Employees who conduct their duties outside of the office are remote workers or telecommuters. Some of these people work permanently outside of the office while others only work remotely on certain days. With over 47% of people (more than one million people) able to telework today, this is changing how people look at the traditional office worker. This is something that's making people start to re-think the role of the office worker in today's society. Studies are even being conducted in this regard by a variety of companies. They've found a lot of great reasons to telecommute today.
Telecommuting is Healthier
According to Tech Republic, companies don't have to worry about absenteeism as much because employees will take fewer sick days. This is because employees who have a minor illness find it miserable to go into the office but this isn't true of working from home. They can still get work done from home. The bonus here is that you won't catch their illness either.
Most of the time workers aren't as stressed so they don't get as sick. While in the office it's easy for employees to get overwhelmed and this often leads to illnesses. However, when you let your employees work from home you're actually encouraging them to be less stressed. A lot of this has to do with the fact that they don't have to get up, dress in uncomfortable clothes and fight their way through traffic every morning. This sets the wrong mood for many people from the beginning of their day.
Feeling less stress also means companies benefit from having happier employees work for them. This is because they can find a better work-life balance when working from home. They're there for their kids and their ailing parents. They can make it to activities and appointments. At the same time, they also take their work more seriously by being able to sit down and truly concentrate on it at times that work best for them. As such, they're more productive which helps your business' bottom line.
Your Company Saves Money
When it comes to your company's bottom line, you'll also find that remote workers cost you less money. This is because companies don't have to pay as much for rent and everything that goes into maintaining an office space – things like utilities and other overhead costs. Even if you still want to maintain an office space, you won't need as big of one. This is because you can choose to let certain employees work at home on certain days. By staggering their work at home days you'll need less space. Everyone can still easily stay in contact through web meetings which you can host through video conferencing.
When your employees don't work from your office as often, you don't spend as much money on office supplies either. They won't need to use as many of them so you won't need to place as many bulk orders. Of course, you won't have to pay for office snacks either. Entrepreneur says that IBM claims to save $100 million per year on these things since they started their remote-work program.
Ditching the Commute Actually Builds Loyalty
Your business isn't the only one saving money. Going back to the concept that commuting is bad for your health, your employees will also save money when working from home in this regard. They'll also leave less of a carbon footprint and waste less time, which also refers back to the importance of work-life balance. This will truly boost their morale.
Better employee morale translates to more productivity for your company. Stanford actually conducted a study about this. In it, they discovered that telecommuters are 13% more productive than their traditional, in-office counterparts.
Another great way your company benefits here is that now you can hire top talent, regardless of their location. When there's no office to worry about, you can work with anyone in the world. This is why you see freelance networks like Toptal growing by leaps and bounds today. They've capitalized on this location-independent concept and benefited by hiring some of the world's best software developers. Doing so has got them some great PR that's attracted employees from other companies their way because they were jealous.
Even the employees you've already hired will pay attention. They'll see how beneficial telecommuting is to their lifestyle and when they do they'll be less likely to quit. Instead, they'll actually become much more loyal because they don't want to lose this employee benefit, which may actually come to see as a real “privilege.”
Loyal employees truly benefit your company by being more engaged. A lot of this has to do with the fact that they're able to work when they have the time to do so. As mentioned earlier, and throughout this article, these employees find a work-life balance that allows them to take care of their lives and work when they're best able to do so. This actually results in much less “burnout” and there's much less need for a vacation. Employees see working from home as a break from the office.
Even though they're still working while at home, employees can recharge easier. This is because they can walk away from their computer and spend more time with their family. Simply being engaged with their family means they probably won't need that two-week vacation every year even though it's a well-known fact that Americans work a lot more than anyone in any other country who's alive today. In fact, you may even see your employees willing to work more each day. This is because they can now spend the time they'd otherwise spend commuting working on things for your company instead.
Telecommuting is only starting to change how we look at the traditional office today. While most people are on board with remote working today and have been for many years now, it's still growing in many ways. Over 90% of companies already offer flexible working conditions but this is only flexible hours and part-time working. In the future, we can expect more staff to actually work from home though.