The Future of Remote Workspaces - Global Stats and Trends

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Rosen Valchev

02 September 2022

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According to an Owl labs study on Hybrid work models, “89% of European companies plan on having a hybrid workforce post-pandemic, with only 11% expecting employees to return to the office full-time”. This is good news for all the employees looking for a workspace that can be shifted between the conference room and the beach lounge.

Luckily, it is not only employees that benefit from a remote work model. Lower operational costs, higher productivity and employee satisfaction and access to a large pool of candidates at different rates are only some of the benefits that businesses face as they ditch office spaces.

And it only makes sense for companies to consider this post-pandemic work model. After workers had spent nearly two years working from home, transitioning to an office environment can seem daunting. Workers will face uncertainty about the distraction-free allocation of their time throughout the workday. It is only natural that 71% of employees prefer a remote or hybrid way of working.

But will that always be the case and what does that say for companies in the long run? To answer this question, let’s look at the different parts that make up the remote work equation - company benefits and worker benefits.

Company Benefits

To better understand the future of this trend, let’s look at what statistics show for companies for 2021. According to a Global Workplace Analytics research, “employers can save over 11,000 dollars per year per employee”. The savings come from lower costs of office spaces (as many companies omit them altogether or simply close unnecessary locations) and increased productivity with 15% from employees. Moreover, the study showed that remote work decreased absenteeism by over 30% and reduced the turnover rate by 10%.

Of course, the benefits of remote work do not end here. Remote work allows workers to better focus and be productive for long periods of time - free from the distractions of the office environment. That consequently leads to higher productivity and a higher likelihood for workers to spend more time working rather than being at work.

A survey conducted by Airtasker showed that quite well in their report on remote work. The study found that remote employees work an additional 1.4 more days per month than in-office employees. Moreover, the study concluded that remote employees take longer breaks on average than office employees (22 minutes versus 18 minutes, respectively), but they work an additional 10 minutes a day. That leads to a total “unproductivity” of remote workers of 27 minutes in total in respect to the 37 minutes office workers spend not working.

While productivity and lower costs are important metrics for companies to consider fully remote work, they are not the only ones to consider. The other crucial factor is recruitment. Remote work allows companies to hire candidates from all over the world and gives them access to workers at rates they wouldn’t be able to find in local markets.

For example, RemoteMore is a company that connects companies with developers and gives them a platform to meet and discuss their potential work together - fully remote. On our platform, each candidate states their experience, certifications and even their salary rate to allow for a smooth and quick recruitment process.

Furthermore, all candidates on RemoteMore are available for hire. As a consequence, companies reach a response rate to their job postings of over 80% and have access to a large pool of over 15 000 candidates. That way, both companies and workers make the best out of the recruitment process and can begin their work relationship problem-free.

But in order to fully understand the importance of remote work, let’s look at what employees have to say about it and what their attitudes towards going back to the office are.

Employee Benefits and Attitudes

Companies need to be very careful when rethinking the way they want to proceed with their work processes, as candidates are rather candid in their opinions about going back to the office. According to an Owl labs study on Remote work, “39% of employers are requiring employees to be in the office full-time post-pandemic, but only 29% want to be”. Moreover, 81% of those that worked from home during the pandemic said they want a hybrid or remote working style once the pandemic is over.

The statistic for employees shows other striking data - out of all employees surveyed 1 in 3 said they would quit their job if they could no longer work remotely after the pandemic. The reasons are rather clear: flexibility is crucial for workers worldwide. It allows employees to feel more in control, gives them a chance to better balance their work and their personal life and generally makes them more satisfied.

As a consequence, 82% of workers said that working from home is better for their mental health and 84% responded that remote work made them happier. Interestingly enough, 43% of workers expressed that they would be willing to take a 5% salary cut if they could work from home at least part of the time.

Still, some companies demand that their workers return to the office full-time. As a consequence, employee satisfaction plummets as uncertainty and stress levels rise significantly. More than 42% of the employees that returned to the office say they are feeling stressed about uncertainty around their employer’s in-office requirements. And more than half (56%) of the workers would quit or look for a new job that offered more flexibility.

Is Remote Work Here to Stay?

We could easily say that remote work is not only here to stay, but it’ll shape the future of the job market. During the pandemic, the workspaces drastically changed and companies had to make swift changes to fit the dynamic environment. But now that two years have passed, more and more companies are understanding the importance of flexibility and freedom in the workspace. And an increasing number of workers are demanding it - or else!

For the modern worker, the most important factors when choosing an employer are compensation, health insurance, good technology, and career growth and learning opportunities. And luckily none of these benefits are dependent on an office environment.

Still, when choosing a remote over an in-person work environment, companies need to consider their own operational activities and management styles and what works for them. Chances are, most of the activities can be done over Zoom just as easily as they could be done in the conference room. And employees would definitely be happier about it.

The working trends also state that 84% of employees care about the ability to work anywhere with another 84% stating they are interested in flexible policies that will not require them to be in the office at specific times. The Global Workplace Analytics report estimates that 25-30% of the workforce will work from home for at least several days a week by the end of 2022. This can only mean one thing: as working styles are evolving, workspaces must evolve with them.

Therefore, in order for companies to stay on top of their game, they must learn how to make the best out of the current situation - not only in the short run but also for the years to come. Adaptability and flexibility are some of the key determinants of a company’s success and the satisfaction of its employees. We all need to work together - one way or another. Now is the time for you as a company to determine what works best for you and to adapt to the dynamic working environment while keeping in mind employees’ needs.