How Demand for Workplace Flexibility is Driving a Remote Revolution

Businesses of all sizes know firsthand that employees are quitting in record numbers. In August 2021 alone, 4.3 million Americans, or 2.9% of the entire workforce, left their jobs.1

Researchers are investigating the reasons why, but one point keeps emerging. For many employees, they’ve tasted the freedom and flexibility of working remote full time or on a hybrid schedule and are shouting a resounding “NO” to going back to the daily grind of office work and long commutes. They’ve joined the crusade for a remote revolution, popularly known as “The Great Resignation,” and employers are responding by offering a more flexible workplace to retain and attract staff.

Man using laptop

How did this happen? Let’s start with the obvious.

The pandemic forced businesses to send their employees home to work and employees liked it. According to LinkedIn, 74% of those surveyed indicated that the time spent at home during the pandemic caused them to rethink their current work situation.2

Newly remote or hybrid employees reconsidered their:

  • work/life balance
  • lower stress levels from working flexible hours in a comfortable setting
  • economic and environmental savings from eliminating daily commutes with vehicle emissions
  • confidence in finding a new job with better working conditions

When called back to the office, some employees object to their coveted new benefit being stripped away and are responding by launching job searches for companies that offer remote work, as evidenced by Glassdoor research that says the share of online job searches for remote positions jumped 460% between 2019 and 2021.3

Employees became accustomed to remote work during the pandemic and, now that it’s over, they still want to be able to determine when and where to work.(4)

Survey after survey says the same thing: employees demand the flexibility to work from home. In fact, Microsoft found that 73% of those surveyed want to work from home at least part time and 41% are considering quitting if remote work is not allowed.5

The data is clear, the survey said. “Extreme flexibility and hybrid work will define the post-pandemic workplace. Employees want control of where, when, and how they work, and expect businesses to provide options.”6

Join the Remote Revolution and Save Money

Employers who embrace the remote or hybrid mindset not only retain staff and attract top candidates but there is evidence that they are also saving money. One survey found significant savings when adopting a remote workforce.

Remote work approaches can save employers over $11,000 per year per employee.(7)

Simply put, many organizations are responding with a variety of strategies to reduce turnover, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).8 These include:

  • offering new or additional remote work
  • flexibility options
  • employee referral bonuses
  • developing career paths
  • additional spot bonuses

In efforts to thwart staff turnover, huge companies like PwC, a global network with 55,000 U.S. employees, are allowing their staff to work remote from anywhere in the country.

“If you’re a client services employee in good standing and you want to work virtually, we will make it happen — full stop,” PwC deputy people leader Yolanda Seals-Coffield said in a CNBC interview.9 “The breadth of how many people impacted by this is huge. We don’t know how many people will adopt this yet, but that’s what makes this a big leap of faith from a leadership perspective to offer people this flexibility.”

Employers see many benefits from going remote:

  • They can hire from a much larger talent pool not limited to recruiting employees from a given radius to their office.
  • They can choose from a market flooded with high-quality workers looking for something better.
  • They can take advantage of an asynchronous work schedule, where employees across time zones work different schedules to better complete projects and deliverables on time.

They’re saving money too. “Without the need for a large physical office presence, companies can save hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more, on leasing office space or building an expansive campus,” said a Yahoo News editorial.10

Flexibility is Key to Employee Satisfaction

SHRM believes that flexible work arrangements offer numerous benefits to both employers and employees. These include:11

  • Assisting in recruiting efforts
  • Enhancing worker morale
  • Managing employee attendance and reducing absenteeism
  • Improving retention of good workers
  • Boosting productivity
  • Creating a better work/life balance for workers
  • Minimizing harmful impact on global ecology by reducing carbon emissions and workplace "footprints" in terms of creation of new office buildings
  • Allowing for business continuity during emergency circumstances such as a weather disaster or pandemic

Some enterprises are taking the approach that in-person office interactions must be limited only to those with a specific purpose, like special training, staff meetings or culture-building events, and not simply because it’s Tuesday.

“We believe that this approach will strike the right balance between culture reinforcement through in-person interactions, while giving our associates the flexibility they have justifiably earned,” said UScellularTM CEO Laurent Therivel in a LinkedIn article.12

Data Shows that Flexibility to Work Remote Can Reduce Staff Turnover13

  • 40% of people feel the greatest benefit of remote work is the flexible schedule.
  • Companies allowing remote work have 25% lower employee turnover those that don’t.
  • 76% of workers would be more willing to stay with their current employer if they could work flexible hours.
  • 86% of people feel that working remotely reduces stress
  • Statistics about remote work show that 21% of workers would give up some of their vacation time to get flexible working options
  • 69% of millennials would give up other work benefits for a more flexible working space

Deploying Your Remote Workforce with UScellularTM

You’ve seen the evidence and decided to offer employees more flexibility. But how do you ensure productivity, collaboration and security among remote workers?

UScellular’s Remote Workforce is a new solution for the future of work.

Keep your employees protected, satisfied and efficient by delivering flexible work arrangements supported with:

Reduce employee turnover by embracing Remote Workforce flexibility solutions that help guide your business forward.

Contact your UScellular local Business Solutions Expert to get started. Call 866-616-5587 or visit Remote Workforce

How Demand for Workplace Flexibility is Driving a Remote Revolution

Download the Infographic

Employees are quitting in record numbers. They’ve tasted the freedom of flexible, remote work and won’t go back to a traditional office. But employers who embrace remote and hybrid work models are saving money while retaining staff and attracting top candidates. See the jaw-dropping numbers.