Telecommuting Benefits for Employees
Thanks to increasingly sophisticated, interactive technologies, telecommuting is fast becoming a common office practice.
Experts estimate that around 45% of American workers are exercising their option to work from home, at least some of the time. And there are those who predict the eventual demise of so-called office “cubicle farms,” in favor of flexible workspace arrangements that incorporate regular telecommuting. In fact, one study shows that 10% of the companies surveyed reported that all of their employees work remotely.
So what’s driving the work-from-home trend, and is it becoming yet another essential career skill?
Increased Productivity and Job Satisfaction
For employers, it’s all about increased productivity – as much as 20% higher – especially where creative work is involved. Likewise, with 25% less stress to weight them down, telecommuters experience greater job satisfaction – and happy employees are more likely to stick around, which is always good for business. Virtual work also enhances the potential talent pool, by enabling companies to recruit qualified professionals from anywhere in the world.
Massive Cost Savings
Cost savings are also enormous for employers and employees, alike. Research shows that these savings would total over $700 billion a year if eligible employees worked from home half the time. For starters, telecommuters would spend between $2,000 and $7,000 a year less on transportation, food, and extended day child care. At the same time, companies would save around $11,000 per employee, by reducing office maintenance expenses.
A Healthier Environment
Ecologically speaking, telecommuting puts far less stress on the environment, as well. In calculating national cost savings, Global Workplace Analytics also contends that under that scenario, the greenhouse gas reduction would be equivalent to taking the entire New York State workforce off the road for good.
An Increasingly In-Demand Career Skill
With benefits such as these, it’s no wonder that more than a third of all company leaders believe that over half of their full-time workforce will be working remotely by 2020. Which is why a growing number of companies are viewing it as both an effective recruitment tool and a preferred job skill in more than few professional fields. There are even staffing agencies that specialize in telecommuter-friendly positions for practiced virtual workers.
- So it’s probably incumbent upon job seekers to understand both the advantages and the challenges of telecommuting, while knowing the right questions to ask when the subject comes up. You should also evaluate your own willingness and ability to work from home before you commit to the arrangement, using a valid self-assessment tool such as this one: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/37429.pdf
Although telecommuting can be an immensely rewarding experience, it isn’t for everybody – and you should be honest with yourself before jumping into it head-on.