Employers, Reap the Benefits of Telecommuting

April 19th, 2012 by

Telecommuting has become a popular work option for many employees as advances in technology increase. More employers are realizing that producing work in the office isn’t the only way to successfully complete assignments. Not only does this workplace alternative decrease gas emission and conserve energy, which Sunday’s Earth Day celebrators can appreciate, but it offers both companies and staff members a number of benefits.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider letting your employees work remotely:

1.       They are more productive

With fewer office distractions and interruptions from coworkers, employees have more time to focus on getting their work done. Eliminating their daily commute also reduces workers’ stress levels and adds more time to their schedule, helping them be more productive.

2.       Your employees will be happier

Research indicates that telecommuters are less stressed, eat more home-cooked meals and sleep more than their in-office counterparts. These factors also contribute to telecommuters’ decrease in sick days. Having the freedom to work flexible schedules, helps your employees achieve work/life balance and a greater quality of life.

3.       You’ll incur less overhead costs

Fewer employees in the workplace means less money spent on creating and furnishing office space. Your operation costs, including electricity, water and air conditioning will also go down when fewer employees frequent the office.

4.       Your pool of eligible job candidates will increase

Offering flexible work arrangements allows you to choose candidates who may not perform as well on a traditional 9-to-5, in-office schedule. Candidates may include disabled or new parent job seekers.

Like any workplace initiative, telecommuting can also bring challenges to employers and employees. Here are a few to be aware of:

1.       Who should work from home

Not every job at your organization is conducive for a remote-work schedule, such as a receptionist. Additionally, not every employee is cut out to or desires to work from home. Employees who have strong self-discipline, have shown accountability and don’t mind blending work with life are ideal telecommuters.

2.       Feelings of isolation from your telecommuters

Because remote workers don’t visit the office often, they may feel isolated from your team and company culture. To prevent these feelings, frequently touch base with your telecommuters by email, phone or Skype.  Invite them to come into the office if they’d like to talk with you face-to-face as well. Be sure they are invited to staff socials so they have chances to interact with their coworkers.

3.       Onboarding new hires who want to telecommute

The first few months of work for new hires include learning their jobs, meeting their coworkers and getting familiar with expectations. Telecommuting during this time may be challenging for them. Once they become comfortable in their positions, revisit their request to work remotely.

4.       Providing opportunities of growth and advancement

Make sure you are offering telecommuters opportunities to grow their skill set and learn new knowledge to benefit their careers. As you do with your workers who are in the office, set up goals with your remote staffers. If they meet or exceed their expected results, reward them appropriately.

Telecommuting is a privilege that can be taken away if desired results are not achieved. Including language in your employee handbook regarding your telecommuting policy is recommended by experts. Setting expectations and responsibilities for your workers who elect a more flexible schedule will help you ensure success for them and your company.

Please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 for more tips on implementing a telecommuting program at your organization.

Photo Souce: Victor1558

2 Responses to “Employers, Reap the Benefits of Telecommuting”

  1. […] Employers, Reap the Benefits of Telecommuting: Persis Swift, Workplace Insights, looks at some of the advantages and challenges of allowing employees to telecommute. […]

  2. […] If feasible for their position, allow your employees to enjoy more flexible schedules. When employees need a physical or mental break from work, flex schedules help employees maintain work/life balance, which aids them in completing quality work for your company. For additional benefits from flexible schedules for both employees and employers read our post Employers, Reap the Benefits of Telecommuting. […]

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