Allowing employees to telecommute sounds like a big risk to many employers. There is a lot of trust involved in telecommuting. Employees must be trusted to get their work done without supervision. They must be trusted to handle sensitive data appropriately. There is concern about how employees will identify themselves with the company.
However, there are still plenty of benefits to employers for allowing telecommuting. Handled properly, allowing employees to telecommute can increase employee satisfaction and lower costs.
For employers the chief benefit for allowing telecommuting may well be that of employee retention. Employees who can telecommute are typically more content in their jobs. If the job is something that can be done 100% from home, they may even be able to move without changing jobs. Training costs are a major expense for employers.
Employers can also save by needing less office space. An employee who works from home doesn’t take up room at the office at the same time. However, it is necessary to provide for those times when the employee is in the office, so these savings will depend on the needs of the business.
Employees who telecommute are typically more productive at home. There are many distractions in an office - coworkers who stop by to chat, meetings and so forth. An employee who has set themselves up properly at home has fewer distractions.
Employees also start their day without the frustration of dealing with rush hour traffic when they telecommute. No worries about employees coming in late because the car wouldn’t start or traffic was worse than usual.
Employees may need to take less time off when they telecommute. Given a little bit of flexibility when telecommuting, a parent can cope with sick kids, doctor’s appointments and so forth while still handling their job responsibilities. They can also work from home with a cold and not get the rest of the office sick - although you should still encourage them to take appropriate sick time without working!
Allowing telecommuting is also great for recruiting employees. Potential employees are often delighted to discover an employer who is flexible enough to allow them to work from home when appropriate.
Telecommuting is also of tremendous benefit in times of disaster. Whether there are concerns about bird flu or other contagious diseases, an earthquake, flood or other problem, telecommuters have a better chance of continuing to work than employees who must go to the office in order to work.
Telecommuting Concerns for Employers
What does an employer need to watch out for when allowing employees to telecommute?
Copyright © 2003-2019 Stephanie Foster unless otherwise indicated
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