posted by TradePost in Business, Management
People are changing the way they do business and more employers are jumping on board with flexible work options. A reported 44% of employers support telecommuting, up from 19% in 2007 (Fox Business, 2/11/11), and 1-in-5 employees worldwide now telecommute to work on a regular basis (2Sustain, 2/6/12). In fact, 82 of CNN Money’s “Best Companies to Work For” allow telecommuting – well-known companies that topped the list are Cisco, Intel, & S.C. Johnson & Son (CNN Money 2011).
Traditionally, businesses have employed an 8-to-5 schedule located in an office environment. However, as technology increases our capabilities and the economy continues to waver in its recovery, employers are branching out and allowing their employees to telecommute anywhere from one day a week to a full-time basis. Technology such as smart phones, the Internet, tablets, and remote login mobilize business and give them new capabilities in the workplace.
Why the change in pace? Surprisingly, research indicates it is to a business’s advantage to allow telecommuting. Young professionals want flexibility, and telecommuting is a way that employers can provide that to them. Telecommuting also increases employee morale and lowers tardiness and sick time; employees are also more productive because they experience fewer interruptions from coworkers and they are better at self-regulating themselves (LJWorld.com, 1/3/11). Not only does telecommuting make for happier employees, but providing flexible working options gives businesses a wider pool of applicants they can select from and reduces overhead costs (less office space and fewer office supplies).
Flexible options are lucrative for the workforce also. Telecommuting saves people the cost of commuting to work, eating out for lunch, and paying for a professional wardrobe. Beyond the tremendous savings people experience, a flexible schedule gives people more options and freedom to organize their schedule around their personal lives; parents have more flexibility with attending to their kids.
Is telecommuting for everyone? Not necessarily. This type of working environment is conducive to those who are self-disciplined and independent—it’s important that workers are able to organize a schedule and stick to it. Telecommuting is also not a good fit for those who need social interaction as it can cause feelings of exclusion from office culture and important assignments.