Telecommuting, or allowing employees to work from home, is a practice that is becoming more common with advances in internet connectivity and technology such as desktop virtualization. In many cases, employees already do some type of remote work on the fly since they can access work emails and documents on the go with their mobile devices, but there are very specific benefits to hiring remote workers as opposed to just enabling mobile connectivity. Being able to answer emails while on a train or a cab is certainly useful, but taking the traditional commute out of the equation entirely benefits not just the employee, but also the employer.
The most obvious benefit to telecommuting for the employer is that the physical resources for the employee at the office are no longer required - indeed, if everyone can be setup remotely, there is no need to pay for an office at all! Employees might be issued laptops and/or mobile phones, or possibly credentials to login to a remote desktop, and that is usually about all that is needed from the company to get the employee off the ground. This is significantly less than investing in office furniture, printers, etc., and if you can get everyone to work from a home office, then there is no need to pay for rent at a central office either. Another benefit to the decentralization is the fact that a disaster that might take an office out of commission temporarily - say, a fire or blackout - is highly unlikely to take every remote employee down, and the more spread out geographically, the less likely for everyone to be offline.
Being open to remote workers expands the net of talent that your company can recruit as well. There are many, many talented workers across the world, and by limiting a job search to within your major metro area you are talking a lot of talent out of the equation - possibly even the right talent for the work that you need done. Even if you are willing to pay for relocation, prospective employees might never even send a resume because they live in California and simply refuse to move to Florida, for example, even with fully covered moving expenses. For particularly competitive fields, such as IT developers or programmers, this can be the difference between a job done and a job done right.
Itâs also impossible to ignore the benefits to the employees, since these directly correlate to increased morale and productivity from your workers. In very, very few organizations that work traditional 9 - 5 schedules are employees 100% productive during the full 40 hour work week. This is a given and almost expected in most work weeks that employees will socialize and go on breaks throughout any given workday. At home, those moments of âunproductivityâ will consist of doing laundry and other personal chores which enable the employee to really enjoy their time when they wrap up their work for the company - not to mention they will save on travel expenses since there will be no need to suffer through morning or afternoon traffic. In addition to the ecological benefits, this directly increases morale - and productivity drains seen in the office might not be an issue when the employees work remotely since distractions like office politics just arenât visible. Employees that might be slightly sick will be able to work as normal without utilizing sick time which alleviates having to reschedule deadlines because someone fell ill through no fault of their own. Overall, as found by research conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and published by the National Communication Association found, employees who telecommute most of the week are more satisfied with their job because of the alleviated stress.These benefits are useful for many organizations - likely your own - and getting started is relatively easy. Employers can leverage VPN access to corporate resources in a data center, cloud services such as CRM tools to manage work, or utilize desktop virtualization tools such as XenDesktop to get employees using a company desktop on any device they choose.