Experts dispel Brexit myths for freelancers

With the impending UK exit from the European Union on 31st October, many remote workers took to Twitter to express their concerns. Rumours that it would cost £326 to take a laptop into the European Union were quickly dispelled by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, while freelancers were also assured that they would be set up for the future financially.

Broadband access top priority for remote workers

The recent Queen’s speech addressed a number of issues affecting remote and self-employed workers, including their need for fast broadband access. With forthcoming 5G and superfast broadband set to be rolled out all over the UK, 78% of freelancers say they rely upon this to do their jobs effectively. Fast networks are particularly vital for those living in rural areas.

Office design found to have huge impact on collaboration

A digital marketing agency has published its findings on how a rethink in office design can have positive impacts on workplace productivity. Writing for The Drum, client services director Jake Third says: “Ultimately, for a workplace to thrive, you need to provide employees with areas they can collaborate within, and spaces they can escape to, when then they need to concentrate.” He suggested a mixture of open place spaces and breakout areas.

Understanding the difference between remote working and working from home

Managers should be cautious not to blur the lines between remote working and working from home, says business coach Jason Aten. He states that working from home is a temporary situation which can have positive effects on mental health. Remote working, meanwhile, requires a “self-starting attitude”, including proactive communication and enhanced time management skills.

Remote working exposes HR errors

Research from CV Library has revealed that remote working has helped to expose companies with “inefficient employee screening processes”. Global background screening expert Steve Smith says: “For those firms worried about how to control or monitor the fluid workforce, the first step should be taken at the hiring stage, rather than once an individual is in employment.” He added that their ability to work remotely should form part of the process, but not at the expense of rigorous background checks.

Geographic study shows cost reduction for remote staff

A study by Harvard Business School’s Technology and Operations Management Unit has revealed the economic benefits of remote working. (Live and) Work from Anywhere: Geographic Flexibility and Productivity Effects at the United States Patent Office examined 600 remote workers’ productivity. It revealed a 4.4% reduction in hiring costs and $132m more fee revenue for the US economy.

Remote working reduces attrition by half

Remote working is key to a more productive workforce thanks to fewer sick days and higher productivity among staff.  Chinese travel provider Ctrip conducted a two-year study into flexible working and found a 50% decrease in employee attrition. They also saved costs of up to $2,000 per employee thanks to reduced office space.  

Employers fail to meet working expectations

A new survey by Capita has revealed that employers are failing to meet workers’ expectations on remote working. Just 32% of UK workers can work remotely as and when they please. The State of IT – The Employee Verdict also revealed that 71% of staff would like the option, citing work-life balance, lower transportation costs and a reduced carbon footprint. Joe Hemming, executive officer at Capita IT & Networks, said: “Today’s workforce is increasingly demanding the ability to work wherever and whenever they want. In the long run, an inability to offer remote, flexible working could leave an organisation watching some of its best employees heading for the exit.”

One third of employees would take a pay cut

Improved technology has led to an increased number of employees wishing to work remotely. The state of modern working has now changed so much that 34% of workers would take a 5% pay cut to work from home. A further 24% would take a 10% pay cut, according to a report from Owl Labs. The survey interviewed 1,202 full-time workers in the US between the ages of 22 and 65.  One fifth of respondents considered a pay cut of more than 10%.

Talent boost reflected in worker salaries

Almost one quarter of remote workers earn $100,000 or more, compared to just 7% who work in an office full-time. The State of Remote Work report reveals that many remote workers had senior leadership titles, or founders and chief executives. A study of 1,202 US workers reported that a further 6% earn $200,000 per year, compared to 1% of full-time office workers. The study correlates with the benefits of remote working, enabling business managers to hire from a larger pool of talent.