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Ways Telecommuting Offers Savings for Both Employer and Employee

By Edited Nov 23, 2016 1 4

Telecommuting is a great opportunity for both employers and employees to save money. There are many mutually beneficial advantages telecommuting principles offer, and the practice of telecommuting can be a win-win scenario for all.

Businesses have realized the potential for higher profitability and retaining the best employees by offering flexibility in work options.  In 2003, 19 percent of people were telecommuters. According to Allstate, in a blog post published in June 2013, telecommuting had grown 73 percent across all sectors since 2005. [1]

Woman working while looking at mobile
Credit: User 27707 via Pixabay CC0 Public Domain https://pixabay.com/en/work-desk-smart-phone-laptop-phone-1205159/

Statistics are suggesting telecommuting is being utilzed more frequently these days. Some workers split their time between home and the office, while others work exclusively from home.

Employees also recognize the benefits of working from home, both financially and the opportunity to work in a more family-friendly oriented environment. While the advantages of telecommuting are diverse, the cost-savings are one of the primary motivators for both employer and employee. Here are a few of the top ways both parties save by engaging in telecommuting:

Savings for Employees

There are many advantages people who work from home are able to enjoy, ranging from financial benefits to personal satisfaction.

Provides financial savings:

Employees offered the opportunity to telecommute to work enjoy many financial benefits. There are little or no commuting costs, which results in a savings on fuel, public transportation and parking fees. Also, less can be spent on a professional wardrobe.

The ability to work from home can also filter down to decreased expenses in other areas, such as daycare. A parent who is able to work from home can either cut back or eliminate day care costs after school or during the full day. Employees who are caretakers of adult family members can also save on day programs or home health care services that come in periodically during the work week to check on loved ones during the day.

Time: Time is one of the biggest savings gained for many telecommuter employees. The time saved on having to commute is time that can be given back to family or personal life, creating a better work-life balance. This is very appealing to many people because they can spend more time on the things most important to them.  Not to mention telecommuting can offer lowered levels of stress.

Flexibility: For parents, it also allows higher levels of flexibility because they can attend school events, ball games, dance competitions and other family events which are important which may be missed when working in the formal office structure.

Relaxed man working on laptop
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Working from home alleviates the stresses that often are present in the workplace.

Additionally, they can save on time if their children need to go to the doctor or other appointment. An hour or two in the morning or afternoon can be easily made up in the early morning or later at night (depending on type of work done of course. Some businesses may need their employees working during traditional work hours).

Autonomy: The autonomy afforded by telecommuting gives employees a chance to thrive, and this can result in higher quality and quantity of work. Employees who are happier are better producers, which means less tedium involved in work. This also saves on time because there is a good chance important projects or assignments are completed more quickly.

All of the above can lead to stronger morale, better productivity and, ultimately, more profitability for the employer, providing many savings.

Savings for Employers

Today's dynamic businesses have recognized the potential for savings through use of telecommuting and, as a result, the percentage of employees working from home has been steadily increasing. There are many real savings for employers who allow telecommuting as a part of their organizational structure. 

Productivity: Employers who encourage the option of telecommuting  often find higher levels of productivity which gives them more bang for their salary buck. [2]

Overhead: Additionally, businesses can save on work space, enjoy less overhead — for both fixed and variable costs — and can save money through a number of other ways as well. 

Stronger morale: Happy employees are not only more productive, they also experience higher levels of morale. This usually equates to more innovation and a desire to produce high quality work.

Working/Telecommuting
Credit: TheDigitalWay via Pixabay CC0 Public Domain https://pixabay.com/en/office-contract-computer-phone-1575874/

Surveys suggest people feel they can better focus when working from home.

Lowered turnover rate: Employers who offer flexibility to their employees can typically enjoy lower turnover rates, which results in less money spent on the recruitment, application, hiring and training processes.

Some Fun Facts About Telecommuting

With the rise of mobile and other technological progress, the game has changed. Other telecommuting trends seen in recent years include:

  • Some employment segments use telecommuting more than others. In 2015, 38 percent of people in management, business and financial jobs did some telecommuting. In other professional-related occupations 35 percent did "some or all" from home. [3]
  • Occasional telecommuting is on the uptick. [4]
  • Millenials are now the largest working population segment. This means trends are likely shift when it comes to telecommuting. (Hello mobile!)
  • In one survey, 76 percent of people asked said they avoided the office when important tasks needed to be done.   [5] This further illustrates the point about higher levels of productivity.

On a broader level, this practice can also be considered "green". With fewer people commuting to and from work everyday, this generates less automobile pollution which, in this respect, can be likened to a benefit for all of society.

The ability to telecommute isn't for everyone nor is it a one-sized-fits-all solution, but for those who find it appealing and a good way to work, the practice can be a mutually beneficial one in terms of savings and productivity. In workplaces where it both feasible and possible, incorporating telecommuting into the workplace is often a win-win for everyone.

Work from home
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Comments

Nov 20, 2016 12:03pm
HLesley
Nice article, Leigh. As you know, I am a very happy telecommuter, and make money teaching and writing. I like the flexibility, the ability to take my work with me when I travel, and not having to go out in winter weather. There are some downsides to consider, though. You may not get the same fringe benefits as traditional workers because much on line work is on a "contract" basis, it can be isolating, and sometimes it's difficult to deal with the distractions of life at home. On balance, for me, the pluses outweigh the minuses.
Nov 23, 2016 1:26am
LeighGoessl
The flexibility is a huge thing for me too. I agree, there are some downsides too....for me, some days I really miss going into the office (well, where I used to work). Overall, there are a lot of benefits though.
Nov 21, 2016 12:52pm
javrsmith
I am a 100% telecommuter now. My home office is 30 miles from the workplace. If I had to go in everyday, I would quit. I used to do the commute but now know that it's not worth it.
Nov 23, 2016 1:28am
LeighGoessl
That is a long commute (especially if traffic is involved), I could see why you are enjoying the ability to telework. Thanks for commenting!
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Bibliography

  1. "5 Ways Telecommuting Can Save Your Small Business Money." Allstate. 13/06/2013. 10/10/2016 <Web >
  2. "What Telecommuting Can Do for Your Business." PC World. 28/09/2011. 10/10/2016 <Web >
  3. "24 percent of employed people did some or all of their work at home in 2015." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 08/07/2016. 10/10/2016 <Web >
  4. "5 Big Flexible Work Stats from 2015." FlexJobs. 10/10/2016 <Web >
  5. "Survey: 76% Avoid the Office for Important Tasks." FlexJobs. 10/10/2016 <Web >
  6. "Travel trends show power of telecommuting." Washington Post. 20/04/2016. 10/10/2016 <Web >

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