The Benefits of Telecommuting

Yahoo and Best Buy may have caused a ripple when they announced their intent to eliminate or restrict their telecommuting policies. Yet, their decision cannot reverse a growing push to allow employees to work away from a traditional office. Before you dismiss telecommuting as a potential perk, consider what it could mean to your company's overall productivity.

Benefits to Your Company

  • Decrease the water cooler effect
  • Increase employee availability by reducing the side effects of commuting
  • Reduce overhead costs by as
    much as 30%
  • Let early birds and night owls choose their own optimal productivity periods
  • Retain star employees if unforeseen circumstances force them to relocate
  • Minimize service interruptions triggered by inclement weather and traffic hazards

Benefits to Employees

  • Attract highly qualified persons with disabilities
  • Spend less on gasoline, car maintenance, tolls, and public transit
  • Save money on business attire and dry cleaning
  • Less waste of sick leave for doctor appointments and personal errands

The important thing is to set clear expectations for a positive telecommuting environment. Identify those aspects of telecommuting that cause you concern and address them to your satisfaction.

Questions to consider:

  • What days will employees be allowed to telecommute?
  • How are employees expected to maintain communication with the office?
  • Are employees required to check in at certain points in the week?
  • How will you track progress on a project?
  • Will telecommuting be an earned privilege or a part of every position?
  • If telecommuting is a privilege, how does an employee earn and lose it?

Even more important is basic trust. Allowing an employee to work outside of the office means you value their work ethic and believe they will continue to be a huge asset to your operation.

If I ever have the privilege of working for you, my work will be done remotely. It will make for a happier contractor and a finer product.

What questions do you have about telecommuting? Have you tried it yourself, and if so, what were the advantages and disadvantages?

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