Employers are embracing agile, remote teams to get work done, according to a survey of over 1,000 hiring managers by freelancing website Upwork.
The company’s second annual Future Workforce Report reveals that nearly two-thirds (63%) of firms now have remote workers, and remote working is set to become the “new normal”.
Over half (55%) of hiring managers agree that remote work is more commonplace than it was three years ago. And in the next ten years, respondents predict that more than one third (38%) of their full-time, permanent employees will work predominantly remotely.
While a majority (57%) of firms don’t yet have a formal policy on remote working, 64% of hiring managers feel that their company has the resources and processes in place to support a remote workforce.
As companies increasingly embrace remote work, they are evolving their work-from-home policies, Upwork found. Nearly half (45%) of hiring managers said their company’s work-from-home policy has changed in the past five years, with 60% of these saying it has become more lenient and inclusive. This has benefits for the whole firm, making it easier to find the right person for each role.
In fact, 52% of hiring managers in companies with work-from-home policies said that hiring has become easier in the past year.
“To gain an advantage in this increasingly competitive talent climate, companies must think outside their offices or city limits and embrace a flexible, remote workforce,” said Stephane Kasriel, chief executive of Upwork. “While major employers like IBM have called back their remote workers, the majority of companies are leveraging a variety of skilled workers, including freelancers in addition to employees, to gain access to the skills they need to get work done. Companies that refuse to support a remote workforce risk losing their best people and turning away tomorrow’s top talent.”