Why You Should Consider Letting Employees Work Remotely

Are you an employer who is hesitant to let your staff work at home? If so, you may be demoralizing staff, losing key contributors and damaging your reputation with job seekers. You may also be missing out on cost saving opportunities.

According January, 2016 data compiled by GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, 80% to 90% of the US workforce says they would like to telework at least part time. Regular work-at-home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 103% since 2005. GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com helps organizations and communities understand and communicate the business case for emerging workplace strategies such as telecommuting, hoteling, desk sharing, agile work, open office, and flexible work.

According to March 2016 GlobalworkplaceAnalytics.com data, those with compatible jobs and a desire to work from home did so just half the time (roughly the national average for those who do so regularly) the national savings would total over $700 Billion a year including:

  • A typical business would save $11,000 per person per year
  • The telecommuters would save between $2,000 and $7,000 a year
  • The greenhouse gas reduction would be the equivalent of taking the entire New York State workforce permanently off the road.

“Employers who let their employees work from home save money,” says Hallie Crawford, a Certified Career Coach and Founder of HallieCrawford.com Career Coaching. “Studies have shown that when employees work from home, this saves money on everything from the utility bills to health insurance. It’s also great for the environment since it reduces traffic and pollution.”

People are sick of the rat-race, eager to take control of their lives, and desperate to find a balance between work and life.

Fortune 1000 companies around the globe are entirely revamping their space around the fact that employees are already mobile. Studies repeatedly show they are not at their desk 50-60% of the time. Many small businesses also understand the value of allowing employees to work remotely. A poll of 1,500 technology professionals revealed that 37% would take a pay cut of 10% if they could work from home. Gen Y’ers are more difficult to recruit (as reported by 56% of hiring managers) and to retain (as reported by 64% of hiring managers), but they are particularly attracted to flexible work arrangements (ranked as 8 on a 10-point scale for impact on overall job satisfaction.

Employee retention, employee morale and workplace satisfication consistently ranks as keys to employee happiness and success. When employees work at home or remotely, they tend to take better care of themselves and in turn, are healthier, happier and more productive employees.

Studies show that 61% of employees who do not currently work from home say they are willing to give up some pay in exchange for being allowed to do so, and 68% of participants in Shering-Plough Corporation’s telework program, which dates back to 1999, say that being able to telework is a factor in their decision to stay with the company.

“Employees will take better care of themselves,” says Crawford. “The time they save on their commute to and from the office allows them time to eat better meals and exercise more regularly. Employees who work from home also experience a better work/life balance, which makes employees happier.”

Healthier employees also spend less time out of the office because they are sick or need to go to the doctor. This can help employers reduce group health benefit costs. It’s a trickle down effect. According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com:

  • 78% of employees who call in sick, really aren’t. They do so because of family issues, personal needs, and stress.
  • Unscheduled absences cost employers $1,800/employee/year; that adds up to $300 billion/year for U.S. companies.
  • Telecommuting programs reduce unscheduled absences by 63%.

Are you ready to let your employees work at home? Now is the time to make it work.

“Employees are more productive,” says Crawford. “Employees who don’t experience the stress of a long commute or the stress of working with a lot of different personalities at work can get their work done better and faster. They also experience fewer interruptions than they would being at an office. The key here is to discuss with your employee what their required responsibilities would be. Many employers find it helpful to have a set work schedule for their employees who work at home to provide structure and know that they can be in touch with their employees at those times.”

Written by

Matt Krumrie is a career columnist and professional resume writer who has been providing helpful information and resources for job seekers and employers for 15+ years. Learn more about Krumrie via resumesbymatt.com, connect with him on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/mattkrumrie/) and follow him on Twitter via @MattKrumrie.

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