Maybe you’ve held a previous telecommuting position as a remote worker and would like to work from home again. Or perhaps you’re so completely fed up with your hellish commute into work each day that you’re desperate to find something closer to home—or better yet, in your home.
OnlineMBA.com recently posted a comprehensive YouTube video, “Telecommuting Is Good For You and Good For Business,” which highlights just some of the many benefits of telecommuting. It leads off with the story of Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and how the hope was that the hiring of 5 months-pregnant Mayer would help ignite work life balance everywhere—until she banned it in Yahoo! a few months later. However, many workplace experts disagree with Mayer’s decision to eliminate telecommuting. In fact, many contend that telecommuting has an overwhelming number of benefits, not just for employees, but employers as well.
Here are 5 ways in which telecommuting is a win/win.
One of the major misconceptions about telecommuting is that once employees are out of sight, they will slack off—big time. Nothing could be further from the truth, though. Case in point: The video cites one Stanford study that showed that call center employees actually increased their productivity by 13% when allowed to work from home. And another study from University of Texas, Austin showed that telecommuters worked 5-7 hours more than their in-office counterparts.
When employees are unhappy with their commutes, they might be more apt to call in sick—or look for another position that will allow them to work remotely and subsequently quit. Lost productivity can cost a company thousands of dollars—and that number can skyrocket when the employee actually does resign. Employees who are given the option to telecommute are reportedly much happier (73%) with their employers and their ability to telecommute than traditional office workers (64%). Being happier in their jobs means that employees are much more likely to stay in their positions, which saves a company a lot of money in the long run.
Let’s say that you’re caring for aging parents, and you need to take them for frequent doctors’ visits. By being able to work from home—and have a better work life balance—employees become happier and feel valued. In turn, that happiness turns into gratitude, causing employees to become more invested in the companies they work for—and work harder. In fact, a study from Pennsylvania State University shows that telecommuters are generally less stressed and happier than those who work in an office.
The vast majority of employees drive in to work each day. All that pollution can (and does) take a huge toll on the environment. A recent study conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association found that telecommuting saves enough energy to power one million homes in the United States for an entire year! In that way, both companies—and their workers—can greatly reduce their carbon footprint when employees work from home.
If you thought that only employees benefit financially from working from home, think again. Sure, employees will avoid added expenses that come with working in an office (such as commuting costs, or having to buy office attire and daily lunches), but employers save big bucks as well. It’s estimated that for each employee who telecommutes, a company saves about $11,000 annually.
With its numerous benefits, more and more companies are allowing their employees to work remotely. Not only does telecommuting greatly benefit the environment, but it strengthens a company financially and creates a more invested, cohesive—and most importantly, happy—workforce.
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