Since the 2007-2008 financial crisis the way Americans do their jobs has changed dramatically. There are more part-time workers, more freelancers and more people working from home. But is telecommuting right for your business and your employees?
A 2013 Stanford University study determined telecommuting worker productivity levels outperformed their in-office counterparts by almost 15 percent. Remote employees spend less time surfing the web, take fewer breaks and shorter lunch hours. Workers want and need to feel valued. When a corporation allows telecommuting it signals they appreciate, respect and trust their employees and the job they do, and in return the employees are more productive.
How many times have you wanted to call in sick because of your hellish commute? Or perhaps you were up all night with a sick child who now feels fine but you’re exhausted? Lost productivity caused by workers calling in sick where they aren’t or taking an unexpected personal day is both costly and inconvenient to a business. When an employee is allowed to telecommute and can bypass a long drive or even something as simple as having to get dressed in professional attire after a night with no sleep, they are more likely to put in a full day’s work.
As mentioned above, not all jobs are suitable for being worked remotely. There could be sensitive security issues which can’t be guaranteed if an employee is allowed to work off-site. Even if secure internet access can be put into place, often unauthorized individuals could still gain availability to sensitive files and programs.
When telecommuting is not available to each department and each employee, company morale can suffer due to staff jealously and resentment. These same feelings can also arise when an office has a close knit staff and the remote workers begin to feel they are no longer a part of the workplace environment.
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