In the last few years, telecommuting has been on the rise. It allows full-time or part-time employees to work from home or from anywhere they like instead of sitting in a traditional office environment. As per a report by the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 25 million Americans are now working from home at least once a week. The key reason behind the growing work from home trend is the advances in technology. The availability of web applications, wireless devices, and various online tools like video conferencing software has made it easier for employees to communicate with each other while working remotely.
Due to the benefits of telecommuting, the number of telecommuters is growing continuously. More than 36% of companies have already employed a remote office phone system to facilitate their employees’ seamless remote working environment.
Benefits of switching to work from home system
Initially, many business owners were concerned about the success of the working from home system. However, looking at the benefits that telecommuting offers for both employees and employers has encouraged business owners to switch to telecommuting. Some of its key benefits include:
Increased employee satisfaction: Several surveys have been done, and it is found that more than 80% of people who can work from home are much happier than ever. Telecommuting has raised employee job satisfaction for various reasons such as:
- Employees do not have to spend a lot of their time commuting from the workplace.
- No transportation and other costs, thus employees can save a lot of money.
- Even employers can save huge amounts on their real estate and other overhead expenses.
- As there are no usual workplace distractions, employees can focus completely on their job.
- Employees have the opportunity to focus on achieving their targets and be more productive than ever.
- Work from home gives employees the freedom to work at their own pace without any pressure.
- Since employees can enjoy a more flexible work system, they tend to stick to their job for a longer time.
Telecommuting can help employees achieve their targets efficiently, resulting in increased satisfaction among employees as well employers. Also, an increased employee satisfaction rate leads to a higher employee retention rate.
Improved work-life balance: Another key benefit of telecommuting is the improvement in work-life balance. Since there are no office distractions, employees can focus completely on accomplishing their tasks in less time. This allows them to take out some time for their family and friends. They can spend their extra time on tasks in their personal life which they may not have had time to do otherwise. When an employee can accomplish his job and have extra time to do personal tasks as well, it is obvious to feel more content and happier. Therefore, it would be correct to say that telecommuting has resulted in a better work-life balance.
Enhanced flexibility: With the working from home system, employees now have an opportunity to enjoy flexible work hours. Employees can set a work schedule according to their convenience and work efficiently to increase their productivity. Flexible working hours help to take off a lot of pressure from employees. This makes them more relaxed and focused towards achieving their targets within the time at flexible working hours. Since employees are not bound to sit for 8 to 9 hours continuously, they can take time to perform certain important personal tasks without taking leave or time off. This flexibility of working makes employees about 75% more productive, and they are 50% less likely to take time off from their job.
Less operational costs: Work from the home system allows employers to save huge on their operational costs. Since employees are working out of the office, business owners can use smaller office space, especially if their office is expensive. Businesses can hire more and more employees without worrying about upgrading their office space. Also, there is no need to stock up a lot of office supplies. They can also save on electricity costs, helping staff costs, and various other expenses. All this money can be invested in the business to make it more successful.
Decreased expenses for employees: Not only the employers but even employees can save huge on various expenses. As per some reports, employees can save up to $4,000 per year by working remotely. They can save immensely on transportation costs (personal as well as public transportation) when they are not commuting to their office. Besides, they can also save on their work attire, lunches, child care costs, and more. Fewer expenses mean increased savings. Employees can utilize this money as per their requirements.
Improved focus: As mentioned above, there are no office distractions (regular meetings, discussions, breaks, employee talks, office parties, etc.), the entire team can focus on accomplishing any given tasks efficiently within the specified time. Since there are no interruptions, employees are likely to accomplish their tasks perfectly by paying full attention to every aspect of a particular project.
No need to commute: With the help of advanced tools and technology, employees working remotely can attend any important meeting or conference from the comfort of their homes. Employees need not travel in stressful rush-hour traffic to attend a meeting. With the help of video conferencing, a team can connect from any part of the world. In addition, when there is no traveling involved, a company can contribute its effort towards reducing its carbon footprint and creating a clean and greener atmosphere.
All the above-mentioned benefits of telecommuting are enough to decide to switch to a remote working style from a traditional office environment. If employees are provided with all the essential tools and technology access, companies can greatly enhance their productivity and efficiency regardless of where their employees are working.