Recent years have seen a growing trend in telecommuting, or working from home, for a variety of businesses. While some employers may have been initially resistant, the alternative method has been readily welcomed by several industries and is on track to infiltrate into a variety of fields. The benefits of this style of work extend beyond staff to employers as well.
Teleworking has recently been shown to improve employee attendance. There may be a variety of reasons for this. Employees with small children may find working from home helpful in the event of a sick child. A teleworking parent will be able to continue with their work in a situation that otherwise would have prompted an absence. Additionally, sick employees will not spread illness to other employees if they work from home. Oftentimes in a regular office situation, employees feel pressure to come to work despite potentially being contagious.
Many people thrive in a self-guided work situation. The added autonomy, combined with the comfortable surroundings of home can create an idea performance environment. Additionally, in a teleworking situation, there aren’t coworkers stopping by every few minutes, interrupting workflow.
Employers with a teleworking staff will save money in a variety of areas. Generally, there are fewer equipment costs, as well as lower overhead. Even if a business maintains a small office based workforce, they will be paying for fewer desks, less electricity and water and even fewer office amenities. Coffee or tea for five is far less expensive than coffee or tea for 30.
In addition to the above mentioned benefits, employers will also find themselves with a much larger talent pool from which to select staff. In a study conducted by Stanford University professor Nick Bloom, employees who worked from home worked longer hours, took fewer breaks, used less sick time and were more productive than their in-office counterparts. All of these translate to benefits for employers, as well as staff.