Remote workers are driving the workforce. A 2018 study suggests that 55 percent of the workforce works remotely, 100 percent of the time. CNBC reported on a Switzerland office that suggests 70 percent of professionals work remotely at least once a week. Telecommuting, another name for remote work, is a phenomenon. But does it work?
Telecommuting leaves workers disengaged.
Future Workplace and Virgin Pulse surveyed 2,000 managers and employees in 10 different countries. Despite wanting flexibility and the freedom to work from anywhere, the study found that two-thirds of the workers are detached from the company and their team.
Dan Schwabel, research Director at Future Workplace, writes, “Only 5% always or very often see themselves working at their company for their entire career, compared to almost a third that never work remotely.”
Remote workers can be more productive, but don’t expect them to stay in their job without serious face-time with others in the office.
Loneliness is one reason people quit. Some companies have done away with remote work – Yahoo, Bank of America and Best Buy have all taken moves to either limit or eliminate telecommuting.
I have worked for a company for four years whose main office is in Utah (I’m in Oklahoma). I’ve never been there, nor do I have plans to visit. I’d like to say I’m the exception to the rule, but I know of many others who have been with the company as long as me or even longer. Maybe my career trajectory is not average. I’m not interested in moving up in the corporate world. And in my little corner of Oklahoma, there aren’t many opportunities for writers. I’d say I’m in it for the long haul.
With a force of 150+ writers and editors from across the country, BKA has to be doing something right. I stay connected through a weekly email and a group on Facebook. We have excellent guides that give us details about each company we’re writing for. Managers and editors get back to us very quickly. This is what makes telecommuting work for me. If it didn’t work, I’d be trying to find another job.
Can telecommuting work for your company?
Employers take note – remote workers who aren’t connected to your organization aren’t going to be in it for the long haul.
Considering the cost of employee turnover, it’s something to really think about when you’re offering telecommuting as a benefit. We’ve long written about the advantages of a remote workforce, but new studies indicate there is a downside employers need to consider.
That said, consider how can you keep telecommuters connected to your mission and employees if you’re seeking to balance the advantages with the disadvantages.