Telecommuting is a great business strategy for managing your workforce. There are many benefits to employees that come with taking advantage of a telecommuting program, but what about the benefits for employers? Why should businesses be looking at implementing this avant-garde business arrangement?
Well first we need to ask one question. What exactly is Telecommuting?
Telecommuting is an arrangement between an organization and their employees that allows for work-from-home business practices, normally with the help of video conferencing. Some businesses allow for full-time or part-time telecommuting to take place depending on the employee’s role within the organization. Job specification is integral to deciding if a position is suitable for the work-from-home methodology; however, with 50% of the US workforce fitting the criteria of the work-from-home model organizations can find that much of their workforce is eligible for some form of telecommuting.
So what are the benefits to organizations? Let’s find out.
Keep Your Employees Satisfied and Working for You.
It is predicted that for a salaried employee turnover costs for an organization are anywhere between 6 to 9 months of that employees salary in order to find and train a replacement. Turnover can be a huge problem in some industries and a good way to combat this is through the use of telecommuting. Telecommuting can deliver employees high-levels of flexibility, which is something that a lot of people crave especially younger millennials and employees looking for a life/work balance.
Telecommuting not only provides flexibility to the workforce, but helps build trust between your organization and your teams. Every employee has that one experience that they felt their organization might not have full trust in them. Telecommuting is a great way to show them that you believe in their commitment to the success of the company. Building employee trust by offering them flexible work-from-home opportunities are also a keen incentive for them to want to stay on longer.
Implementing telecommuting helps employees achieve a good work/life balance and builds trust within the organization, allowing you to not only recruit top tier talent but make sure that your time invested in your current talent doesn’t leave you.
You Could See a Drop in Your Operating Costs.
According to Global Workplace Analytics the average savings in real estate from a single telecommuting employee equals out to about 10,000$ per year. Telecommuting is a great way to cut your costs. No longer do you need to ramp up real estate spending to accommodate new hires for the last push of a big project. Telecommuting allows for easy project pushes and expansion in employee numbers without costing a dollar more in real estate costs.
Add on top of this that absenteeism can cost some organizations anywhere from a million dollars or above. Telecommuting allows for an absent employee to still be productive from home and contribute to the organizations goals, even if they’re under the weather or taking care of family matters. Think of the productivity and money you could save if your employees could go from 100% lost productivity to even 50% during absent breaks.
You’re Doing Your Part for the Environment
Telecommuting can help you do your part to fight against climate change. Less people traveling means less carbon emissions being produced. In fact, currently about 3% of the US workforce is telecommuting and working from home. This part of the workforce helps reduce the annual amount of carbon emissions by an outstanding 3.6 million metric tons per year. Imagine what could be achieved by bringing that up to 10%.
Worker Performance and Productivity Can Increase
Many people argue that employees who are work-from-homers are more likely to slack off and accomplish less, but studies looking into the work-from-home movement have come out with some really stunning conclusions on the links between employee productivity and the work-from-home lifestyle.
In a new report conducted by FlexJobs of a survey conducted of a pool of 3,100 workers, 65% believe that they could be more productive working from home rather than from a traditional office location. 75% listed fewer distractions, while 74%, 71%, and 65% listed fewer colleague interruptions, reduced commuting, and reduction of office politics as other top reasons respectively.
James Liang, co-founder and CEO of Ctrip, China's largest travel agency with 16,000 employees, participated in a 2 year research experiment with Stanford University by implementing a work-from-home model in his company’s Shanghai HQ and saw impressive results. The results showed an outstanding productivity boost among telecommuters equivalent to a full day’s work and, additionally, saw attrition rates among employees decrease by 50%.
There still may be some wrinkles in the successful implementation of the work-from-home model, but the jury is far from out and the current research looks to be pointed in a positive direction for this new working trend.
If you are thinking of implementing a work-from-home plan in your business remember to plan out your program in detail so you can offer your employees a program that works well and achieves the success you are looking for.