Looking for shorter commutes and life away from the main office, more employees are working offsite at least once a week, a new study finds. However, just because they want to get away from the office doesn’t mean flaky Wi-Fi is OK.
Getting everyone under the same roof to work is nice, but it’s not absolutely necessary anymore.
And that’s leading to an increase of workers who are willing to get flexible—at least part of the time.
The Workspace Revolution: Reaching The Tipping Point [registration], a new report from the International Workplace Group, a company that owns a number of coworking brands—including Regus, OpenOffice, Spaces, and Basepoint—says that around 70 percent of employees work out of the office at least one day a week, while 53 percent spend half the week or more outside the office and 11 percent work outside of their main office five days a week. (The company surveyed 18,000 businesspeople across 96 companies.)
Part of the reason that more companies are embracing remote or flexible work is a belief that it helps their business grow, keeps them competitive, and makes their employees more productive. And there are other reasonable perks for workers, too, including the ability to cut back on that massive commute time.
Additionally, it’s a major recruiting and retention tool, with 80 percent of the survey’s respondents saying that flex options help retain top talent and 64 percent saying it helps with recruitment.
The report, however, notes that remote work doesn’t necessarily mean work without resources. When employees were asked what were the most important things they needed to get their job done, 81 percent said fast and reliable wireless, 63 percent said a well-maintained room, and 59 percent said facilities that kept their stuff safe. Nearly half (49 percent) said they wanted typical office facilities.
But other items were less desirable. Just 18 percent said they wanted refreshments, and fairly small percentages expressed a desire to network while working remote.
“Considering the growth of the coworking sector of the industry, this is perhaps surprising but suggests that one size does not fit all when it comes to flexible workspace,” the report states. “The coworking trend will continue to grow, but it’s important to recognize that other types of workspace solutions continue to be needed.”
Overall, the report makes a strong case case that remote work is a trend that’s here to stay. In a news release, IWG Group Managing Director Ian Hallett, who also serves as the firm’s global head of brands and ventures, suggested the change in the work climate required businesses to adapt, rather than employees adapt.
“New technologies mean many of us can now work anytime, anywhere,” Hallett said. “The challenge for businesses is how to optimize this new landscape. Companies are realizing the benefits of flexible working and its ability to increase productivity, job satisfaction, and business performance.”