The impact working remotely has on workers, employers, and the economy

Working from home surely has its benefits.

Remote workers are able to avoid the dreaded commute and can work in the comfort of their homes, filing spreadsheets or sitting on a conference call in their underwear or even while lying down on their beds. There’s comforting freedom that cannot be matched in the Big Brother-like office, which with today’s focus on work-life balance seems to be something every place should, at least, consider.

Studies have shown that flexible work arrangements can be one of the most attractive pieces a company can offer to new talent and it has its benefits to retaining talent, as well. Those who work from home tend to be more productive and happier, according to one study, so why wouldn’t employers encourage it more often?

Maybe it’s because managers think the television will be on all day or some other form of entertainment plays in the backdrop of the home office. However, a new study found that remote workers have boosted productivity and a ton more free time each year thanks to working from home, which overall leads to a happier worker.

The report, headed by the Centre for Economics and Business Research with software company Citrix, took a look at the economic impact on remote working trends from around the US, finding that it’s a two-way street when it comes to the benefits for workers, employers, and the economy.

For the worker, the report found that remote working could add an extra 105 hours of free time per year. That translates to a better work-life balance for daily chores or even spending more time with family. The main reason workers wanted to utilize remote working was as a lifestyle choice (19%), while others stressed the importance of raising children (18%), and feeling more productive working on their own terms.

As for employers, allowing workers to work from anywhere could mean extra hours dedicated to assignments. Seventeen percent of respondents said they’d dedicated 2-to-3 extra hours of work if flexible working was available.

Most of all, respondents said working remote has made them feel trusted and empowered. Oh, it also inspires happiness.

As for the economy, remote working could make a massive impact in terms of more than $2 trillion in economic gains yearly.