How does remote working work? The best remote work policies give employees flexibility and a better work-life balance without sacrificing productivity.

Remote work, or telecommuting, increased significantly (159 percent) between 2005 and 2017, according to a report by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics.

“Talent shortages are fueling the growth of workplace flexibility right now because not only is it one of the most sought-after benefits among job seekers today, it also expands the talent pool by allowing employers to hire the best and brightest from around the world,” said Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics.

How Does Remote Working Work?

The rules of remote work vary at each organization. Remote work typically offers employees some measure of flexibility regarding when and where they get their work done. And it’s not just employees who benefitorganizations that allow employees to work remotely on a full-time basis expand their candidate pool well beyond the region they operate in. Other organizations permit employees to work remotely in certain situations. For instance, some companies let employees work remotely if they or their child is sick or on certain days, like work from home Fridays.

Setting employees up for remote work used to be a lengthy process. Now, it can be as simple as approving them to log into work from their desktop or laptop at home. Some companies even provide equipment for employees to use when they need to work remotely. 

Cybersecurity is something organizations need to take into account when developing remote work policies. Protecting company information is critical when giving employees access to systems and documents outside of the workplace.

The Future of Remote Working

“Remote work has grown steadily since 2005, as companies of all types—private, public, nonprofit, or startup—continue to recognize the bottom-line benefits of integrating remote work into their business strategies,” said Sara Sutton, founder and CEO of FlexJobs. “With improvements to technology, and increasing demands from employees in a tight labor market, we fully expect to see the momentum around this important workplace continue to grow,” said Sutton.

There are five industries that FlexJob’s predicts will have continued growth in remote working:

  1. Computer and IT
  2. Medical and Health
  3. Sales
  4. Education and Training
  5. Customer Service

The explosion in remote work doesn’t show signs of slowing down any time soon. Over the last five years, remote working has grown more than 40 percent. Nearly 5 million people in the U.S. currently telecommute, up from almost 4 million in 2015. Remote work is a win-win for employers having a hard time sourcing talent and employees who desire more flexibility and a better work-life balance.

More on Remote Work and Flexible Scheduling: 

Why You Need a Remote Work Strategy

Top 10 Employee Benefits for 2020

Do Flexible Work Schedules Work?

5 Must-Have Benefits for Millennial Employees

How to Make Traditional Work Better for Freelancers

4 Big Employee Benefits Trends for Family Planning