It isn’t a surprise that the ways we work are changing. With mobile and advanced collaboration technologies, now more than ever people are working away from the office – and doing so easily and successfully. But how much has remote work changed not only how we work, but how we live? This was the question we asked of 3,000 office workers in the U.S. and around the world in a recent survey on habits, behaviors and sentiments around remote work.
What we found was that while collaboration technology is often lauded for its beneficial effects on our work lives – greater flexibility in scheduling, better communication with far-away co-workers, and increased collaboration and contact with clients – it is also positively affecting how we live our lives outside of work. According to respondents, the ability to work remote full or part-time allows employees to make major life decisions that wouldn’t be feasible working full-time in an office, to spend more time with family, save significantly on commute and work-related expenses, and more. Moreover, these benefits may have played an important role in the growing popularity of working remotely in recent years, as just three percent of respondents reported never having worked from home!
Here are just a few of the ways office workers said remote work is changing the way they live:
Making major life decisions:
- 24 percent of workers have had a major life decision — such as starting a family, adopting a pet, or moving cross-country — influenced because of the option to work from home
- 51 percent said of respondents ages 35-44, the key child-rearing age, said they would like a job less if the option to work remotely was taken away
Overall wellness and family health:
- 42 percent of people said their lives may be negatively impacted if they no longer had the option to work remotely
- Over 40 percent of respondents between the ages of 24-44 reported one of the top benefits to working remotely was the ability to take care of kids, family members or pets
- 39 percent valued the ability to save money on their commute at a benefit of working remotely
- Nearly 30 percent said they would take a job with lower pay if it allowed them to work remotely
Perceptions of technology:
- 43 percent said working remote has changed the technologies they use on a daily basis
- 41 percent believed the ability to work remote is “very important” to the future of business
Much of the conversation around remote work today is focused on the benefits it provides in regard to work itself, but as remote work policies continue to grow in popularity, it’s important that we also recognize the benefits it provides to individual employees. In the era of constant connectivity and communication, it can sometimes feel like we live to work – not work to live. But, if remote work options provide benefits to both an individual’s work life and their personal life, even going so far as to positively impact the way we live, companies need to take note and adjust their remote work policies accordingly to maximize the positive impact both for their business and employees.
Changing work for our changing lives
The ways we work are changing, focusing on greater collaboration and team communication, facilitated by the spread of conferencing and collaboration technologies. And, while that means more people than ever before are now able to work remotely, the data shows that this new flexibility in how and where we work is also having a significant impact on how we live. As interest and ability to work remotely continues to grow, individual employees stand to benefit from more time with family and friends, healthier lives and opportunities that may not have been possible before.