The Internet has given us all the information we could ever want at our fingertips, endless ways to communicate, and even the ability to work from home.
Telecommuting, which was once a rarity (just 9% of workers occasionally worked from home in 1995), is now becoming more and more popular with each passing year. These days, about 40% of workers telecommute on a regular basis, an arrangement that can offer benefits to both employers and employees.
From an employee’s perspective, the perks are obvious: less time spent commuting, fewer distractions, better work-life balance, and lower stress levels. In fact, workers who are allowed to telecommute at least some of the time experience 25% lower stress levels than their peers who work strictly in an office.
Telecommuting also helps employees maintain a sustainable work-life balance, and may even reduce the number of sick days workers take, since they are better able to control their workload and work when they don’t feel well enough to come in, but can get some work done from home. Happier workers are more loyal to their companies and have higher job satisfaction, reducing turnover and creating a more positive environment.
Allowing at least occasional telecommuting has other surprising benefits for employers. While it was once widely believed that workers were less productive when working from home, research has actually shown the opposite to be true. One Stanford study revealed that telecommuting can actually make workers more productive, helping them to become 13% more efficient than office workers. American Express allowed many of its workers to work from home, and found that these agents took 26% more calls and created 43% more business opportunities than when they worked in an office.
Cost savings are another reason many employers are beginning to let their workers telecommute. One employee working from home can save a company $10,000, while 100 employees working at least half time from home can save $1 million. Telecommuting might not work for every business, but it’s becoming an increasingly common trend for good reason—it benefits companies’ bottom lines and results in happier workers. What’s not to like?
Check out this infographic from our friends at Ohio University to learn more about the impacts of telecommuting.