This morning was the same as every other: rush, rush, rush out the door and fight the good fight with other commuters.
I had already reached a maximum stress level as I ran into the coffee shop with full knowledge there would be a Disney World-length line. I told myself, as usual, “You’ve got five minutes before you abandon this caffeine mission to make that 9 a.m. meeting.”
Then, I noticed a gentleman working on his laptop at the table next to me. He looked comfortable in relaxed jeans and a baseball cap as he sipped his latte out of a fancy ceramic cup! I couldn’t remember the last time I actually sat in a public space and leisurely enjoyed a morning beverage. Can you?
Yet there he sat, pondering his work and plugging away on his laptop like the world was his oyster. He seemed to have unlocked the mystery of life and somehow obtained a membership to a club I desperately wanted to be a part of.
He had options. He had captured his own destiny. He worked remotely!
Perhaps you are faced with a hellish commute, a strict half-hour for lunch, write-ups if you aren’t signed in by 9 a.m., a limit of four vacation days a year, or any of the other limitations that coincide with a “no work from home” policy. Alternatives are out there, as proven by these 10 statistics that reveal the state of remote work in 2019.
The Number of Employees Under 40 Years Old Working Remotely is Growing Rapidly and Projected to Increase Over the Next 10 Years
1. 68 percent of global employees are working from home at least once per month. (Owl Labs)
2. Ninety-one percent of respondents who are business owners selected that they had always intended to support remote work. This is up from 88% in one year. (Buffer)
3. Two out of five full-time employees will work remotely within the next three years. (Upwork)
One of the driving forces behind the abandonment of the nine-to-five, 40-hours-a-week, chained-to-your-desk job has been the emergence of the Millennial manager.
This means their desire for a more modern schedule will have a large impact on business hiring practices, with a primary focus based on job satisfaction and a healthy work/life balance.
“As younger generations ascend in the workforce and become the majority of managers in corporate America, they’ll reshape work as we know it,” said Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork.
They are at their desks right now, plotting their takeover and mumbling the “F” word—and I know you are too. Let’s say it together: “Flexibility.”
Working from Home Makes You Happy
4. Those who work remotely at least once per month are 24 percent more likely to be happy and productive in their roles than those who can’t or don’t work remotely. (Owl Labs)
5. Forty percent of respondents rate a flexible schedule as the biggest benefit of remote work. (Buffer)
Companies are starting to realize that employee productivity varies depending on the time of day and environment. Some of my colleagues report that an open workspace is distracting and extremely difficult for concentration. If you don’t have a corner office, your options are quite limited and you are expected to adapt.
Working from home not only allows for a chance to create a space that best fits your needs, but it also enables flexible working hours that go beyond the standard 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., accommodating both the night owl or the early riser.
There are, of course, downsides. Not everyone is getting a piece of the virtual pie.
Remote Positions are Limited to Certain Types of Work
6. Full-time remote workers are twice as likely to be individual contributors versus people managers. (Owl Labs)
7. 78 percent of HR managers said that most skills will become even more niche in the next 10 years. (Forbes)
Remote work opportunities tend to fall in niche markets. There is a lack of opportunity for a job seeker who isn’t specialized in a particular field or possesses a certain skill set. This can limit options and force an employee to settle for an in-house position or lower-paying salary.
There are always opportunities for freelance work on project-based websites like Fiverr, Upwork or Freelancer, but these options lack benefits and job security in the long run. Full-time remote positions seem to be restricted to certain industries, and statistics show they also favor younger job seekers.
Millennials Are Shaping the Future of Remote Work
8. Forty-eight percent of younger generation managers (Millennials primarily, but also Gen Z) are director-level or higher already, showing they have a major influence on workforce planning. (Upwork)
9. Employees in their 20s and mid-30s value meaningful experiences more than possessions. (Buffer)
10. Fifty-two percent of younger generation managers ranked future workforce planning as a top priority for their department—nearly three times more than Baby Boomers. (Upwork)
These statistics tell us that younger employees dominate a large portion of remote positions and they are more likely to thrive in a job where their happiness is considered and prioritized.
Millennial managers are driving the trends of the near future. Within the next 10 years, more and more jobs may become remote as tech and forward-thinking, high-level management grows. But a large percentage of the workforce may be left out as business models become more progressive, led by the Millennial generation.