A new study just quantified the benefits of workplace flexibility with staggering results: Flexibility could contribute $10.04 trillion to the global economy, and $4.2 trillion to the U.S. economy, by 2030.
The statistics come from Regus, a global workspace provider, which commissioned an analysis of 16 key countries by independent economists, calling the research the "first-of-its-kind socioeconomic study on changing workplace practices" in a press release.
Regus predicts these mammoth gains will result from a boom in flexible working, speculating that roughly 13 percent of all employment in the United States will be associated with flexible workspaces by 2030. In fact, the U.S. will see the largest increases in flexible employment between 2017 and 2030, with nearly 7.89 million jobs affected.
Furthermore, Regus asserts that 85 percent of the value generated by flexible and remote working in the U.S. by 2030 will be generated by six sector: professional services (22.1 percent), business support services (20.8 percent), public administration (16.8 percent), information and communication services (11 percent), financial services (7 percent), and health and human social work (6.9 percent).
The Regus study also corroborated previous research about the environmental benefits of workplace flexibility. Workers in the U.S. who opt for flexible working could save an addition 861 million hours of travel time by 2030—the equivalent of a day of vacation for each person working in the U.S.—with an annual savings of 100 million tons of carbon dioxide, according to the study.
"Our study illustrates that flexible working will save businesses money, reduce operating costs and boost productivity, ultimately causing a ripple effect across economies," observed Darin Harris, CEO of IWG U.S.
"As this study shows, flexible working offers significant contributions to society, from giving people more of their personal time back, to boosting the economy via job creation and improved productivity," added Steve Lucas, report author from Development Economics. "These projections show flexible working is a strong economic force that businesses and people should embrace in the years to come."