Telecommuting has become an ever increasing topic of discussion in the business world. In the United States alone tens of millions of workers telecommute each and every day. While many business professionals and researchers do not support telecommuting as an effective means of employment, there are many reasons why telecommuting is the perfect business solution for both employer and employee.
1. Increase Employee Satisfaction
It is well documented that happy employees are more productive employees, and with telecommuting this is no exception. Studies have shown that 2 out of 3 employees would prefer to work from home, and that 50% of them would choose to work at home over a pay raise. A poll of over 1,000 employees revealed that one third of them would take a 10% pay cut if that meant they could work from home. Also, 75% of all employees consider the option to telecommute as a job perk.
2. Decrease Employee Turnover
According to research, losing a valued employee can cost an employer over $10,000 and hiring and training a new employee can cost that employer additional thousands of dollars. Businesses want to keep employees in order to be as efficient as possible and telecommuting can help them achieve that. Data shows that 10% of Americans have changed jobs in order to shorten their commute, with two thirds of them saying they would change jobs if they had the chance.
3. Reduce Employee Absences
In a recent study conducted among current employees, over 75% of them say that they have called off sick when they really weren't. The total cost of unscheduled absences to employers is over $300 billion annually. The flexibility of telecommuting greatly reduces the need for employees to take unscheduled absences. Also, even if employees are sick they can continue to work from home without harming those in the work environment.
4. Increase Productivity
Many large firms such as Best Buy and Dow Chemical have reported over 30% increased productivity in their telecommuting employees. Almost all other business who offer teleworking have reported a similar phenomenon. This has a lot to do with the ease at which performance is measured for teleworkers. Teleworkers are judged based on what they complete instead of when and where they show up. Businesses have the potential to save hundreds of millions each year by reducing employee distractions through telework.
5. Save Money
Telecommuting saves money for both businesses and employees. Employers save on overhead associated with having a workforce present at their offices on a daily basis. In fact, IBM reported that it was able to slash real estate costs by over $40 million by instituting telecommuting. Employees also have the potential to save a great deal of money on gas to and from work.
6. Cuts Waste
Businesses are always looking for ways to reduce waste and teleworking can help solve this. Many business meetings are wasted because of lack of communication and enthusiasm of the topic at hand. Web based meetings offer a solution. Because of the ease of communication, web based meetings are often much more productive than traditional meetings because they are usually only conducted on an as needed basis.
7. Empowered Employees
Telework, especially during the hiring process has the potential to greatly reduce discrimination in the work place because candidates are chosen solely on ability and not appearance. Also due to communication happening over the internet, personalities are equalized and everyone has an equal say not just the loudest person. Remote work also forces people to complete tasks independently with their own personal motivation. Also, disabled workers who would otherwise have a difficult time finding transportation now can have employment opportunities.
8. New Job Opportunities
Telecommuting has the potential to revolutionize the way we do business and our jobs. By opening up communication worldwide, teleworking companies can hire workers regardless of geographic restrictions. Also, many women are joining the workforce while still maintaining their role as primary caregiver and this would increase if more had the opportunity to work from home. Also 75% of retired people say they would love to continue working, but would enjoy flexibility to enjoy retirement.
9. Good for the Environment
To put it simply less cars on the roads equals less pollution in the atmosphere from fossil fuels. Traffic jams waste almost 3 billion gallons of gas annually which adds up to millions of metric tons of CO2 gas in the atmosphere. Office energy consumption is also almost twice as much as typical home energy consumption, so workers would be saving double by not commuting and working from home.
10. Financial Incentives
Many states including Virginia and Oregon offer financial incentives to businesses to allow employees to telecommute. Other states even offer free training to employers on how to run a telecommuting workforce.
All in all telecommuting has many benefits for employers, employees, and everyone who lives on planet earth. The potential for telework to reduce waste and improve productivity is almost limitless. Hopefully more businesses adopt teleworking in the future and you are inspired by this article to go out and telecommute!