Amazon has jumped on the bandwagon. So has American Express.
And now, Apple and Disney have joined the mix as well.
What are we talking about? Why, only one of the fastest-rising and in-demand perks in the workplace ... which happens to be, by definition, out of the workplace (traditionally speaking, anyway).
It's the ability to work from home.
Just check out this recent update from LinkedIn:
As some employers try to rein in remote employees, two of America's most iconic companies just posted a bunch of work-from-home roles. Apple recently posted dozens of "home advisor" customer service jobs that require troubleshooting experience, high-speed internet and a comfortable chair. Following suit, Disney posted numerous part-time guest-service representatives to "bring stories to life with scripted and non-scripted guest-engagement statements" -- a comfortable chair optional.
As someone who's seen firsthand the benefits of remote work, I can assure you this "trend" isn't going away. I've personally worked remotely (mostly from a home office) for the past several years, and have consulted for organizations that continue to see major benefits for their employees, including:
- Greater flexibility
- No commute, which robs many of hours per day
- Escape from the noise and distractions of the open office
- Greater productivity
- Better-quality work
- More opportunity to "stay in the zone," leading to more home runs
In fact, according to this report by software juggernaut Citrix, 89 percent of organizations worldwide will offer "mobile workstyles" by 2020.
Apple and Disney Job Details
So, what do these jobs look like?
Apple describes the "Home Advisor" as a person who responds when people contact Apple for help. The job description describes ideal candidates as friendly, thoughtful, and real. They are "curious investigators, technical problem solvers, and good listeners" and like the way it feels to help others, have the discipline to manage themselves, can focus in a home environment, and are good multitaskers.
The company requires that you have access to a "quiet, distraction-free work space with a door you can shut, an ergonomic chair, a desk ... and your own network connection."
However, Apple also promises to provide home workers with the following tools and benefits:
- iMac and headset
- Paid training
- A network of colleagues
- "A robust benefits package," including product discounts and paid time off
And you've got to love the fact that Apple's putting its famous marketing muscles behind this effort.
Sound interesting? You can read more about Apple's work-from-home job offers here.
And what about Disney?
Disney recently posted a position entitled "Guest Services Representative -- Work From Home." However, within just a few days the company released the following statement:
"We received an incredible amount of interest in our recent posting for the Disney Store work-from-home Guest Services positions. Due to the overwhelming response, we have closed the job posting for now and are hard at work reviewing applications."
(You can check for new "work from home" opportunities directly on Disney's jobs board.)
Hopefully these experiences will lead to more and more remote work opportunities from traditional employers. (If you already have a job, and need a way to persuade your employer to let you work from home, here's what you need to do.)
It will be interesting to see how the work-from-home trend continues in the coming years. But it appears both Apple and Disney have had a major realization:
If you want people to do great work, let them. And stop caring about where they do it.