Employees no longer need to be in an office to thrive at work.
Research from Fuze shows that 60 percent of the “App Generation” (ages 15-18) and half of Millennials feel their smartphone and laptop are the only essential tools for getting their job done. The study also found that 83 percent of workers signal they do not need to be in an office to be productive.
Fuze’s report, “Breaking Barriers 2020: How CIOs are Shaping the Future of Work,” has substantial support: according to Gallup, 43 percent of Americans did all or some work from home in 2016, up from 39 percent in 2015. At the same time, SHRM finds the number of businesses offering remote work benefits is on the rise, with 60 percent of businesses offering a telecommuting benefit in 2016, up from 20 percent in 1996. The same research reveals more workers are demanding this type of freedom. Fifty-three percent say they look for flexibility in a new role, and working remotely appeals to 85 percent of employees across the globe.
“The writing is on the wall: Remote-work preferences are creating a new work paradigm whereby employers must provide flexible work options to attract top talent and acknowledge how and when employees work best,” said Colin Doherty, CEO, Fuze. “As remote work continues redefining the modern office, it will be critical for businesses to arm teams with the right platforms to communicate and collaborate, as well as for leadership to create a culture that embraces remote work with the right expectations and values. Let’s face it, the traditional desk is headed into extinction, and it stands to be replaced by a need for a flexible work environment, portable technology, and virtual collaboration options that enable workers to stay connected anywhere, anytime.”
Flexibility also includes the option to work in the office. According to Fuze’s research, 86 percent of employees still value face-to-face interaction and employee engagement is highest among workers who spend three-to-four days per week working remotely. Furthermore, employees who work in different areas of an office are 1.3 times more engaged, and those with a space to connect with coworkers are 1.5 times more engaged.
If engagement trends continue their current trajectory, organizations will be wise to make both physical and virtual office spaces accessible and easy to use, as well as to introduce hybrid work models that enable employees to be productive with little more than a laptop, smartphone and headset.