Technology can be a wonderful thing. For many it can make our lives easier, for others it can mean developing new ways to leverage technology to improve our day to day activities and for others yet it can mean establishing new policies, procedures and protocols. In the workplace one of the increasing trends being experienced is the fact that more employees are working from home in a shift to telecommuting. With the growth in technology since the 1990s, there has been an increasing shift in working from home accelerated, in part, by companies needs to cut costs and respond to the needs of employees. In fact, did you know:
- More than 1.7 million paid employees — those not self-employed — worked from home in 2008 at least once a week, up almost 23 per cent from the 1.4 million in 2000, according to a Statistics Canada report on the subject in 2010.
- According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015, 24 percent of employed people did some or all of their work at home.
- In early 2016, Monster Canada said that nearly 5,000 home-based employment positions are currently listed on its website, up 18 per cent from the previous year.
Benefits of Offering a Work from Home Program
Most companies that allow employees the ability to work from home are looking to grow their business while keeping office expenses lower. In addition they are looking to access a broader talent pool than may be otherwise available. Here are some of the benefits that a company can expect by offering a telecommuting or work from home option in the workplace:
- Employee Satisfaction – when employees do not have to come into the office, it can save them upwards of two to four hours in their daily activity allowing them to take and pick their children to school, dance practice, hockey practice or other family functions. Working from home also saves employees time and money as a result of savings in lunch, coffee, gas and other commuting expenses.
- Increases in Productivity – there are a ton (and we mean a ton) of stats that indicate that people who work from home are more productive and more engaged. Best Buy, British Telecom, Dow Chemical, and many others show that teleworkers are 35-40% more productive. Other thoughts to keep in mind:
- Research has shown that businesses lose $600 billion a year in workplace distractions
- Over two-thirds of employers report increased productivity among their telecommuters.
- American Express workers produced 43% more than their office based counterparts.
- Sun Microsystems’ experience report that employees spend 60% of their saved commuting time doing work for the company.
- Once they stated a work from home policy, Compaq increased productivity 15-45%
- Saves Employers money – think about all of the money you can save by requiring less office space, less in-house workstations, less lunchroom amenities, and less overall expenses to accommodate employees who work from home. You can grow your staff without having to grow your office space.
- Access to a wider talent pool – not only to more skilled talent but telecommuting can also appeal to older workers, allowing your business to adapt to changing demographics in the market place and overall talent pool.
- Reduces time wasted on meetings – whether it is daily water cooler banter or simply daily meetings, telecommuting can be a great way to cut down on inefficient meetings.
- Reduces unscheduled absences
- Increases collaboration
- Reduces turnover and attrition
- Increases employee empowerment
- Reduces staffing redundancies
- Reduces commuting anxiety for the employees
- Sustainability and environmental benefits
- Improves performance measurement practices
- Offers financial benefits and incentives (grants)
- Ensures continuity of business operations in the event that the office is compromised due to disaster, renovations etc.
The above benefits are mainly for the employer but there are also a number of benefits for the employee who has the ability to work from home. Teleworkers tend to be more engaged in their jobs, have a better work-life balance and in some cases have less work stress.
In part two of our series on working from home, we will look at how to set up a work from home policy.
Are you an HR Manager who needs some HR consulting, setting up a work from home policy or simply needs some recruiting assistance? Contact Aspire Recruitment Solutions at 778-484-0161.
Aspire Recruitment Solutions is the leading human resource solution and employment agency provider to clients in Kelowna, Vernon, Kamloops, Northern BC and Alberta. We connect great employers with the best candidates every day.