A lot of the stats Doug lists in his article, including the ones I’ve quoted below, are not surprising to me. Some have even applied to me:
- “More than half (54 percent) of office workers would be willing to quit their job for one that allows them to work remotely (Source: Gallup);
- 37 percent of jobs in the United States can be performed entirely at home, with these jobs typically paying more than jobs that cannot be done at home and accounting for 46 percent of all US wages (Source: Becker Friedman Institute);
- 77 percent of US employees said they work the same or more hours working from home, with 69 percent stating their productivity levels are the same or higher (Source: Citrix);
- Only 65 percent of Americans reported having fast enough internet capacity to support workable video calls (Source: Stanford University);”
As many of you know, I did switch jobs so that I could work remotely, and part of the frustration with my old job was that I knew it could totally be done from anywhere. Since my commute now involves about 20 steps across the hall, I do end up working slightly more hours, and am very productive.
Where the rubber meets the road for many other folks though, is that last bullet point. Do your employees live in a location that can get decent broadband? This is not as simple as it seems. Due to a very broad definition of what “broadband” is from the government, there are some rather large areas of the country where the available “broadband” isn’t much more than a dial-up connection. They are also very likely to live somewhere with no competition in the broadband space, meaning they’ll be paying quite a bit for their internet connection, and if they want truly unlimited broadband, which you’d have to have for this type of work, they may be paying for a business account at home.
So, the question is, for all of those organizations drooling at the thought of how much money they’ll save downsizing on office space, have you considered how you’ll make sure your employees can get, and afford, a good internet connection?
Or will that just be the new way we leave certain folks behind?