That is what several studies have shown. Obviously it depends on the job and whether it is a candidate for telework. But for those jobs where it has been tried, the results have been positive. Some of the benefits include:
- Higher productivity – Attributed to fewer interruptions,quieter environment, and being able to work in pajamas (yes, employees can start to work earlier if they don’t have to “get ready”, at least as long as they aren’t skyping or video-conferencing). Studies show some employees actually put in more time and produce more work at home; others are able to do the same amount of work they would do at home in less time.
- Employee satisfaction - Some studies say employees put in more time because they like the ability to work from home and don’t want to lose that option. They also benefit from more time with family.
- Employees save money and time – No commuting time and no high gas prices. They may save money on the clothing budget also.
- Employers can attract a broader talent pool – With the growing opportunity for telework, companies who don’t offer that option may lose out on some great talent. Even the option to telework on a part-time basis may increase the talent pool. Technology advancements enable employees to remotely access information and interact with customers and coworkers effectively.
- Employers benefit from--- happier employees, increased productivity, and possibly savings on energy at the workplace (heat, lights, energy to run technology).
Obviously security of company information is an issue to be addressed through policy, IT initiatives, and agreements with employees. With appropriate planning and precautions, telework can be beneficial for both companies and employees.
The CAI Member resource, CCH, has a number of resources on telecommuting including Selecting Staff, Telecommuting Checklist, Policy Development Checklist, Sample Policy, and Planning the Home Office. Enter telecommuting in the search engine on CCH and see articles under Staffing.
Sources: HBR, SHRM, CCH