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Working Remotely: Is Telecommuting Right for Every Company?

Is technology advances, it’s becoming easier for employees to work remotely. According to a 2012 statistic by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 23 percent of employed individuals perform at least some of their work from home. Today, more companies are turning toward a telecommute strategy, but is working remotely right for everyone?

Pros of Telecommuting

Telecommuting is gaining popularity because it comes with numerous benefits:

  1. It improves employee satisfaction, with 91 percent of employees citing that telecommuting is important to their job satisfaction, and better work/life balance. This in turn helps improve business efficiency and productivity.
  2. It can help save companies and employees money. One report says that allowing employees to spend half of their time outside the office could save companies $10,000 per employee annually. The same report says that employees could save up to $6,800 per year (ie. Less travel, attire needs, etc).
  3. Working remotely helps encourage sustainability in our society by saving space and reducing environmental impacts of commuting.
  4. A telecommute strategy may attract more qualified workers since more people are seeking telecommute opportunities.

Cons of Telecommuting

Despite the evidence of increased employee satisfaction and cost savings, working remotely can also come with a few challenges.

  1. Decreased communication and social interaction. Instead of collaborating face-to-face in a team atmosphere, people may have to wait for email updates or depend on virtual conferences to catch up on project updates.
  2. Technology can get in the way when no one is present to support technical issues with remote workers.
  3. Time zone differences that can make communication difficult.
  4. Employees may become subject to more work/family conflict, which could affect productivity levels.

Telecommuting: Who’s Doing It?

While working remotely is not ideal in all industries or areas of a business, offering a telecommuting option is becoming mainstream. Younger generations entering the workforce are beginning to expect this option and may turn down jobs that don’t offer it, leaving these businesses to settle for less-qualified candidates. One study conducted by Wrike (a social project management platform provider) found that 89 percent of employees said that working remotely is a primary, valued benefit. The rise in telecommute jobs, which has increased by 80 percent from 2005 to 2012, creates a competition between companies to land the most qualified employees who value this benefit.  Top organizations that encourage telecommuting include:

  1. Deloitte (Auditing, Tax and Financial Advisory)
  2. Cisco (Technology and  Communications)
  3. Intel (Technology)
  4. Accenture (Corporate Consulting)
  5. Teach for America (Education)
  6. Pricewaterhouse Coopers (Global Consulting)
  7. Ultimate Software (Technology)
  8. Perkins Coie (Law)
  9. American Fidelity Assurance   (Insurance)
  10. World Wide Technology (Technology)

Telecommute strategies may become a necessity in the future, so it’s important that businesses without this option begin catching up with their competitors in order to succeed.

Just as businesses and their employees benefit from working remotely, earning a degree online can bring unique benefits to students and employers. Learn more about The University of Scranton’s online MBA by calling 866.373.9547 or requesting more information.