As smartphones and tablets become more sophisticated and bring-your-own-device policies grow more popular, flexible and remote working opportunities are starting to become the norm at many organizations. The ability to work from anywhere is convenient and supports the unpredictable lifestyles many of the younger members of today’s workforce are accustomed to now.
“Two-thirds of employees expected to work in a fully virtual office in only a few years.”
A recent survey by project management software provider Wrike tracked the hard numbers behind this trend, revealing that two-thirds of employees expected to work in a fully virtual office in only a few years. While a larger shift toward remote working appears to be on the horizon, 83 percent of those surveyed reported already working outside the office at least a few hours each week. More than 43 percent of participants said they telecommute more frequently now than they did just a few years ago, and the biggest adoption of remote working has been seen among executives. Half of respondents at the executive level reported working outside the office more often than in previous years. One-quarter of these participants said their company will move to a fully virtual office in as little as one year.
Benefits abound with remote work opportunities
According to the study, 89 percent of those surveyed reported the ability to work from home as being a priority and more important than other benefits offered by their companies. So many employees citing mobile work options as a top job perk suggests a competitive advantage could be gained by those enterprises that offer the ability to telecommute. Participants reported time savings, increased productivity and decreased distractions as the top three benefits experienced with the use of remote collaboration. These benefits are so appreciated by employees that 31 percent said they would trade some of their paid time off for the ability to work from home, and 25 percent were even willing to take a pay cut for flexible working options.
When it came to barriers to adoption of remote working policies, the majority of respondents cited a lack of direct communication as the largest obstacle to efficient mobile collaboration. Insufficient access to data was a barrier to 21 percent of people, and 19 percent of those respondents didn’t work from home because it was difficult to find out what their colleagues were doing. As a growing number of enterprises look to provide more flexible working capabilities, collaborative tools like voice-over-IP, instant messaging and conferencing will become more popular.