It’s a brave new world! With the number of remote jobs and telecommuting employees growing at an exponential rate, it won’t be long before people start saying, “Remember when we used to get up really early to beat the morning rush hour going to work?” or, “Remember when people had to drive to their job?” OK, we may not be there yet, but if the statistics continue to climb, this may not be such a stretch for a substantial amount of working Americans in the next decade or so.
Remote workers are on the rise, and there's a good reason for it. Advances in technology make it easier to connect. Recently, the Komando team had a call with a vendor who had team members in Arizona, Florida and other parts of the country. It's the new normal!
To pull off telecommuting, you need the right technology, which we'll get to in a minute. First, let's take a look at the trends in remote working and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Telecommuting by the numbers -- who's doing it?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 5.2% of workers in the U.S. work from their homes. This means that around 8 million people carried out their jobs remotely in 2017 (the most recent year that data on this is available). This is a slight increase from the 5% recorded in 2016 and the 3.3% recorded way back in 2000.
A survey from IWG found that 70% of workers they surveyed say they telecommute at least once a week and more than half work remotely at least half the time.
When it comes to happiness and job satisfaction, research from OWLLabs suggests that companies that offer remote work days see lower turnover: Companies that offer work-from-home opportunities see 25% lower turnover than companies that do not.
While the numbers vary from source to source, it’s safe to say the trend is ascending upward and not showing signs of slowing down. How? Why?
How technology makes remote work easier ... and harder
Technology is the driving force behind the trend in telecommuting. Advancements in cloud and mobile technology have facilitated more work-from-home jobs. These elements have given workers instant/remote access, which has lead to more interconnected workplaces, and companies are no longer tied recruiting employees in one location. Cloud technologies and improved messaging systems have allowed employees to commute and work from anywhere with just a few clicks. Moreover, video conferencing programs, file-sharing platforms, project/time management tools and secure data access technologies have made it possible for employers and employees to interface/coordinate no matter where they are.
Results have shown that work-from-home jobs have led to an increase in productivity, a boosted morale, comfort, flexibility and lower stress.
Lots of the signs seem to point to the positive, but make no mistake, remote work can come with its share of disadvantages:
- It may be harder for some people to separate their business lives from their personal lives.
- Lack of human interaction can take its toll over time.
- Distractions can be greater at home, with doorbells ringing, kids in and out of the house, and the noise from the neighborhood.
The key to making telecommuting a success is to provide the best tools for connecting workers to the files they need, as well as communicate with each other.
What tool helps workers remotely access their computers?
If you've followed Kim for a while, you have heard Kim talk about RemotePC from IDrive.
Remote PC is an online service that allows you to operate your at-work computer from virtually anywhere. Whether you're traveling, away on business or just feel like working from home, Remote PC brings the office to you just by simply connecting to the internet. You can access all the documents, programs and applications that are on your office computer in seconds. Macs, PC’s, it doesn’t matter. Remote PC plays no favorites when it comes to bringing your in-office desktop to your personal computer.
Sign up today to access as many as 10 computers remotely and get 90% off using Kim as the promo code. That's RemotePC.com, with Kim as the promo code to get 90% off your first years’ service.
Do you have a digital question that Kim can help with? Is there a story you'd like to see us cover on komando.com? Get it touch.