How Remote Work Supports UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 8 of Economic Growth


SDG Breakout: Goal 8 -- Decent Work and Economic Growth

Employment is part of the foundation for a good and sustained economy. At FlexJobs, we believe that remote work can further economic growth by providing jobs not dependent on location, increased salaries, and savings for companies.

The United Nations has set 17 goals, called Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as “a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.” Goal number eight calls for the improvement of economic growth and jobs.

Remote work can help meet the goals of the UN. We’re focusing on SDG number eight and going over all the ways in which remote work can move the goal closer to completion.

Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth; full and productive employment; and decent work for all.

How Remote Work Supports UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 8 of Economic Growth 1

Helping Unemployment and Under-Employment

Remote work can provide a solution to unemployment and under-employment. With telecommuting, an employee can work from their home office in a completely different city, state, or country from their employer. A talented graphic designer who can’t find professional, well-paying work in their rural location, can have access to jobs in other locations they would have never known about pre-technology.

As FlexJobs CEO and founder Sara Sutton noted in a LinkedIn article, “… Nothing is more suited to help the workforce keep up with globalization more than telecommuting and flexible work. The market no longer has to be harnessed by time zones, geographic boundaries, or technological limitations.”

A job seeker looking for work will have increased options if they expand their search to include remote opportunities. This can cut unemployment rates and reduce time to find a job. With remote workers having been found to be more productive and loyal, longevity in their jobs and careers can increase.

Stephanie G., a FlexJobs member who found a job using our services, is a great example of how finding a remote job enabled her to live in a rural location and contribute to the local economy:

“I knew finding work would be tough, but I intended to start my own business. A very strange, wet winter prevented customers from getting to me and my other part-time job in tourism was also affected by the weather. … I have wanted a writing job my whole life and suddenly a remote position in writing seemed perfect. I will be able to pay my bills, feed my dogs, feed myself, and exhale now after finding this flexible job.”

Boosting Business Savings

Remote work also impacts the economy by increasing a business’s bottom line. According to research done earlier this year by flexible workspace provider IWG:

“A third of businesses are looking to expand internationally this year, and the majority of respondents (62 percent) say that they have chosen flexible working because it accelerates speed to market in new countries. Seventy percent also choose flexible working to help them to scale. Flexible workspace has also been chosen by 65 percent to reduce capital and operational expenditure. The same number of respondents have adopted flexible workspace to help manage risks, and to consolidate their portfolio.”

Global Workplace Analytics reports that six out of 10 employers said that cost savings was a significant benefit to remote work. According to their studies, IBM saved $50 million in real estate costs by having remote workers; McKesson saved $2 million a year; Nortel saved $100,000 per employee; and Sun Microsystems saved $68 million a year.

This type of savings for companies can be translated into larger salaries, increased hiring, and a more stable financial footing, all contributing to a better economy.

Increased Worker Salary

Additionally, remote workers can earn more money than in-office workers. According to a report done by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics, the average annual income for most telecommuters is $4,000 higher than that of nontelecommuters. FlexJobs broke down this number into six ways remote workers can save money, which includes gas, car maintenance, food, clothing, dry cleaning, and tax savings.

FlexJobs member Holly S. touched on how her remote job helps her financially:

“I don’t have to go out and buy a new work wardrobe since I’m working from home. I will save money on gas. I can work from the comfort of home, and I can often schedule my work around my home life with my husband.”

Robin H., another successful FlexJobs member, shared how a remote job has eliminated costs that she would otherwise have in a traditional, on-site job:

“As a single parent and [single]-income household, this [flexible job] allows me to eliminate expensive child care, commuting, and restaurant lunch costs, resulting in a significantly better quality of life for my children and me. … I guarantee my story is not typical, but I got my dream job on the first of two applications I made.”

Learn More about Remote Work’s Impact on the UN’s SDGs

FlexJobs has a full break down on how remote work can assist with many of the SDGs. Check it out for more details.


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