Top 7 benefits of telecommuting for the future of work
Telecommuting is not a new concept, but the impetus of the global pandemic has forced many people and companies to consider this type of arrangement. As the labor market changes and the benefits of work-from-home start becoming well-known, telecommuting will be the trend that defines the future of work. While there are challenges that will need to be overcome, some significant benefits have already become apparent.
Whether you are the employer or employee, telecommuting enables a significant cost decrease in many areas.
For employers. Regardless of whether you operate a small, medium, or a large business, paying for and maintaining office space can easily take up to a quarter of your annual budget, not to mention the burden of first finding the appropriate offices to lease. By allowing a significant amount of workers to work from home, you can downsize the office space and cut electricity and transport costs.
According to research done by globalworkplaceanalytics.com, many employees see full-time remote work as a benefit and would be willing to take a pay cut of up to 10% if they were allowed to have such a position. It is obvious that a 10% reduction cost of employee salaries is a huge boon to a company and gives you much wider profit margins. You could easily do an internal company poll to see if this applies to you and implement it if appropriate.
For employees. If you organize yourself properly, even with taking a pay cut to get a full-time work-from-home position, you will see a substantial increase in your personal budget. Whether your original commute was by public transport or personal car, the money spent on bus fares or gas adds up. Add to that the maintenance costs of the vehicles you are using and it becomes obvious that working from home has direct financial benefits for you. Maybe you can even sell that old gas-guzzling family car for a quick little profit.
Eating at home is also a huge money saver. Even mid-range restaurants, when eaten at daily, are a huge financial burden on any worker. If your office is located in a more expensive part of town, a healthy meal may be a privilege, instead of a normal part of life. When change spent on snack and drink machines is added to the equation, it becomes obvious that your savings would skyrocket if you somehow avoided it. Well, with a work-from-home set-up, eating cheap and healthy is a distinct possibility.
One of the major disincentives for employers to allow permanent telecommuting was the belief that, if allowed, productivity would take a nosedive.
Research and experience have shown that not only are telecommuters just as productive, but often work longer hours and more efficiently. AT&T, the huge multinational conglomerate, has reported that, on average, their telecommuter employees work 5 hours more per week than their office workers.
When you really think about it, it seems logical. The time it takes your employees to get ready for work and travel to the office is time they are not spending at their workstation. If you work-from-home, the time spent getting ready for work is however long it takes to brew a cup of coffee. You can start working early in the morning when you are as fresh as you will be.
The commute itself is unnecessary stress, even disregarding the time wasted, especially in large urban areas. Catching the bus or tram, dealing with traffic jams, and worrying about getting to work on time is completely avoided by telecommuting. Less stress leads to higher productivity and less burn-out in the long run.
Working from home is advantageous to both employer and employee – same or higher productivity, less stress, and fewer turnovers.
Telecommuting is rapidly becoming the norm and not a luxury. If you wait too long to integrate work-from-positions in your company, you may find it hard to retain the best and most qualified workers.
Flexible working hours, no commuting, more family time and money saved all directly contribute to your employee’s quality of life. As the global market is expanding and newer generations enter the workforce, there is an increased demand for good working conditions, in addition to high salaries.
To provide your employees with the desired office space and benefits is a huge financial burden and time investment. With telecommuting, your workers take on the load of optimizing their workspace, freeing you up to deal with the essentials of running a company.
Employee retention is a strain on any company, and satisfied workers are less likely to go job-hunting. The effort it takes to find a new qualified candidate and train them to the point of being an asset is something that can be minimized with telecommuting, directly bettering your company’s overall productivity.
Expanded talent pool
The advancement of technology and the interconnectedness of the global community allows for a much wider range of talent to be hired.
Previously, both employer and employee were limited to positions that were located within commuting distance or were forced to make the effort to incentivize and move for an open position. Work-from-home allows you to completely ignore spatial relations and hire the best candidates from around the world.
As English has been the lingua franca for a substantial amount of time and global communication is at an all-time high, the language barrier is slowly becoming non-existent. You can easily hire people from across the world without worrying about a break in communication.
Another pool of candidates opened up by telecommuting is those who pass up on jobs due to the hardship of getting to the office – primarily persons with disabilities and the elderly. Without special accommodations persons with disabilities are forced to take up jobs in their immediate vicinity, unable to use their talents for the benefit of a company that might need them.
Older workers are often tired of the standard 9-to-5 with long commutes, and choose to either leave the workforce, or find easier jobs closer to home, thus denying companies of their valuable knowledge and experience.
Opening up work-from-home positions allows you to hire from a wide range of candidates that would be unavailable in regular circumstances, increasing the quality of your workforce and productivity of the company, often at lower cost.
Flexible work hours
A major benefit of telecommuting is the flexible working hours it allows. You will be able to organize your day however it suits you best. This can directly increase your quality of life, and a satisfied employee is also a benefit for the employer.
Most telecommuting positions are set up in such a way so as to allow you to tamper with the schedule. Projects still need to be finished on time, but whether you have started working on it at 8 AM and pushed through with no breaks till 5 PM, or took a prolonged lunch break and continued working into the early evening is inconsequential, the job is still getting done. You choose what suits you best.
That game that you always had to tape because you needed to be at your desk at a specific time, and someone always had to spoil it by mentioning the outcome before you had a chance to watch it? Well, no longer. Start working 2 hours earlier and catch the game live.
Go for a run, enjoy a play, take your kid out to the park – all of it is possible with a bit of organizing.
Those lifeless office walls, uncomfortable chairs, unadjusted AC, and irritating dress codes are a thing of the past. When you telecommute it’s up to you how you want your environment to look.
Your immediate surroundings impact how your state of mind. Overly sanitized spaces can make you feel unimportant and isolated, while overcrowded offices make it hard to concentrate. You now have the ability to customize your home office however you wish, making your work easier and more enjoyable.
A demotivating or stress-inducing atmosphere will no longer be a problem, allowing you to be more efficient. If you set up your workstation correctly it might even help de-stress and motivate you, increasing your productivity further. Tinker with the set-up until you find what suits you best.
Environmental and community benefits
An often understated benefit of telecommuting is the effect it has on the community and environment. Less commuting leads to a markedly lesser carbon footprint from the waste produced. Furthermore, less vehicles on the road allows for less congestion, directly impacting the time that the vehicles on the road need to run.
Energy management is easier if smaller groups of people need to come in to work. With even a small amount of the workforce staying at home regularly, the week could be organized in such a way that the office is closed for an additional day a week, and all the work is still being completed.
In urban centers, parking space is ever-expanding and takes up an already limited amount of free plots of land. Decreasing the number of people driving enables parks, community centers, and playgrounds to be built. All of this contributes to the quality of life in the area and helps the global climate situation.
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