Digital advancement has changed the way work is done; consequently, full-time remote professionals are on the rise. According to a recent survey by Flexjobs, only 7% professionals agree to be most productive in their office space as they prefer no other place for important project work than their office. Flexjobs surveyed 3,100 professionals in 2016 who are above 20 years of age.
Productivity is driven by several factors like workspace comfort, focus, willingness, and convenience. A majority of the professionals (51%) prefer the comforts of their home as their most productive work location. It does not just save time and money, rather it eliminates the growing stress of travelling in peak hours, especially in cities with heavy traffic. 8% voted for coffee shops, co-working spaces, library or any other place other than the office. Surprisingly, another 8% did vote for office but not during the regular work hours. They feel there is a lot of distractions from their colleagues in the office during the regular working hours. The growing culture of online jobs that allow people to make money online is another distracting reason for many workers. The comfort, flexibility and potential offered by such jobs is the prime reason people are turning their back to regular jobs or refraining from office commitment. Add to this, the stressful commute during peak hours. The remaining 26% prefers their office during regular work hours because they don’t have the option to leave.
Flexibility in Work is the New Trend
Companies are opting for remote professionals more and more. The obligation to be present at the office premises is taking a backseat. Workers can connect with co-workers and colleagues from anywhere at any given time through devices and the internet. Moreover, 65% workers feel that telecommuting will make them more productive rather than working from a traditional workplace.
An impressive 93% of the professionals prefer flexible work options. Out of all the respondents, a majority (39%) of them identified themselves as working parents, who have a hard time striking a proper balance between their professional and personal responsibilities. Thanks to the flexible work patterns, it is now much easier to manage both simultaneously. However, the primary reasons that drive workers towards wanting flexible work options are as follows:
- Work-life balance (79%)
- Family (52%)
- Time savings (48%)
- Commute stress (47%)
Also, 80% of the professionals said that work flexibility is the most important factor that they consider while evaluating a job prospect, followed by work-life balance and salary with 74% votes. Work flexibility highly affects the working decision of an employee.
- 33% of the employees left a job because it did not offer flexibility.
- 14% have considered leaving a job for the same reason.
- 18% are already looking for a new job due to flexibility issues.
The Darker Side of Flexible Work Options
Flexible work options have become so important that people are ignoring the darker side of it. It kills professionalism and negatively impacts the trajectory of their career. A mere 3% said that they worry a lot about their career progression due to flexible work options.
To justify the flexible work option, 97% of the professionals say that it will have a positive impact on their overall quality of life. Moreover, 79% think that it would make them healthier and 87% believe that it would reduce their stress.
However, flexible work options cannot always be a good choice. Workplace/offices exist for a reason. Working from home or any other place may bear a higher level of distraction as compared to offices. Offices can be a better place for working because it also helps to maintain the discipline an employee should have. It provides the environment that a worker needs. Face to face communication and interaction is more effective and efficient at workplaces, rather than communicating digitally.
As per the survey, respondents chose the following types of flexibility based on their interest:
- 86% prefer 100 percent telecommuting.
- 73% want a flexible schedule.
- 49% opt for partial telecommuting.
- 48% prefer part-time work.
- Another 48% prefer alternative jobs.
- 44% will go for freelancing.
A majority of the respondents preferred telecommuting because it is the most convenient way of communicating with anyone from anywhere at any time.
Millennials are busy paving the way for flexible work options. With the availability of high-speed internet and smart devices, communication and interaction happen in a snap. However, keeping a balance between flexible work options and working from office will yield the best productivity.