A decade ago, working from home may have seemed like a distant dream. Today, it’s the future of work. With millennials the driving force behind this shift in the workforce, remote work was dismissed as another “annoying” millennial trait. As more companies adopt telecommuting practices, the benefits are very clear. No longer is remote work about working on a beach, it’s a complete design in how we approach the way we work. Here are the benefits and reasons why to embrace telecommuting and remote work.
1. Improving productivity
It is estimated that employers in the US lose $1.8 trillion a year in productivity. From distractions like water cooler gossip to excessive commuting, health problems and more. Workers are finding it harder than ever to hit maximum productivity in a traditional office work environment. The solution? Telecommuting.
According to the State of Work Productivity Report, 65% of full-time employees think a remote work schedule would increase productivity. This is backed up by more than two-thirds of managers reporting an increase in overall productivity from their remote employees. Where do telecommuters find this extra boost of productivity?
With none of the distractions from a traditional office setting, telecommuting drives up employee efficiency. It allows workers retain more of their time in the day and adjust to their personal mental and physical well-being needs that optimize productivity. Removing something as simple as a twenty minute commute to work can make all world of difference. If you are ill, telecommuting allows one to recover faster without being forced to be in the office. It also improves the impact on our overall health. As a diabetic, health is the number one priority. If our health is not in good condition, then it is inevitable that our productivity will also decline.
2. Better for your health and the environment
The average person in the U.K. spends 60-80 minutes getting to and from work. With the drive to reduce our carbon footprint, telecommuting is an excellent way for your company to go green and improve your employees general well being.
In a report published by the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK, it found that 55% of people felt more stressed as a result of their commute. Snacking habits also increased and with less free time available, the report also found that workers were leading less active and healthy lifestyles.
In a 2014 study by PGi, a leading provider of software services, it found that 80% of remote workers reported higher morale, 82% said it helped lower their stress levels, and 69% reported lower absenteeism.
3. Keeping older generations in the workforce
With life expectancy increasing and the cost of living exploding, people over the age of 64 have inadequate savings. As a result, many in this age group choose to delay retirement while others prefer to work into their 70’s to keep their minds engaged while continuously learning.
With 74% of older Americans wanting work flexibility, telecommuting presents this generation with an ideal way to make ends meet without a hectic daily commute. It also gives them the opportunity to attend health checkups without it interfering with their work schedule.
4. Decreasing costs
No matter what size business you run, keeping costs to a minimum is always on the agenda. Telecommuting helps reduce operating costs, cash in on the appeal factor and boost your bottom line. According to Aetna, an insurance giant in America, it shed 2.7 million square feet of office space and as a result saved $78 million. American Express reported similar results by saving $10-15 million annually thanks to its telecommuting policies.
You might be thinking, “Okay, sure that works for them, but what about the little guys?” Global Workplace Analytics reports that if a typical business allowed their employees to telecommute for just half of the time, they could save on average $11,000 per year. Other costs that can be avoided or reduced include office supplies, furniture, equipment, coffee and janitorial services.
5. Reducing employee turnover
Have you ever sat down and worked out the average cost of on-boarding a new employee? According to Deloitte, this figure can be in the $4,000 range depending on the employment role. If your company experiences high turnover, you can solve this by introducing telecommuting as an option for your employees. Not only is it extremely attractive to the millennial worker, but Stanford University report found that job attrition rates fell by over 50 percent.
A study by Staples Advantage found 76% of telecommuters were willing to work overtime and felt more loyal to their company with the option for remote work and telecommuting. Additionally, 80% reported a better work-life balance. Companies that prioritize a healthy work-life balance do not have the high turnover rates when compared to other businesses that down-prioritize work-life balance.
Telecommuting provides a better future for work
With a quarter of all employed Americans working from home, telecommuting has moved beyond being just another Millennial trend. It’s become a way of life, disrupting the traditional workplace as we know it with employees who are happier and more productive. Time to consider these benefits. Share the data and ask your current employer about the possibilities of telecommuting with the positive impact that works in favor of both the business and the worker. If you own your own business, depending on the roles and industry you are in, it may be beneficial to consider the telecommuting structure for your workforce.
Author: Andrea Loubier