects of workplace culture,” stated Kingl. Millennials realize that work can happen anywhere, and understand that there really isn’t a need for people to be in an office in order to be productive. In fact, the opposite is true, with studies showing that at-home workers are far more productive than their in-office colleagues.
But will the future of work really mean that half of the workforce works remotely? Not necessarily, according to Sara Sutton Fell, founder of Remote.co. “Most people think of remote work as 100 percent, all or nothing,” said Sutton Fell. “But the reality we see is that it’s not all or nothing.”
Flexible work has a variety of faces, such as full-time telecommuting (where employees work remotely all the time), part-time telecommuting (where the employee might go into the workplace some of the time), compressed workweeks (when the employee works longer hours Monday-Thursday, and has one day off a week, typically Friday), and freelance or contract work (where the employee picks and chooses projects that fit in with his schedule or needs).
While companies don’t have to adopt a 100 percent full-time telecommuting policy for employees if it doesn’t make sense with their business practices, it’s still important to have a flexible work program in place. After all, job candidates now know that flexibility is not just a perk, but another important (and sometimes, non-negotiable) aspect of the position. Offering flex means that a company can attract top-tier talent from anywhere in the world, boost their bottom line, and build a loyal, strong team.
Now that’s truly the future of work.