The results are conclusive. People prefer working from home by a wide margin. More and more, workers are ditching their cubicles for a seat at the coffee shop, doing all or at least part of their jobs without stepping foot in the office. In a previous article, we went over a few of the advantages both companies and freelance agents can look forward to with a remote workplace, from increased productivity to reduced expenses to a general uptick in worker satisfaction. Today we take a closer look at the at-home market as it currently stands, as well as a few of the trends likely to occur in the near future.
Who They Are:
Young professionals are more likely to prioritize flexibility than any previous generation. The prospect of working from home, increasing flexibility, and being able to move to a different location are just a few attractive advantages. That being said, Global Workplace Analytics reports the average telecommuter to be age 49, and to possess an annual salary of $58,000 in a company of 100 employers or more. The average telecommuter is college educated, and many prefer to work from coffee shops rather than the comfort of their own homes.
Geographically, the United States and Great Britain have an especially high percentage of at-home workers. A report by The Independent in 2015 documented 4.2 million Britons working regularly from their homes. That’s an increase of 800,000 workers in the past ten years.
What They’re Doing:
Not all careers are as remote-friendly as others. The highest percentage of jobs taking the digital route are, unsurprisingly, in technology. Remoters published their findings from a 2016 study, finding that 29.2% of jobs in information technology were remote, with marketing coming in second with 24.51%. These are positions that take relatively little physical interaction, so it’s no surprise to see them leading the charge.
But that’s not to say other industries aren’t following suit. Accounting, recruiting, and real estate were just three of the careers fields showing a leap of over 20% more remote or flexible jobs, according to a report by CNN made at the beginning of January.
Why it Matters:
One of the biggest things holding back telecommuting, it seems, is an old stigma. The stereotype of the at-home professional groggily plugging away in his pajamas is quickly becoming dispelled. Companies are learning to trust new ways of doing business, whether it be remote work, communication technology, or freelance sales work that would traditionally be assigned in-house. With such exciting prospects for both employers and agents, it's safe to say we'll see more and more remote work for agents in the commission world.