Over the past decade or so, telecommuting has grown leaps and bounds in industries suited to remote work. With the current state of technology, it is now easier than ever to work from home. However, according to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, only 7% of companies are allowing their employees to telecommute. Here is why telecommuting is good for employees and employers.
There are many benefits for an employee that telecommutes. Telecommuting can increase productivity, lower stress, and create a better work-life-balance.
- Increased productivity
Often times working remotely will increase productivity because there are usually less distractions out of the office. Things like office politics, gossip, and surprise meetings can, for the most part, be eliminated. This is a benefit for the employer as well.
- Lower stress
Many of the stresses of life can be reduced. Think about getting ready in the morning, getting the kids to school on time. Then you sit in traffic for a good portion of the day and try to make it to work on time.
- Better work-life balance
One thing I hear about a lot these days is work-life balance. Employees that work remotely have a far better work-life balance. Running errands during the day or going to you child’s school function becomes a lot easier to do from home. Just being at home and not having to commute allows extra time with the family and doing the stuff you want to do.
There are also many benefits for an employer that allows telecommuting. It can help keep costs lows, reduce employee turnover and retain older employees.
- Keep overhead costs low
It is very expensive to maintain an office building and to keep the lights on every month. Even if the company still needs to maintain a small office, telecommuting eliminates the need for a large office, thereby eliminating high costs.
- Reduce employee turnover
Happy employees tend to stay at their current job longer. According to a study performed by Stanford University, when workers that were offered remote work, turnover fell by more than 50 percent.
- Retain older employees longer
The Pew Research Center conducted a survey and found that older workers are staying in the workforce more than any other time in recent history. Talent can be difficult to find and new talent needs more training. So a better alternative may be to offer remote employment and retain older talent.
So why don’t more companies allow employees to telecommute?
One reason may be that companies think they will lose control over employees. Or maybe they think productivity will go down. Whatever the reason, there are some basic truths about how employees act, whether in the office or remote. I have been observing telecommuter behavior over the past ten years and a good employee that does their assigned work in the office will continue to do so remotely. I’ve also informally polled remote employees about their jobs and most of them feel that they are more plugged in to matters pertaining to the company. Some of them even work longer hours.