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Remote Working Opportunities for Biostatisticians

Date: 05 February 2018

According to a forecast of employment trends by the World Economic Forum, flexible working is “one of the biggest drivers of transformation” in the workplace.1 Studies have shown that working remotely has grown in popularity with an 80% increase in telecommuting employees between 2005 and 2012. Across the globe, companies are busy reimagining their workspaces as they undergo their digital transformations. Research shows that 3.7 million people (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home at least half of the time. 2

The life science industry has historically been slow to promote and adopt remote working practices; partially due to the nature of the work, and also due to a lack of the necessary technological infrastructure and collaboration tools – but the benefits of remote working are becoming increasing valued.

Biostatistician and statistical programmer roles are prime examples of where remote working can add great value to a life science organization – not just for the employee but for the employer as well.

Daily tasks

It is true that some tasks still need to be conducted in a controlled laboratory environment under strict health and safety laws – but some others do not need the same controlled environment. For example, providing statistical support for clinical studies, analyzing efficacy and safety data or collating preparatory paperwork or reports can all be done from home. Working on a global level, many of these tasks already take place via email, video messaging and other online collaboration tools.

Biostatisticians, especially those working at senior or principal level, will demonstrate a strong work ethic and can be trusted to work as efficiently as part of a virtual team as they would in a more traditional laboratory or office setting.

Benefits for all

Remote working is valuable for candidates and organizations alike. For the employee, remote working has been shown to reduce sickness absence, boost retention and increase productivity. 3 For employers, the business case for implementing a more mobile style of working has been proven time and again. Organizations across all industries have reported a significant decrease in operating costs – American Express, for example, realized annual savings of around $10 million due to its remote working policy, while pharmaceutical company, Allergan, was named in a recent list of the top 100 companies offering flexible working opportunities in 2017.4

For businesses looking to actively recruit virtual teams, one of the biggest challenges to overcome is the creation of a supportive and engaging virtual culture. They might be working at home, but remote employees still need to feel like they are part of a team, and life sciences professionals, in particular, need an environment of collaboration in order to grow and stay engaged.

For business leaders, this means a number of things should be top priorities including: building strong relationships; maintaining consistent lines of communication; providing the right tools to do the job; and offering regular feedback, praise and rewards.

Industry Specialists

Here at EPM Scientific, we’re seeing an increasing number of life science organizations taking a more flexible approach to remote working options, mainly due to the demand from today’s increasingly candidate-driven market.

For companies looking to attract the top biostatistician and statistical programming talent, remote working is a huge incentive for the new generation of job seekers, who place great emphasis on achieving a good work/life balance. In fact, one study revealed that millennial candidates were keen to telecommute 100% of the time. 5

Many of our candidates, both contractor and permanent, have told us that achieving a work/life balance is so important to them. Many would even consider taking a cut in salary to secure a more flexible position, or to work from home.

It’s crucial that life science organizations recognize and adapt to this trend. If not, they could find themselves hiring non-fit candidates purely because of their location – and dismissing the perfect candidate for the same geographical reason. Luckily, that’s a problem that can be easily avoided.

Get in touch with the team at EPM Scientific to find out how we can help your company find the right talent – wherever they might be.

Sources:
1. http://reports.weforum.org/future-of-jobs-2016/employment-trends/
2. http://globalworkplaceanalytics.com/telecommuting-statistics
3. https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/the-benefits-of-working-from-home
4. www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2017/01/31/work-from-home-in-2017-the-top-100-companies-offering-remote-jobs/#6aebf22442d8
5. http://workplaceinsight.net/millennials-shaping-future-remote-working/