The growth of technology has made remote working a reality for professionals of different trades. It has offered both the employers and the employees significant perks that make some forget about ever coming back to work in the office. 

In 2019 nearly two-thirds of all companies in the USA have employees that work outside the office at least once per week and the numbers are growing. Here we want to share some of the facts and numbers to show you how remote work is becoming more adopted by companies worldwide and how it is changing our lives. 

State of remote work in 2019

  • A shocking 90% of remote workers plan on continuing to work this way for the rest of their careers
  • IWG states that 70% of people globally work remotely at least once a week
  • Owl Labs counted that 16% of all companies worldwide are fully remote, while another 40% are hybrid and allow some amount of remote working for their employees 
  • The same report states that compared to the global average, South America has 81% more fully remote companies
  • The leading industries for remote workers are IT, education and training, sales, accounting, and finance, customer service
  • In research conducted by Flexjobs, 66% of respondents confirmed that their productivity improved when working outside of the office and 76% said there are fewer distractions outside of offices. Only 2% said that their productivity went down when working from home
  • The same research showed that the main reasons for professionals to choose remote work are improved work-life balance (72%), flexible schedule and salary (69% each)
  • A research from Stanford showed that people worked more outside of the office thanks to taking fewer breaks and sick days and better focus. 
  • A Global Workplace Analytics report stated that businesses can save up to $11,000 per person per year by allowing them to work from home.
  • The same report shows that the remote workforce has increased by 140% since 2005

Benefits of working remotely

Let’s have a look at the reasons why remote work has become so popular and keeps gaining more supporters among both employers and employees. 

Happier, healthier employees

Studies have shown that the people working from home show improvements in mental health, maintain a healthier diet than in the office and find more time to exercise and keep themselves fit, which results in overall increased happiness and morale. 

A happy state of mind in its turn makes people more productive and helps them to reach work goals. Whether it the possibility to sleep extra instead of commuting or take time off to spend it with the family, remote employees thank their employers with great performance, which makes remote work a beneficial practice for both sides. 

Lower costs

What makes remote work so convenient is the small technical requirements that are needed to operate from outside the office. Normally, if you have a laptop and access to the internet you can work from anywhere in the world, be it your cozy home, a neat coffee house in the neighborhood or a beach town. That allows employers to cut down dramatically on the office costs - rent, communal payments, office supplies, etc can make up a large sum at the end of the day. 

Not to mention that working remotely eliminates your commute to the office every day. On average, commute time in the USA takes 26 minutes one way, that’s 4.3 hours per week and time is money. 

Time management 

The main rule that makes remote work possible is that the work has to be done. That takes the focus from the process to the result and provides the employees with more flexibility in how they like to approach their tasks. 

For management, it eliminates the need for the micromanagement of the employees and adds to building trust between the team and the team leader. Of course, that doesn’t mean leaving the team without supervision but allows both sides to prioritize tasks in accordance with their own work rhythms. 

Downsides of remote work

Like any coin, remote work has the other side too, the one with some negative traits. As amazing and beneficial it is, it is not always easy and pleasant as the images of digital nomads working from a sunny beach with a colorful cocktail in hand.

The keyword in remote working is “work” and that means efforts, deadlines, mistakes, and hustle to make it happen because if the performance requirement is not met and the employer does not see the expected results, the whole venture can be moved back in the office in the best-case scenario. 

Communication problems

Communications remain one of the biggest problems of remote work. Of course, technology has advanced greatly and provided us with such helpful tools like Trello, Slack, Zoom, Skype, Asana and others that enable team communications and information sharing and organization, but still to this day nothing beats good old face-to-face discussion. A lot of details get lost in translation, assumptions, and miscommunication.

While having one-on-one meetings is pretty easy with video conferencing and messaging chats, such meeting types as brainstorming sessions are more affected by the communication gap. Collaboration and engagement are the things that happen best on sight in the present moment. 

Distractions and motivation

Being away from the center of action can lower employees' motivation. And it is no wonder - even though a great number of professionals complain about workplace distractions like noisy and nosy colleagues, noise, interruptions, micromanagement and the others, remote work locations have their own challenges to offer - background noises, chores, family, animals, relaxed environment and the others. 

It is the employee's responsibility to find and organize a workplace which eliminates unnecessary distractions and provides a comfortable place to do their job and it is management’s responsibility to make sure that the employee is engaged with the company goals and is fully motivated to give their best during work hours. 

Lack of sense of belonging

Employees worry that being isolated from the rest of the people in the company negatively affects the sense of belonging to the company culture and leaves a lot of workers feeling lonely and unengaged. It’s not always possible to include remote employees into the decision-making process and company events, which can lead to the lowering loyalty and decline in morale. 

It doesn’t stop the team leaders from finding ways to include those who are working in the distance in company life and provide them with incentives for active participation and adoption of company culture. 

Are you an experienced software engineer and looking to join a fully remote company for the next chapter in your career? At Trio we are looking for mobile and web software developers with different levels of seniority to join our remote team and solve complex software engineering challenges for our clients. Sounds appealing? You can find open positions at Trio here