"Necessity is the mother of invention" and today’s work-from-home trend is a great example. For decades, work-from-home – or “working remotely” – was seen as a one-off situation. That is, until the pandemic forced a huge swath of employees to continue their work from home out of necessity. While skeptical at first, as more Americans experienced remote work, more began to prefer it.
- The Economist magazine reported 14 million to 23 million Americans may relocate due to the increase of remote workers – this amounts to between 9% and 13% of today’s workforce.
- An Apartment List Remote Work Survey of 5,000 employed adults across the U.S. reports:
- Last April, 40 percent of remote workers expected their employers to adopt remote work permanently, compared to 37 percent who expected hybrid work to become the norm.
- In December, the share expecting full-time remote work from home fell to 33 percent, but the share expecting hybrid remote work rose to 45 percent.
Flexibility for where to live and work also gives remote workers an advantage in obtaining homeownership over those who must return to an office. Employees who can function as remote workers no longer need to face increasing housing costs in major labor markets and can take advantage of the opportunity to purchase less expensive homes outside of such metros.
You will, however, need to check with your employer before selecting an area because it some locations could change your employers tax liabilities for the entire company!
Remote workers are reported as more than twice as likely to relocate as on-site workers to access more affordable housing. The top response for all working groups planning a move was increased ability to purchase a home. Not surprising, remote work also increased work/life balance satisfaction by eliminating commutes, which save workers time and gas money, and provides a more flexible work schedule to address personal and family priorities.
Simultaenously, work-from-home seems to benefit companies as well by reducing the carbon footprint of overall office space needed.
Global Workplace Analytics estimates companies can save from:
- lower costs of office space,
- increased productivity,
- reduced absenteeism, and
- less turnover.
According to a 2020 survey by FlexJobs, 81 percent of employees said they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options and an Owl Labs survey suggests remote workers stay in their jobs longer; are 22 percent more happy than workers who always work in an office. They have less stress, more focus, and better work-life balance.
With today’s labor shortage, flexibility has become a key focal point for employers and employees in a post-pandemic workplace. HR leaders should rethink tomorrow’s employee planning, management, and performance to create strategies that benefit all.
Clearly, there are a great many jobs / positions that cannot support remote or hybrid work. After all, you can’t drill oil wells or manufacture airplanes and medical equipment from your home office. While the hybrid/work from home trend may be permanent for some, there will always be jobs that will not fit that model.
For those companies who need to get the right people in the right place at the right time and do it cost effectively – NEI is here to help. If you found value in this article, we encourage you to follow us on LinkedIn for ongoing industry updates.