In our technologically advanced society, telecommuting is a viable and popular alternative for many people in the workforce. With the ability to send and receive information and get in touch with others in mere seconds, telecommuting can reduce overhead costs and promote stronger employee morale. While some organizations may argue that not physically being present in an office is challenging to productivity, virtual workforces are becoming quite common across various industries.
In a report by WorldatWork Telework Trendlines, we discovered that almost 29 million Americans are telecommuting at least once a month. Additionally, 2.6 percent of the U.S. employee workforce (3.3 million people, not including the self-employed or unpaid volunteers) considered home their primary place of work, according to Global Workplace Analytics. Here are four reasons why you should reconsider your telecommuting policy at your organization:
1. Telecommuting encourages a balanced lifestyle.
Employees with obligations outside of work, such as children, find telecommuting especially helpful. It allows them to manage their own time and manage their lives according to what is important to them, without having to worry about transportation and other potential problems. By cutting down on their stressors, the quality of their life and health is drastically improved.
2. Telecommuting strengthens loyalty to the organization.
People are generally a bit happier when they can be flexible in their responsibilities. Because of this, the happier they become, the more loyal they will be to their organization. When a company shows that it is willing to let an employee create his or her own schedule, it makes the employee feel valued and trusted to do the job.
3. Telecommuting allows great team members to participate in a team regardless of location.
As with life, situations and obligations shift. Workers that are free to relocate while telecommuting don’t have to worry about their job security because of a move. This ensures that talented members of an organization stay with that organization. The ideal candidate may not be the person that lives down the road from the office, but rather a highly qualified individual that lives 2 states over. The contributions of excellent candidates will always be invaluable to the team. Also, workers have the ability to learn from others that don’t have their same methods or line of thinking since they can be virtually from anywhere!
4. Telecommuting increases daily productivity.
The New York Times reported that those who work at home tend to put in “longer hours and are often more productive.” However, this benefit is often realized after a company has developed a plan, including the best technology to use to maintain and track productivity. Other studies have argued that telecommuting may slow a staff member’s opportunities for promotions, so a combination of working at home and in the office remains ideal.
Will you consider adding a formal telecommuting policy to your organization? Share your comments with us, and we may feature you in our next e-Newsletter.
For more information on this topic or to continue this discussion with other executives, join the Ascendis Masterminds for Managers group on LinkedIn and connect with us on Twitter at @DrakeAscendis.