Softworks Blog

The future of workplaces - virtual & flexible working to grow

Posted by Aoife ODriscoll on Mon, Apr 18, 2011

Good news for those who like working from the comfortable environment of home with a warm cup of tea at hand. Working from home or remote working is fast becoming the norm! Over the last decade, technological advancements have reduced the need for employees to be as physically present in a traditional office setting. Central to this shift are developments including high-speed Internet services, mobile technology and cloud-based collaboration services.

A recent survey from Skype shows the increasing popularity of remote working -- or "teleworking". Driven by new technologies and the benefits to both employers and workers, this trend is generating a higher level of productivity and retention. Employees save on commuting time and costs, have an improved work-life balance and are more engaged and happy in their work as a result of flexible working. Employees with a high level of job satisfaction are more loyal to their companies and have increased longevity at a company which is good news for employers.

Remote work by job type resized

Key Take Outs from the Skype Survey include:

  • Of those surveyed, 62% of businesses allow employees to work remotely either full time or part time.
  • 57% of businesses allow employees to work flexible hours.
  • 71% of businesses report flexible remote working helps them to attract potential employees.
  • Larger businesses are more likely to allow remote working than small businesses.
  • IT/MIS and engineering are among the professions more likely to work remotely.
  • New communications technologies, such as video, are making communication more productive and collaborative away from the office. 
  • Of the workers who use video, 68% reported experiencing richer and more productive communication with colleagues, clients and suppliers.
  • Email and landline phone usage is expected to decline, while social media, IM/chat, texting and other newer technologies are on the rise.
  • The communications tool that is expected to have the biggest gain in usage next year is video calling.

describe the image

In our next blog post we will look at what technologies workplaces are adopting and will adopt in the future. Interested readers can find out more about Skype's research on the future of workplaces by visiting Skype's website. Many thanks to all at Skype for sharing this research with us.  

Topics: Flexible Working