What is telecommuting?
Telecommuting, or simply remote working, is the practice of working from outside of a traditional workspace. Telecommuters rely on the internet and phone to maintain communication with their employers throughout the work day.
Telecommuting can be a full-time or a part-time work arrangement depending on how many days a week the employee is required to be at the office. The option of remote work is not only cheaper for the employer, but it can also improve employee morale and productivity. Coupled with the facts that it’s an eco-friendly solution and that it can improve your company’s image, makes it clear that telecommuting is the future of work everywhere.
Here are the main benefits of telecommuting for employers:
- Operational cost savings
- Employee payroll cost saving
- Ease of using tools designed for remote work
- Increased productivity
- More working hours coverage
- Access to the global talent pool
- Employee retention
- Contribution to employees' mental health
- Positive impact on the environment
- Setting a progressive image for your company
1. Operational cost savings
The more remote work your company conducts, the smaller office space you’ll need. Telecommuting allows the employer to keep only a few essential employees at the office. Meaning the office you’ll need to rent will be smaller, and therefore, cheaper. Real estate is not the only cost that will be reduced. Smaller office spaces have smaller utility bills, so that’s another thing you will be saving money on.
This cost-saving approach is great for small businesses as every dollar you save on your expenses is a dollar you can invest back into your company. This will give you that much-needed starting capital at the beginning of your professional venture. Additionally, as your business grows, you won’t need to increase the size of your office and further stretch your budget. Needless to say, you will save a pretty penny by implementing a teleworking program.
2. Remote workers are usually cheaper
Another reason why you should switch to teleworkers over traditional office employees is that remote workers will usually work for less. Working from home is not just cheaper for the employer, it is also more economical for the employee. When commuting costs are reduced and your workers can save up to two hours they usually spend traveling to work every day. All of this makes people working from home more likely to accept a lower salary than office employees for the same job. Depending on the employee’s responsibilities and duties, a business can save from $5,000 to $15.000 per employee, every year.
3. Ease of using telecommuting tools
Another telecommuting advantage is that there are various solutions (free and paid) you can use to manage your virtual team. Tools like Skype, Zoom, or Slack provide an easy way to communicate with your team whether it is via instant messaging or video conferencing. In addition to this, with online task boards, mind-maps, and other useful remote work tools for a productive team you can be as close as possible to having a face-to-face meeting with your team. Most of the tools you can find online have a free option and you can choose to upgrade once your business starts growing or you find the tool especially useful.
All in all, there are plenty of ways you can communicate with your team, as long as you make sure they check the designated communication platforms regularly and reply in time. Tracking your employee’s productivity when working from home can also be made easier with online tools, so you know exactly how much work a person puts in each day.
4. Productivity benefits of telecommuting
Boosting productivity has always been one of the most important challenges for employers everywhere. How do you get the most out of the resources you have available? Well, it seems that telecommuting is one way to make it happen.
Remote work team managers report a significant increase in both daily and weekly goals reached by their team members. In addition to this, fewer mistakes are made and smaller amounts of the workload need to be redone.
The traditional office setup is not everyone’s idea of a productive environment. However, it is impossible to cater to each employee’s specific needs for a working space when you’re in a shared office space. Luckily, when you are working from your own home, you can set up your home office the way that allows you to be the most productive.
It seems that giving each person their own “office space” at home creates a more productive work environment and allows each employee to give their maximum during working hours. In addition to being more focused and working more quickly in general, employees working from home will provide a better quality of work than those in a traditional office setting.
The benefits of increased productivity are many, but the main one is that you can accomplish more with fewer resources. Which can save your business some funds and open possibilities for growth. If all it takes is to start a telecommuting program, it is very much worth it. Just make sure you have a good remote work policy in place.
Read more about how to increase productivity in a remote team.
5. Get more working hours coverage
If you are a company that has customers or clients across the world, it could be challenging to cover all the time zones if you have all your employees in the office working standard hours. By giving your team the option of telecommuting they will more likely accept working unusual shifts, as they can switch between tasks and have working hours flexibility. Allowing people to work from home also means you will get fewer sick days. For example, a person with a cold will still be able to do their job from home, while coming to the office might be too draining for them.
Pro tip: Having a telecommuting arrangement with your employees can also reduce absenteeism and ensure they are working according to a set schedule.