Thinking of giving your employees the opportunity to telecommute? For many companies, having remote workers streamlines productivity and business growth.
Telecommuting is an upward trend in most industries. More employees, of all generations, want to change the way they work. And as it becomes more and more difficult to source solid talent, telecommuting is a popular perk that many companies are offering to attract the best employees.
According to him Gallup report Regarding the state of the workplace in America, 43% of Americans teleworked at some point in 2016. And, that number continues to grow. Gallup also found that 37% of employees would change jobs if they could telecommute at least part of the time. This is an edge that is in fashion Y desired.
However, telecommuting is not possible for all positions. For example, Gallup reported that 57% of employees in the computer, information systems, and math industries work remotely, while only 30% of retail employees work remotely. The reality is that there are certain industries where telecommuting is not as feasible – if yours is one of them, it may not be a smart move for you and your company.
But if most of your business tasks are in the cloud, moving to a partially mobile workforce is relatively easy. You can manage your virtual team using the calendar, video conferencing, and knowledge sharing tools to keep everyone in the loop. And, you can use online time and attendance software to keep track of when employees are working.
There are many benefits to allowing employees to work from home, but it takes a little planning and the right tools to make it work. These are some of the reasons why you should consider allowing remote work on your growing team.
7 Benefits of remote or online workers
Letting employees work from home not only works wonders for your employees, it can also benefit your business.
Micromanaging cripples an employee’s ability to be creative and come up with brilliant ideas. When employees work in the office, it can be easy to micromanage them. Even sitting at the same desk day after day can disrupt innovation.
When an employee works remotely, they can work in an environment where they feel most comfortable to stimulate their creativity. And, an employee might not feel as compelled to sit all day. They can stand, stretch, take short walks, or do other exercises.
Employees can also surround themselves with things that inspire them to be creative when working remotely. And for those who work best when they can speak out loud, having the privacy to do so without disturbing their coworkers can be an advantage.
If you think remote employees spend their days away from their desks, think again. Working remotely can increase the productivity of many remote workers. A recent survey found that one in three American employees believes they are more productive when they work from home.
But, don’t just take employees at their word. Another Stanford study reports that remote employees could produce more work – equivalent to an additional full shift – per week when they worked from home.
The claim that workers are just as productive, if not more so, when they work from home might come as a surprise to some. But when you consider the fact that employees limit distractions and don’t spend valuable time chatting with coworkers when they’re home, the argument makes a little more sense.
3. Work-life balance
Work-life balance describes an employee’s ability to balance his professional and personal life. A healthy work-life balance saves employees from chronic stress and helps them refrain from sacrificing aspects of their personal life.
According to the Gallup report, 53% of employees value a job that promotes work-life balance.
Telecommuting allows employees to do things they might not be able to do in an office, such as babysitting, receiving deliveries, running around lunch, or working near medical appointments.
When employees work from home, you could allow them to deviate from the traditional 9 to 5 hours. You can promote flexible hours, allowing employees to take breaks or work different hours to manage their personal lives.
Promoting work-life balance shows employees that you value them and the work they do for your company. Knowing that you respect their personal lives could lead to increased employee morale. And when employees are able to manage their personal lives effectively, they don’t get as stressed out about those personal tasks when they’re working, which leads to greater engagement.
Employee engagement is achieved when your team is invested in and excited about the work they do, leading to increased production rates. Without employee engagement, your business could face high turnover rates and a business that is suffering the consequences.
Telecommuting can help remove some of those personal life stresses that can affect daily commitment to work.
For example, you have an employee who worries about your children walking home from the bus. During the same time each day, the employee constantly checks his phone to verify that his children are safely home. Is that employee busy at work during this time?
While telecommuting can promote engagement, telecommuting every day can also limit it. Without the office environment and physical interactions with coworkers, some remote employees may feel lonely, resulting in less engagement.
You can maximize engagement by allowing employees to work remotely and requiring them to attend the office. Gallup found that engagement is higher when employees telecommute part of the week and in the office the remaining time. If you let employees telecommute, set limits. For example, you may require that all employees be present at the office on certain days or for a specific number of days each week.
5. Reduced absence
When you let employees work remotely, you may find that fewer employees are yelling. Employees who have retired to treat illness or a busy schedule can work from the comfort of their own sofa.
Some employees don’t want to miss work when they’re sick, which can lead to more days off sick as the cold spreads throughout the team. But when employees have the option of working from home, they can still do their work from the comfort of their home, without infecting their coworkers.
Losing and replacing an employee is expensive and time consuming, especially if you are a high performing employee. The median rental cost is $ 4,425. And, the average time to fill a position is 36 days. The high cost of replacing employees is the reason many companies focus on retention.
Letting employees work from home can help reduce your business turnover rates by offering employees an added benefit that they may want to stay for. Telecommuting not only increases employee satisfaction, it also makes it possible for an employee to work for you if you move to a new city.
Consider losing your best candidate because you need to relocate. If you let them work remotely, you can keep them on your team, even if they work from the other side of the country.
7. Cost savings
We have discussed the savings your business will receive by reducing sales volume. But what about the savings you could get from downsizing your office?
The fact that employees work from home means that you can opt for a smaller and less expensive office space, reducing the cost of utilities and rent. You can also save on office furniture, coffee, snacks, and more.
If you let employees work from home on some days and come to the office on other days, consider sharing your desk. For example, Employee A is in the office on Mondays and Fridays, while Employee B is in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They can use the same space because they work on different days.
Remember, letting employees telecommute is not appropriate for all companies. Consider the challenges of managing remote employees and determine if your company is ready to offer this benefit.