As the world shifts towards telecommuting, should you implement it? Will changing the structure of the business from traditional to remote, be beneficial for your business? If you are still asking yourself these questions, this article will give you 14 compelling reasons to start telecommuting right away.
Telecommuting or e-commuting, also popularly known as work from home, is growing rapidly. The truth is, it’s now an unavoidable conversation to have among peers. Telecommuters leverage the power of the phone, email, video conferencing applications, or software to communicate among themselves. Let’s explore why it is becoming so important and why most businesses are approving this model.
1. Lower office expenditure
As a business owner, if you thoroughly analyze your balance sheet, you will find that office expenses cost you 10 percent to 30 percent of your total expenditure. Isn’t it alarmingly high? Many people are so accustomed to this figure that they don’t realize that it could be a problem.
But imagine if you are saving even 10 percent of your expenditure and spending it on some other investments that will increase your productivity and quality of work. Wouldn’t that be great? If you can sublet your office space, even that will provide you with an additional source of income.
You won’t need additional staff for maintenance like window cleaners, floor cleaners, office boys, guards, etc. in your office. You can save a good chunk of money there too.
Since there will be no physical office space, you won’t be consuming any energy. This means you don’t have to pay for rent, electricity, water, stationery, and so many other utilities.
Having an office space means that each employee will commute either by their vehicles or by the vehicles provided by the company. In both cases, you have to provide them with a huge parking space for convenience. Through telecommuting, this problem can be easily resolved. You won’t need a parking lot at all.
2. Reduction in transportation cost and time
If you are having employees in the office, either they are traveling at their own expense or you are paying them for the commute. If the condition is former, then there’s a greater chance for them to demand for you to cover these costs.
It’s also understandable for the employee. Not only do they have to pay for the fuel, but they also have to pay for the maintenance of the vehicle which they are spending from their salary.
It should also be noted that commuting is not only expensive but also time-consuming. An average person travels for approximately 2 hours per day. This implies that they are spending 10 hours per week for commuting
If your company starts to e-commute, you can hire people even with a lower salary. Also, you can demand more productivity from the employee as they are saving one working day by not traveling.
3. Increase in productivity
It’s no secret that people who are working from home are generally more productive than those who have to go to offices. Productivity is highly correlated with physical and mental health. At home, people feel relaxed and calm. They don’t indulge in water-cooler talks, gossip, or petty politics. They just have to work.
Many employees wish to be in the spotlight unethically. To achieve this, they just wander around talking to peers wasting their own time and their colleague’s. In a work from home scenario, if anyone wants to show others their worth, they only have to work hard.
Also, in work from home scenarios, there are very few distractions. One can assign a suitable time slot to work in which they are more focused. It can be at the dawn of the morning or at midnight.
4. Faster networking
Sometimes, you need to go out of your organization to search for people who can get the job done. This requires a tedious process of hiring or contacting the right person.
Companies that are not telecommuting have to go through the excruciating process of interviewing the candidates for hire. To meet a like-minded person, they might even have to visit seminars or conferences to approach them.
On the other hand, a person working in a home-based organization will simply call, email, or send a direct message to the concerned person to connect with. This is way cheaper and saves more time than the traditional approach.
5. Employees give more time to the job
Remote employees tend to dedicate most of their time saved in commuting to work. The work from home culture is deeply based on the fact that you are trusting your employees. This confidence that you are having towards them will encourage them to prove their loyalty and dedication to the company. As a result, they work harder than those who are in the office.
Imagine this: A self-motivated person who is working from home doesn't have to wait to arrive at the office after commuting. They can just start their assigned task, just right after jumping out of their bed.
6. Global coverage
Telecommuting requires only few to no face-to-face meetings. This means you don’t have to look for local talents. You can go beyond the boundaries of countries, or even continents to find the perfect fit. This opens up a huge possibility for the company to choose from a pool of highly talented candidates from other countries.
7. Increased work presence
Consider a situation where you have to meet clients in Asia, Europe, and then in the UK. In a traditional approach, it will take days to travel. Not to mention the headache of planning and scheduling the travel, booking hotels, etc.
Telecommuters communicate with their clients over emails or other organizational communication platforms. If they have to attend a face to face meeting, they can simply schedule a meeting via video conference with their clients, shortening the time from days to just a few hours or even minutes.
8. Employee availability
Since employees can also eat their meals at home, they become healthier. This translates to more productivity and fewer sick days for the organization. Even if someone has an urgency, they can take a few hours off and rejoin later. This won’t impact the overall performance of the employee. In the traditional method, the employee has to take a half-day or full-day leave.
It’s been observed in several organizations that, after implementing the e-commuting structure, people can achieve their targets on time, and they become more punctual towards their working hours. As they don’t have to commute, they can start working on time.
9. Employee satisfaction
A situation where employees can work from home gives them more comfort, and in turn, they feel more satisfied. They can participate and help their spouses in household chores, which results in a healthy relationship. Also, in some cases where the spouse has to move to other places for work, telecommuters can support and move with them. This results in a better work-life balance.
Telecommuting empowers employees to have the flexibility of choosing the time slot for work. This gives the employee an ample amount of time to connect with their friends and families.
A happy and satisfied employee is always better for an organization than an unhappy one.
10. Workforce inclusion
Some people over the age of 65 are not financially prepared for retirement. Hence, they are often compelled to delay it. As a result of this, there is a substantial increase in the number of people who are above 60 and are employed.
It’s difficult for older employees to commute and be physically active than their colleagues who are younger and energetic. If they are given the choice of coming to the office or working from home, most of them will choose the latter. This is something that a business owner should always consider.
11. Lower employee stress
If an employee is comfortable and happy spending quality time at home, it’s less likely that they will be stressed out. If they have a hectic schedule, they can simply take a break or a power nap while working. There is no one watching them over their shoulders. They can work longer while not being supervised.
It’s been found that commuters can feel boredom, isolation, anger, and frustration due to the stressful environment in the office. This may jeopardize the mental and physical health of an employee.
12. Showing as a progressive company
Having a work from home culture will demonstrate the image of a company as a progressive one. Your clients will get the perception that your organization is ready for the next generation workforce.
There are great tools available to monitor the progress of work of every employee. Some basic tools that companies use to remotely manage people are:
- VPN or Virtual Private Networks: To establish a safe and secure network.
- Video Conferencing: Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom
- Collaboration Tools: Microsoft Sharepoint, Slack, Asana
13. Getting to live more
Reducing the home-office commute may result in fewer people being on the road, which leads to fewer road accidents. According to Great Work Life, 1 out of 77 road accidents are severe.
Fewer people on the road means a greener environment. It helps in reducing the emission of carbon footprints which depletes the ozone layer. The emitting gases also result in the greenhouse effect due to which the temperature of our planet is rising.
So, from an environmental point of view, telecommuting is beneficial.
Employees are an important pillar of an organization. As an employer, your primary goal is to make them comfortable and take care of them. Once the employees start trusting you, they can work as much as needed to grow the company. It’s a cycle where everyone takes care of the other.
Irfan Mehmeti, tech writer