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Remote Work is Going To Keep Increasing, Study Says ( 108

Freelancing website Upwork has published its annual Future Workforce Report, which explores hiring behaviors of over 1,000 U.S. managers. It finds: As companies struggle to fill the skills gap, they're embracing agile, remote teams to get work done. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of companies today have remote workers, yet a majority lack remote work policies.

Companies have the resources, but lack the policies to support remote work: While companies feel confident they have the resources in place to support remote work, many lack a formal policy. Sixty-four percent of hiring managers feel that their company has the resources and processes in place to support a remote workforce, yet the majority (57 percent) lack a remote work policy.
Companies with work-from-home policies have become more lenient & inclusive: As companies increasingly embrace remote work, they're evolving their work-from-home policies. Nearly half (45%) of hiring managers said their company's work-from-home policy has changed in the past five years, with 60 percent saying it has become more lenient and inclusive. This increased inclusivity is making it easier for companies to find the talent they need. Over half (52%) of hiring managers that work at companies with work-from-home policies believe hiring has become easier in the past year.
Findings indicate remote work is likely to become the new normal: Over half (55%) of hiring managers agree that remote work has become more commonplace as compared to three years ago. Five times as many hiring managers expect more of their team to work remotely in the next ten years than expect less.

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Remote Work is Going To Keep Increasing, Study Says

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  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Monday March 05, 2018 @03:56PM (#56212029)

    I've worked remote since ~2010. I still go to the office occasionally, usually one week a month for all of the stuff I can't do remotely.

    I can't imagine trying to shoehorn my life back into the terrible 9-5 mold. The first thing I ask recruiters when they try to poach is if remote is possible and if not shoo them away.

    Our house is paid for, I like where we live, my wife likes her job. I'm not playing the "lets drag the family across the country for breadcrumbs and hope I don't get laid off from this new position" game.

    • I'm in nearly the same boat as you. I worked from home 90% of the year and travel out of state to random client sites the rest of the time.

      I've had job offers from companies, usually for more pay, but none of them let me work from home. So I end up turning them down. It's really hard to beat a 30 second commute from bed to office. Fresh, well made coffee, and a comfortably setup office to my tastes. Best of all is, when I'm done for the day, I have a 30 second commute to home.

  • by green1 ( 322787 ) on Monday March 05, 2018 @03:57PM (#56212043)

    With news story after news story about companies cancelling their work from home programs, it this really true?

    Don't get me wrong, I think that remote work SHOULD increase, I see no reason to deal with a commute just to be less productive in the office than I could be at home. all while costing the company more money in real-estate and equivalent.

    But as long as managers are lazy and prefer to manage by time-clock rather than by worker performance, I'm not sure we can expect to see large strides in this area.

    • Re:really? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by aaarrrgggh ( 9205 ) on Monday March 05, 2018 @04:32PM (#56212273)

      Most senior managers want to be able to make it happen. The biggest bottleneck is mid-level or junior managers being unable to manage [their reports if they can't see them]. Training of junior staff also becomes harder. An office where everybody but the junior staff works remotely is non-functional.

      I want to redefine my role as remote, but getting around the face-to-face culture within our office is hard.

      • by Plugh ( 27537 )

        I've been managing remote teams for a decade and a half. My direct reports are in Mexico, India, and the East and West Coasts of the USA. Frankly it's very straightforward. I talk in real-time to each direct every day, via webconf or phone. People are available in chat or pick up a quick webconf at any reasonable hour in their local timezone. Sure, as a manager I wind up having some calls at 6AM and others at 9PM, but I'm OK with that, especially since I can usually WfH as well. Not spending the time drivin

        • How do/did you deal with training?

          I have introverted engineers that think writing down a question is a sign of weakness, and are deathly afraid of asking a question over the phone! The only way I can help them is (I kid you not) watching for them to wander near my office and asking if they need any help. (My physically walking around the office has mixed results.). When we establish that they have a question, I end up needing to look at their two (or three) monitors and tell them to bring up different dat

          • by Plugh ( 27537 )
            > I have introverted engineers that think writing down a question is a sign of weakness, and are deathly afraid of asking a question over the phone First, make sure you're dealing 1-on-1 with them, not in a group/scrum situation. Try doing pair programming with them. Be sure to chat about non-tech stuff, get them comfortable with you. Be sure and ask *them* questions, give them a chance to assert their intelligence and utility for you. No doubt though, "management by walking around" is powerful and use
    • From what I've observed (and been part of) is that the main reason companies get into the cancelling of remote positions is for money. They want to save money anywhere they can. Usually this is folded in with a transformation to an "open, collaborative work environment" where offices and cubicles are removed so everybody can be fun and vibrant and bubbling with ideas and cross pollination.

      Except it's not about that. At all.

      The reason companies cancel their Work From Home jobs and remove the cubes and o
      • by green1 ( 322787 )

        You're not making any sense. You say they cancel work from home positions so that they can shrink their real-estate footprint, but people working at home don't require ANY real estate footprint.

        As for pissing off people so they'll quit, I suppose that's possible.

        • No, you're misunderstand me. The reducing their footprint comes from the "collaborative office" transformation (or whatever they're calling it nowadays). You know, take a floor that has about 20 cubicles and 6 offices and "transform" it into an open plan with corrals with seats for 45. You pack them in like goddamn sardines but tell them it's so that you'll "spark creativity" or whatever.

          That part reduces your footprint significantly.....even including the folks who come in from home. Typically it's
    • by King_TJ ( 85913 )

      I think it's true where I work. I've been there for 6 years now and when I started, telework was something we were technically equipped to support. We had some proprietary Cisco VPN software we loaded on all of the Windows laptops for it, etc. But it was still viewed as something only a "select few" people were approved to do. (Typically, it would be someone like a graphics artist or producer who they knew would probably just quit and go freelance if they weren't given the option to work from home most of t

  • I mean , there are 'alot' of positions that will never be romote.
    Remote waiter? Remote real estate agent? factory worker? Home builder, gardener, cook.
    I mean, not that they can't have a 'remote office', but there is just a lot of work that actually requires a persons hands be in the same location as the work they are doing.

    • by green1 ( 322787 )

      There was a bitter labour dispute where I worked a while back. The union went on strike, but forgot to tell the employees, they claimed it was a lockout so they didn't need to hold a strike vote (even though everyone could still go to work) Anyway, long story short, the vast majority of the workers crossed the picket line, while a small but very vocal minority picketed.
      This was at a telecom company. I remember an incident where I was hooking up a phone line at the top of a telephone pole while a picketer be

  • If you can work from home ....

    ... Vijay Venkataramudu can do the same job from Bangalore.

    • by green1 ( 322787 )

      Also remember that just because you go to the office doesn't mean your job can only be done from there.

      People who are smug enough to think that their mere presence in an office building make them safe from having their job sent overseas are delusional, there's no reason to think you're any safer. You might as well enjoy working from home while waiting for your job to be sent overseas instead of commuting to the office each day while awaiting the exact same fate.

    • unless of coarse, you job is security related and requires U.S Citezen ship. I guess Vijay
      'could' be a U.S. citizen living in India, I understand that is common enough for IBM employees to be offered the 'opportunity' to move.
      In general though there are advantages to being in the same time zone , and or legal jurisdiction as your company head quarters.

  • We know where we started (everybody working outside of home). We do not know the end result (ratio of people in the office to people at home). We enjoy how the actual control loop rectifies itself with all the overshoots and the noise. Oh, the noise.

    Wake me up whenever this movement settles, please.

  • oh? /. decided to start working again?
    We'll, not getting the posts right this time either. Big companies are demanding more control and restricting remote workers. sorry: []
  • no network neutrality = ISP can rip people off You want you VPN to have good QOS then pay for our teleworker add on

  • and finds that remote work will keep increasing. That's big news. It's not like surveys are so easily manipulated by the questions asked that not manipulating them is the really hard part.

    Surveys performed at the request of people or organizations with a stake in the results are rarely brokered by a third party to hide the customer and are thus rarely worth the paper they are written on. Yes, I know this is electronic.

  • Companies stopped doing W@H since hiring Indians was a cheaper alternative and they figured "remote is remote" as if there is no difference between one tech worker and another. So what if they don't know your language, aren't awake when you need to talk to them, or have shit-standard skills. Bean counting business suit weasels don't care. They'll just pound the table to get "less with more" from the folks left behind.

  • Problems with remote work:
    1. If a company goes 100% work from home, they could outsource to India.
    2. When a company decides remote work is not working, they make everyone come in full time, massively disrupting everyone's lives.

    These issues can both be avoided with a combination of the two - where I am allows for up to 5 days work from home every 2 weeks. This is quite flexible, since you can do 1 week on-1 week off, or alternate days, or any other pattern employee and supervisor agree on. The above probl

  • So why do we need companies ?
    We only need collaboration to achieve big things.
    Management is best done by computers and the workers take all the profit.
    Once workers accumulate wealth, they won't need shareholders skimming the cream.

  • Alvin Toffler suggested it. Imagine if we didn't spend money on mass transportation but mass remote working!

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle