Flying in the face of traditional brick-and-mortar companies that hold people hostage to their cubicles, Bill Gates handed down this bit of wisdom several years back: 

The competition to hire the best will increase in the years ahead. Companies that give extra flexibility to their employees will have the edge in this area.

Prophetic? Perhaps, yet the majority of companies today are either unable or unwilling to adapt to the lifestyle demands of young workers. In turn, they're losing good talent to companies with remote work and work-from-home options.

In some cities, housing and rental prices are exorbitant and commuting is costly and time consuming. For a previous article I wrote, I discovered that the average person can save between $4,668 and $5,688 per year by working remotely, including $686 for gas and $767 for costly car maintenance. 

FlexJobs, the premier job service for telecommuting and remote job listings, conducted the study to make the strong case that working remotely is the future of work. The company's fourth annual Super Survey on Millennials found that:

  • 84 percent want more work-life balance.
  • 67 percent indicate family is the reason for their desire for flexible work.
  • 60 percent want to save more time.
  • 49 percent want to save money.
  • 48 percent are looking to ditch commute stress.
  • 85 percent want to telecommute 100 percent of the time.
  • 54 percent want to work a flexible or alternative schedule.

Steve Jobs's tip on hiring (and keeping employees)

On a different but equally powerful hiring note, Steve Jobs understood his place in the information age when he famously quipped:

It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.

Jobs's best move was to intentionally hire bright people, get the heck out of their way, and give them room to build great things.

Jobs understood that as long as the smartest people enroll in a shared vision and are given the resources, autonomy, and flexibility to do the job, they are self-managing -- they don't need to be managed. Once they know what to do, they'll go figure out how to do it. 

Warren Buffett's hiring tip points to character

Billionaire Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, has lived by a set of awe-inspiring values and principles that has led to unbelievable success. Here's what he said about hiring the right people for your company:

Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don't have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it's true. If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.

First of all, yes, you absolutely need intelligence in knowledge workers. And energy is the fuel that propels passion and motivation.

But a lack of integrity? Like Buffett asserts, it's a clear non-negotiable. Integrity is what makes it hard to question a person's decisions.  

In tight, collaborative spaces, colleagues of such hires will quickly see them as dependable and accountable for their actions, which is a laser path to developing team trust.

Finally, hiring people with integrity also addresses the leadership void. A person who walks-the-walk of integrity eventually becomes a role model who commands respect and exercises great influence. These are the type of leaders people desire and whom you want to promote to management roles.