Virtual Office Featured Article

Benefits Outweigh Risk in Flexible Work Environment

January 12, 2016
By Susan J. Campbell - Virtual Office Resource Contributing Editor

How flexible is your work environment? It’s a question hiring managers are sure to hear from millennials and those included in Generation Z. The thought of punching an 8 to 5 clock, staying in the same location, doing the same thing for hours at a time is appealing only to a select few. The rest of us want the perfect balance between life and work, which demands a flexible environment. The virtual office is a great place to start, but does it work for everyone?

The idea of telecommuting is great in theory – you roll out of bed in your pajamas, walk to your home office or kitchen table, flip on the laptop and get to work. Sounds easy enough, but company leaders tend to have something a little more organized in mind, especially those who are late to adopt the strategy. Fortunately, those who are truly interested in a rewarding career and balanced life are much more organized at home.

Just how many individuals are taking this strategy and making it work? According to a post on, positive growth is being seen in flexible working environments compared with previous years. FlexJobs gathered data from its own research, Gallup,, WorldatWork, and the Pew (News - Alert) Research Center and found an increase in the number of telecommuters in the workforce.

In fact, FlexJobs CEO, Sara Sutton anticipates that telecommuting and the virtual office will be a key differential of successful employers in the years to come.

The compilation of telecommuting figures offered five key flexible work statistics from the past year, including the rise of occasional telecommuting. The average telecommuter will work from home or a remote location roughly two days per month. In 1995, only 9 percent of professionals participated in this activity, while 37 percent were actively working from home in 2015. This roughly 30 percent jump represents growth that  isn’t excepted to reverse anytime soon.

Since 2005, the work at home population has exploded with 103 percent growth. A key driver for this growth is the increased productivity of the at-home worker. Among those professionals surveyed by FlexJobs, 76 percent report that they avoid the physical office when they have work they need to get done. Still, the company found that 64 percent of companies don’t have formal policies in place to monitor the ROI of telecommuting.

Millennials represent the largest segment of the workforce and flexibility in the work schedule is sought for health reasons, both serving as contributing factors to continued growth. The technology needed to support the virtual office also helps and companies like continue to extend capabilities that allow for seamless operation and brand representation. As long as telecommuting continues to demonstrate positive results, expect it to continue to grow.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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