Remote work isn’t a fad – in fact, 3.9 million Americans now work remotely at least half the time. But what is remote work actually like? A new study from And Co aims to shed light on the growing number of remote workers across the world and find out what makes remote work so appealing. Do these workers really spend their days on a beach with laptop in hand?
And Co surveyed almost 4,000 remote workers and found that a full 55% of them are remote full-time. Their reasons? 62% wanted more flexibility to choose where and when they work. This is hardly surprising, given that technology, including project management tools and chat applications, make it easier than ever for us to stay connected.
REMOTE WORKING’S BIGGEST CHALLENGES
However, the biggest hurdles remote workers face? 30% said they felt lonely and have a “lack of community” and 28% said they have trouble disconnecting from work at the end of the day. It can be hard when you work alone to develop the same relationships with your peers that come about more easily in a traditional office setting. And overwork is a real danger than comes with blurring the lines between homes and offices.
COWORKING COMBATS LONELINESS
Luckily, coworking spaces help alleviate some of the loneliness of remote working. They encourage remote workers to connect with other remote professionals, fostering a community that workers might be missing.
In fact, research from the Harvard Business Review found that 83% of coworking space users surveyed reported feeling less isolated after working from these spaces, and 79% said that coworking has helped them grow their networks. Respondents also associated social aspects more closely with coworking than anything else.
Coworking spaces also help create a firmer distinction between work and home, which in turn helps prevent overwork. Shared offices can provide fewer distractions than a home office so remote workers can buckle down and concentrate. And because many coworking spaces are cropping up in cities and suburbs around the world, remote workers still have plenty of freedom to choose where they work.
DO REMOTE WORKERS ENJOY IT?
Despite some of the challenges telecommuters face, do they enjoy it? The answer is a resounding “yes”! Of those surveyed, 80% planned to stay a remote worker for as long as possible. So yes, remote work isn’t going anywhere. Expect to see more companies offer telecommuting options in the future to accommodate our shifting work expectations, and more coworking spaces crop up across the world to cater to this growing remote worker base.