Once thought of as taboo, telecommuting or working remotely via a computer and internet connection is growing in popularity each year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 26 million Americans have embraced an alternative work lifestyle, at least on a part-time basis.
Additionally, several independent studies charged with analyzing shifting trends in the American workforce have reported that the number of people working remotely has increased by 44% over the last five years. As the digital age continues to influence change in traditional nine-to-five workplaces, companies should evaluate their routines as well as their business practices to remain relevant and prosperous. In this article StaffScapes shares four reasons why telecommuting has been found to enhance employee satisfaction and performance.
StaffScapes, a prominent leader in Professional Employer Organization (PEO), understands that certain organizations are skeptical of change and view it as a disruption to their operating efficiency. However, structured transformation motivated by reliable data can have a positive impact on morale, productivity, and even the bottom line. Telecommuting is one such cultural reform that is worth adopting and undoubtedly can yield wonderful results across the board.
- Increased productivity
Conventional office settings, while stocked with their own benefits, can actually hinder productivity. Whether it's social distractions or brutal commutes that eat into the workday, employees now more than ever encounter daily hindrances that bottleneck maximum performance in their jobs. As such, a modern problem requires a modern solution.
Not only do recent polls report that an overwhelming majority of employees feel that working remotely would give their output a major boost, but data gathered by managers backs it up. Telecommuting helps eliminate distractions and allows workers to strike a balance between their personal and professional life, thus improving their mental state and raising efficiency.
- Employee retention
Younger generations, especially Millennials who will soon account for nearly 35% of the workforce, tend to switch jobs at a higher rate, which can be problematic for employers from both a cost and an operational perspective. As an employer, imagine over one-third of your team turning over every few years. Not only would you spend thousands of dollars on recruiting and onboarding costs, but the disruption to workflows and loss of legacy information would be sizable.
Providing employees with the option to work remotely instills a sense of trust, loyalty, and freedom that goes beyond monetary benefits. Millennials consistently rank culture as one of the most important traits they consider when signing up for a new gig, and telecommuting is a powerful incentive.
- Lower costs
Apart from the factors already mentioned above, telecommuting can help businesses reduce operating costs, which is increasingly important regardless of the company's size. Obvious savings occur in leasing office space, desks, maintenance as well as IT if employees utilize their own computers. Annual savings as a result of telecommuting policies vary per business, but could easily be north of $10,000.
Implementing a new work policy can seem daunting, but telecommuting is certainly worth the effort. To ensure a successful transition, StaffScapes recommends that businesses adopt a scientific approach:
● Trial: At first, there's no need to overhaul the work style of the entire organization. Instead, provide employees with the option to work from home one day of the week.
● Review: After trialing remote work for several weeks, receive feedback from employees as well as their managers by conducting structured surveys. Encourage transparency and clarify that the information will not impact performance reviews.
● Adjust: Analyze the data and adjust as necessary. If the results point to higher productivity, consider increasing telecommuting to two days a week or more.
While not everyone may benefit from or favor the telecommuting lifestyle, telecommuting has been found to enhance employee satisfaction and performance overall. Reforming your business structure to serve as a conduit of change and embrace the demands of the modern age might take time but it will result in happier employees and, in turn, improve productivity as well as financial health.
Nothing in your business is as important as your people, but building and leading a team brings challenges. StaffScapes can help you meet the challenges in HR by helping you provide excellent (and affordable) benefits, manage risk, and by handling workers comp and complete payroll processing. That lets you increase profitability, maximize productivity, reduce time spent on transactional HR activities, reduce employment-related liability, and ultimately lower labor costs, while boosting morale at work, and improving employee satisfaction and retention.