Benefits of Telecommuting
February 18, 2020
As employers seek out new ways to provide employees with a greater work/life balance while helping improve retention rates, telecommuting is becoming a popular option. Different from a traditional office setting, telecommuting can have great advantages for employers and employees if there is structure in place to meet the needs and goals of both.
Defined as an alternative work arrangement in which an employee works outside of the standard office, telecommuting can be a full-time arrangement, in which an employee works remotely all the time, or it may happen once or twice a week. Rather than reporting to the office, employers offer all the technology needed so that the employee can be successful while remote. This enables greater freedom for employees in regard to working hours and environment while still meeting the needs of the business.
Benefits for Employers include an increased productivity with studies out of Stanford and the University of Texas saying that productivity increased 13% and employees often worked 5-7 hours per week more than their office bound counterparts. Rates for employee turnover drop when telecommuting and employee morale goes up because they feel more valued.
If an office doesn’t structure their telecommuting policy well, it can have drawbacks. Companies considering implementing a policy like this should note that it is nearly impossible to provide direct oversight or to micromanage a teleworker. While many workers can flourish in a telecommuting situation, some may not. Production and quality benchmarks can serve as motivators for these employees who find the distractions of home difficult to overcome. Remote workers can feel isolated and may find it difficult to collaborate with other colleagues on projects. Online team meetings, shared documents, frequent calls and occasional face-to-face sessions can help overcome these potential obstacles.
Launching a carefully-planned telecommuting program can be a benefit to all but it must be organized well. Employers who are considering this policy, should be willing to talk with a legal expert about compensation, overtime, and responsibility for company property. It is important to create clear guidelines making sure there is clearly defined in regard to employee roles and responsibilities, what days telecommuting is allowed who the policy applies to, including positions it does not fit. Employers should devise tools upfront to help telework employees stay connected to supervisors, team members, clients and the office. Skype, teleconferences and other tools can go a long way toward improving communication.
As you begin your search for a new job, it is important to ask what type of work environment you’d like to be in and what type of work/life balance you are seeking. A happier employee makes for a more productive employee, and companies realize there is value in allowing some of their workforce to work remotely.
There are many different reasons to start a new job search. Perhaps you are seeking a better work/life balance, you are attempting to work part time in retirement, or you are raising a family. In 2019, opportunities to work, even from global companies from home are plentiful. Volunteering to work remotely, and discussing it in an interview, makes you stand out as a candidate because it shows an employer that you are flexible, willing to work wherever is needed, and looking to make the best impact you can immediately.
Working remotely is becoming more and more feasible as employers look to save physical space and have their employees telecommute. It is easier to justify a remote workforce due to the advancement and falling prices for technology such as internet, phones, and computers. The companies hiring range in industry, presenting a number of opportunities for employees to work remotely