Illustration: Ashley Siebels
Could it be that the employers are approaching a “tipping point” in embracing work flexibility? That’s the conclusion of a new global report that found some 53% of professionals work remotely at least half of the week — and increasingly, employers are embracing remote work and other flexible options.
The report by International Workplace Group – IWG, based on research gathered early in 2018, marked the 10th year that IWG has surveyed employers about flexible working. Titled “The Workspace Revolution: Reaching the Tipping Point,” the report offered many pro-flexibility responses in the 70th and 80th percent rank or above, CEO Mark Dixon said. The answers, he noted, “surprised even those of us at IWG who have worked in the industry for many years.”
The end of the fixed-site workplace?
The IWG report seems to signal great news for job seekers looking for work flexibility. The findings are “a clear indicator that the bell has tolled for traditional, fixed-office working,” the report concluded. Namely, 70% of survey respondents said they worked outside of their employer’s primary offices at some point in the week. Some 53% said they work remotely at least half of the week.
Arguing that mobile workers need supportive environments to work productively, the IWG report notes how “workers are clamoring for more choice of location … while more and more businesses are actively moving to flexible premises instead of traditional offices.”
In assembling its report, IWG talked to more than 18,000 professionals in 96 countries, representing a range of businesses and industries.
Why more professionals work remotely, and other findings
More employers are responding to the growing demand from employees for “drop-in locations” where they can work outside of the main office, the study found. In response, 78% of respondents are offering flexible office space to accommodate employee demand.
Here are some of the strategic and financial benefits of work-from-anywhere policies, according to survey respondents:
- Increases employee productivity: 91%
- Helps business grow: 89%
- Keeps their company competitive: 87%
- Boosts profitability: 83%
- Attracts and retains top candidates: 80%
- Mitigates risk: 73%
- Helps navigate volatile markets: 67%
Being either location independent or offering multiple work locations helps their companies streamline operations and minimize “hefty overheads,” respondents said, meaning more agile growth initiatives and better risk management.