It’s generally accepted that having the option to work remotely increases staff productivity. However, a recent survey found that, between 2015 and 2016, the percentage of US workers who did at least some of their work remotely had fallen.
As reported by Nicole Spector for NBC News, the ‘Bureau of Labor Statistics American Time Use Survey’ found a two percent drop over the period, falling from 24% in 2015. This contradicts other findings which have seen an increase in remote working over a five and a ten-year-period. Some believe that the figures are inherently confusing – they include people who work out of hours, for example, whether for their job or moonlighting – but there have been notable recent cases of large companies rolling back their remote working programmes.
One theory for this is that these companies are struggling – they have problems under the surface and are bringing people back in-house with the ambition of fostering innovation. Equally, if companies find that staff don’t handle remote working appropriately, then they may have to cut them and their programmes.
The broader outlook, though, is that young workers today will compare jobs based on the perks they provide – which ultimately means that, realistically, remote working is here to stay.
Image: Unsplash/Bonnie Kittle