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Why South Dakotans Should Care About Remote Work

Updated August 30, 2022
Professional headshot of Joshua Hofer

Joshua Hofer

SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist

Benefits of Remote Work

Woman working remotely in a home office.
Courtesy: Canva

Remote working skyrocketed in 2020, and even though many companies and businesses have returned to a more-normal environment, the usefulness of remote work has not been forgotten. Many employers and employees have found benefits to full or partial remote work positions, and the trend is almost certainly here to stay. While some of the advantages of working remotely (or having an option to work remotely) may be obvious, some of the benefits could surprise you.

Remote work can be a gateway to happier, healthier and more-productive lives.

In rapidly changing and unpredictable times, developing sustainable career opportunities is an increasing challenge for individuals, organizations and societies.1 Emerging research indicates happiness, health and productivity lie at the heart of sustainable careers.2 In a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, hybrid working from home (where employees work a mix of days at home and at work each week) reduced quit rates by one-third, increased engagement through increased messaging and video calls, and generated an overall productivity increase.

For employers, remote work could be a viable strategy to retain and attract valuable employees.

About 40% of workers are considering quitting their jobs in the next 3 to 6 months, according to a McKinsey and Company report published last week, which surveyed 13,000 people around the world, including 6,294 Americans.3 According to the Society for Human Resource Management, the average company will spend 6 to 9 months of an employee’s salary to recruit and train a qualified replacement. For an employee making $60,000 annually, that is $30,000 to $45,000.4

Efficient human resources departments understand that by prioritizing sustainable careers for their current staff, they ultimately help their bottom line.

Whether you are a fully remote worker or not, soft skills are increasingly vital in the workplace.

Whether one’s role is remote or not, skills associated with the ability to work remotely are desirable in the current job market. According to Zip Recruiter, communication skills, customer service, scheduling, time management, project management, and analytical thinking are highly valued, and often even required, for a huge number of jobs and careers on their site today.5 Their article goes on to note that 93% of employers want to see some form of these soft skills on a resume. These core skills form the backbone of the Remote Work Professional Certificate course.

Of course, from flexibility, to lower commute times, to increased time for family, there are other reasons to deeply understand the workplace dynamics of remote work. Follow the Community Vitality team’s work in the coming months as we write more about remote work, both nationally and in South Dakota.

South Dakota Remote Works Program

a woman using a laptop to join a video meeting with other people

In September, the SDSU Community Vitality team will launch its third of four annual opportunities to take the Master Remote Work Professional course. This course is coached by South Dakota Community Vitality staff and utilizes the excellent work of the Rural Online Initiative, a program created by Utah State Extension. It is a month-long course that takes between 6-10 hours a week to complete, and with support from the Bush Foundation, is available for a reduced price of $125. The deadline for the November course is October 25. Use the navigation below to visit our South Dakota Remote Works page and register today!

South Dakota Remote Works Registration