A new study by Microsoft shows that the ability to work from outside the office is no longer an employee perk; it is a business imperative. The study also finds that remote working offers real benefits to employers and employees alike.

Called Work Without Walls, the study surveyed more than 4,000 information workers in the manufacturing, financial services, retail/hospitality and professional services industries. Among its findings:

· Seventy-seven percent of information workers in financial services would rather work remotely, indicating that a better work/life balance was their number-one reason for preferring to work from home.

· Fewer than six in 10 information workers (58 percent) in manufacturing say their companies have a formal policy of allowing employees to work remotely. Yet, 79 percent of those surveyed stated a preference for working remotely.

· Seventy-nine percent of information workers in professional services say their companies provide technology support for working remotely. However, only about half (55 percent) of this same group said their companies have a formal policy allowing employees to work remotely.

· Seventy-one percent of information workers in retail/hospitality state that their productivity is higher when working remotely.

You will find more details on the Work Without Walls study in this post on the Microsoft Vertical Industries blog.

Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog