Finding – and keeping – a talented workforce has been a priority for businesses across industries for decades, but today the task poses more of a challenge than ever. According to a recent report from Gallop, a record 47 percent of the U.S. workforce says now is a good time to find a quality job, and more than half of employees (51 percent) are searching for new jobs or watching for openings. One way companies can keep employees is by offering work-from-home or remote working opportunities, options that play a major role in an employee’s decision to take or leave a job.

Gallop’s State of the American Workplace studied more than 195,600 employees across a wide variety of industries and found that more than half of employees (53 percent) say a role that allows them to have greater work-life balance is “very important” to them when considering whether to take a new job. Fifty-one percent say they would change jobs for one that offered flextime, and 37 percent would do the same for a job that offered them the ability to work where they want at least part of the time.

The report also shows that more companies are taking note of employees’ demands for flexible options. From 2012 to 2016, the number of employees working remotely rose by four percentage points, from 39 percent to 43 percent, and the trend was apparent across almost all of the industries studied. The finance, insurance and real estate industries experienced the greatest increase in time spent working remotely, followed by the transportation, manufacturing or construction, and retail industries.

A case if often raised against remote working because of concerns about employees becoming less engaged with their employers. In fact, the Gallop report found the opposite to be true. Engagement actually increases when employees spend some time working remotely and some time working on site with coworkers. Compared with other employees, employees who work remotely 60 to 80 percent of the time (or three to four days in a five-day workweek) are more likely to strongly agree they make more progress in their workday.

For employees who work 100 percent remotely, engagement is the lowest among all remote workers at 30 percent. However, this number is the same as employees who don’t work remotely at all. That is, employees who work remotely 100 percent of the time and those who work on-site 100 percent of the time report feeling equally engaged.

The report shines light on a trend that will continue to grow, as emerging technologies make remote working not only more feasible and productive, but also more connected and collaborative. CH Consulting Group has extensive experience in helping companies facilitate the move to more flexible working arrangements, something employees are clearly demanding. For a free quote on how we can help you retain talent, contact us today.

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