- Take what you knew about working from home, and throw it out the window.
- The latest staffing trend sweeping the country (and international waters) is flexible jobs, or remote work.
- Data shows remote workers have proven to work stronger, faster and harder at a fraction of the price.
There is a seismic shift in the making. Starbucks of the world, rejoice! The remote workforce sector is growing at Venti-sized proportions. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 6.1 million individuals in the US are categorized as remote workers; this includes full-time and part-time workers.
What’s fueling the trend, besides caffeine? A perfect storm of rare but realistic circumstances; these include massive layoffs, companies downsizing (then quickly ramping up hiring), outsourced jobs, expansion into new lines of business, headquarters relocation, and so on and so forth. What’s most surprising about this recent demand for remote workers is that it’s coming from both sides of the desk. Now, more than ever, employers are seeing the value in flexible jobs.
The Future of Flexible Jobs is Now
Let’s start with UK staffing trends (because in my opinion, the UK advances the US in several workforce solutions). In a 2011 study that surveyed 5,000 UK directors and business-owners revealed the following:
“More than half (60%) of office-based employees will be ‘regularly’ working from home within the next decade, thanks to technological advances in the workplace.”
This got me thinking. What are the core technologies a company needs to establish a sustainable remote workforce? After a few seconds of online research (because that's how easy it was to find), I uncovered this short but precise snippet from AboutTech:
“3 Basic Technologies Needed for Mobile Work:
- Fast and reliable Internet access, at home and/or on the road
- Ability to access company email
- In many cases, VPN remote access to corporate resources”
As you can see, telecommuting works for so many organizations because most companies already have the infrastructure in place to support flexible jobs. What are some of the other added bonuses to telecommuting you ask? Let’s start with work life balance. We’re all doing more with less (you can argue both professionally and personally). Flexible jobs empower employees to take back their schedules and organize their lives as they see fit. On that note, another popular staffing trend making a big splash is unlimited vacation holiday days. Blame this one on our UK pals all you want, but everyone from Netflix to Virgin to small mom and pop shops are reinventing their HR policies to accommodate the needs of today’s workforce.
Which Industries Are Most At Risk for the Remote Invasion
While flexible jobs don’t work for everyone, this staffing trend is taking shape in key talent pools; particularly in IT staffing. Software engineers, computer programmers, cybersecurity jobs, and system administrators round out the list of highest paid IT staffing jobs. Other areas gaining momentum include public relation specialists, graphic designers, writers and authors. Our Philadelphia staffing agency found that IT staffing jobs like internet security, website maintenance and computer repair jobs were the most popular remote jobs available.
Hire Beware – Considerations for Remote Workers
Before submitting the real estate listing to your corporate headquarters, managers beware. There are several considerations to make before establishing a remote workforce. Consider whether your business can support flexible jobs. Do your employees thrive on collaboration? If so, you might want to consider how you’d implement such an isolated work environment. Another major consideration is the law for hiring full-time, part-time, freelance and contracted employees. With remote workers comes the need to pay employees likely living in one or more states outside your corporate headquarters. Ensuring that your payrolling services meet state and federal compliance is key to establishing the framework of at home work policies. For additional information on the considerations of setting up your remote workforce policy, read this article by TLNT.