Generally, when most people think of telecommuting, they imagine that employees are the ones who greatly benefit from the arrangement. Actually, that is the furthest thing from the truth. Employers experience as many—if not more—benefits when their employees telecommute than workers themselves! Here are six unexpected employer benefits of telecommuting.

Telecommuting is cheaper.

When employees work in an office, it can become quite costly for employers. Factor in office space to accommodate their staff, electrical and water usage, and equipment costs, and it can add up to a major expense per employee. It’s estimated that companies who let their staffers telecommute stand to save approximately $11,000 annually per employee! And when several staffers (or the entire staff) telecommutes, the savings can be quite significant to a company’s bottom line.

Workers are more productive.

It’s one of the biggest myths in the telecommuting world: let your employees work from home, and they’ll never work. In actuality, the opposite is true. Studies have shown over and over again that employees who work remotely are more productive than their in-office colleagues. Without the distraction of chatty colleagues, remote workers can focus on their work more easily. Also, sans a lengthy commute into the office, telecommuters can start their workday earlier, and use that time to maximize their productivity.

You can hire anyone in the world.

Let’s say that you need to hire a new worker. If all of your staffers work in a traditional office, then you need to find someone local who can trek into the office each and every day. If you’re hiring someone to telecommute, you can literally hire anyone anywhere in the world. While the thought of hiring someone from Paris may sound exciting, there’s a far greater practical purpose to it, though. Being able to hire any potential job seeker, regardless of their location, allows you to truly find the best candidate for the position—without borders.

Your employees can handle mishaps.

One employee’s child wakes up with a fever. Another has to take his aging mom to a doctor’s appointment, smack in the middle of the day. A third staffer’s car breaks down right before he’s about to leave for work. A snowstorm shuts down the city. All of these issues would typically cause staffers to call in sick or take a personal day, resulting in lost productivity for the company. Those who work from home, though, can still navigate through these work-life balance issues and still get their work done. Why? Because they are able to attend to the demands of their day without it coming at a cost (literally) to their employer.

Teams with flex schedules work almost 24/7.

Having all of your employees in the same office at the same time means that the bulk of work being produced happens between 9-5. When staffers are far-flung around the globe, each will start and stop their workday at various times. In essence, some coworkers will take over when others are soundly sleeping through the night. For an employer, that translates into round-the-clock productivity, which can be excellent for companies, for example, that are customer service-driven.

Telecommuting means less turnover.

It’s a fact: employees who are allowed to telecommute show more dedication and loyalty to their organizations than those who have to schlep into an office five days a week. That might not seem that important, but consider this: It’s estimated that for an employee who earns $50,000 a year or less, it costs about 20 percent of his salary to hire a replacement. When you consider the cost of hiring a new employee (and the time it will take to train said employee), it’s a huge benefit to allow employees to work remotely.

Sure, people who are allowed to telecommute save money, time, and energy not having to commute into an office—not to mention gaining some serious work-life balance. But on the flip side, employers stand to gain a tremendous amount when they let their workers telecommute, too. For both employers and employees, telecommuting is most definitely a win/win.

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