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A remote workforce allows employers to eliminate the costs associated with renting office space and the utilities contained within. Reduced expenses = increased profits for the company.

So, what is preventing a large number of office workers (call center agents, computer programmers/software engineers, accountants, and other largely computer, telephone or paperwork-based employees) from working remotely, as it seems to save costs for employers, employees, save time for employees and better for the environment?

  • Welcome to the site! I've edited out the "context" sections because they detracted from the crux of the question and were unnecessary. – motosubatsu May 29 '19 at 9:37
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    Many have tried and it worked for some, as they saw the effect you generally describe of lower costs and better profits. It doesn't work for everyone in every case - some who tried it found that quality went down and/or productivity went down, resulting in Reduced Expenses = Reduced Profit. The net result is remote work is increasingly common as a part-time (1-2 days a week) option, instead of being fully remote: slackhq.com/how-slack-shortens-distances So the current most popular option is a hybrid, rather than a move to pure remote work for more people. – BrianH May 29 '19 at 16:13
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Communication with remote workers is significantly less information-rich than in-person communication, and that makes working with them less efficient for many tasks. This makes it a lot more difficult to work in an Agile fashion, drives up costs, and reduces productivity. Since businesses don't care about climate change or how long employee commutes are (as long they get to the office on time), they have no reason to incentivize remote employees, other than offering it as a perk to attract new hires.

Additionally, for jobs like call-centre agents where employee efficiency is a high priority, taking them out of the controlled environment of the office space stops the boss from looking over their shoulder and forcing them to continue working without any breaks. If a client is on the phone with a customer, and their cat goes walking past and starts meowing loudly and forces the employee to deal with them, that is unacceptable from the employer's perspective.

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