4 Jun 2018, 19:27

7 in 10 People Now Working Remotely Worldwide


We’ve written before about the many benefits of working remotely for office staff, but new research has revealed just how popular this flexible working option has now become on a global basis.

The new figures, released earlier this week by the International Workplace Group (IWG), show that there are now 7 in 10 people around the world who do some form of remote work at least once a week.

Even more encouraging is that over half of workers (53 per cent) worldwide now carry out remote work for more than half of their total working hours.

The figures suggest a sharp increase in the trend of remote working worldwide, with previous research by Gallup last year showing that only 43 per cent of workers in the United States worked remotely for more than half of their week, up from 39 per cent five years earlier and more than double the number of remote workers in 2005.

We in the United Kingdom would seem to be lagging slightly behind the global average but the Office of National Statistics (ONS) predicts that the UK will hit the 50 per cent mark for the number of people working remotely within the next couple of years.

Just a few of the things noted as the benefits of remote working, by either bosses or their staff, were: a reduced commuting time, better productivity, job satisfaction, a boost in creativity and increased staff retention.

The IWG survey canvassed the opinions of business professionals at almost one hundred companies worldwide. In total, the IWG research was based on the working habits of more than 18,000 office staff and other business professionals working in all corners of the globe in 2018.

Speaking to CNN after releasing the data, International Workplace Group’s Chief Executive, Mark Dixon, said: “If you offer workers the chance to work where they need to be, and not where they are told to go to, it completely transforms their view of the company, they are more productive. If they can work at an office near to where they live or near to where they need to be, it's totally transformational.”

“The biggest driver is digital changing every industry in the world. On the one hand, it's changing how [office] real estate needs to be offered, but it's also companies wanting something different in the digital world,” added Mr Dixon.

Mr Dixon also said that we are reaching a ‘tipping point’ in the world of remote work and predicted that soon, what is now called ‘flexible working’ might in the future be known simply as ‘working’.

You can find out more about the positives (and a few potential negatives) of flexible work options for office staff in our previous article about remote working - the pros and cons. Hopefully, that article can help you decide if remote working could be beneficial in your own workplace.