Remote working is becoming more popular than ever. A study released by the Swiss office provider IWG found that 70 percent of professionals work remotely at least one day a week, while 53 percent work remotely for at least half of the week. Some multinationals have their entire staff working remotely, with no fixed office presence at all, which can result in having employees situated all over the world.
New technology makes all this possible. While there are certainly benefits, there are also a number of pitfalls. As remote working becomes the new normal for many, it’s important companies adapt and put the right policies in place to ensure their employees feel part of the team and don’t burn out.
Nearly 70 percent of millennials would be more likely to choose an employer who offered remote working according to one study. The benefits are important. Employees value the flexibility it gives them, particularly if they have childcare commitments. People also appreciate escaping long commutes and avoiding office distractions.
But there are also growing concerns that people’s mental health and well-being can take a hit when working remotely. In the UK, businesses lose £100m every year due to workplace stress, depression and anxiety. Research shows that being “always on” and accessible by technology while working remotely leads to the blurring of work and non-work boundaries, particularly if you work from home. A 2017 United Nations report found that 41 percent of remote workers reported high stress levels, compared to just 25 percent of office workers.