THE BLOG
10/01/2016 01:00 pm ET Updated Oct 02, 2017

Remote Work Can Work For Tech

As technology continues to fuel the success of businesses around the world it's becoming ever more important to find and retain talented tech employees. Distributed teams and remote work options are one method being used to expand the talent search and attract a wider and more diverse population of engineers.

According to a recent study by Global Workplace Analytics, 80% - 90% of the US workforce says that they would like to work remotely at least part of the time. In the competitive realm of tech recruitment, offering work from home options can be a way to stand out and attract more gifted candidates to your company.

The desire to work from home is one that stretches across the board from first-time job seekers to industry veterans. A study by AfterCollege showed that 68% of seniors and recent grads viewed remote work options as a positive benefit in a potential position. Another 2015 PGi Global Telework Survey showed that 60 percent of surveyed workers worldwide would leave their existing job for a similar position, at the same pay rate, if they could work from home.

Telecommuting options can have an effect on worker happiness as well, which directly relates to retention. According to a study by Staples, employees who work from home experience 25% less stress than office-bound counterparts. A more recent 2016 study by PWC showed that people who worked from home were 48% more likely to rate their job a 10 on a happiness scale. This shows a definite trend; people who work from home are more satisfied, and thus will remain more loyal over time.

One of the biggest arguments against telecommuting is the idea that employees will shirk their responsibilities if they do not have physical oversight. However, this has been countermanded by a report done by Stanford, which showed that employees who worked remotely actually experienced a 13% increase in productivity - 9% of that was accounted for by more minutes worked per day, due to fewer breaks and sick days taken.

Another benefit of offering work from home options is that it allows companies to reach out to a more diverse talent pool. Some people may not be able to commute due to a physical impairment, or illness. It may also make a position more attractive to working mothers, or those who plan to start a family, as remote options can give them more flexibility to find a better job / family balance.

Giving employees the ability to work from home can have financial benefits for companies too. According to the Global Workplace Analytics study, the savings that can be achieved in equipment, supplies, and utilities from allowing workers to telecommute can be as much as $11,000 per year. At the same, time the workers will save an average of $2,000 - $7,000 in transportation and related costs. That doesn't even take into account the environmental impact of reducing commuter related carbon emissions.

Offering a remote work option and building a distributed team is a huge talent pull. Women Who Code launched a job board in June of this year and has already had more than 100 companies post open positions. Those that allow remote work are receiving three times the applicants that the most popular in-person only jobs are receiving.

Offering remote options allows employers to reach out to a broader and more diverse talent pool, with fewer restrictions, while offering a more attractive position where workers will be happier, more loyal, and willing to grow with the company. These benefits make work from home options an excellent choice for employers that are trying to attract talented engineers.