The Field Guide to Telecommuting

The telecommuting phenomenon continues to grow. The annual survey last year by the Society for Human Resource Management found a greater increase in the number of companies planning to offer telecommuting than those offering any other new benefit. Companies are learning what it means to virtually communicate and use technology. Studies show that working from home is longer hours but often more productive. It may take some time to get used to telecommuting. The Field Guide To Telecommuting is a great resource. Please read more

Is This the Year to Make the Leap?

While the number of telecommuters represents only a small percentage of the overall workforce, the trend is clearly on the upswing. If you have dreamed of telecommuting for years, now is the time to get serious about making that transition. The annual survey last year by the Society for Human Resource Management found a greater increase in the number of companies planning to offer telecommuting than those offering any other new benefit. With this information on-hand, what are the best industries for telecommuting?

FlexJobs, a job board for those seeking telecommuting, remote or freelance work, just released its annual list of the top 100 companies that are hiring. The jobs run the gamut from senior and mid-level management positions to mid-career non-management posts as well as entry-level opportunities. These jobs exist in several fields including, accounting, consulting, administrative management, sales, information technology, marketing, insurance and healthcare, just to name a few.

If 2016 is the perfect year to become a telecommuter, make the leap!

A New Year! Telecommuting in 2016

A new year and possibly new changes in the way we work. Should you consider a telecommuting environment? The number of telecommuting jobs continues to rise for employees in the United States during 2015, and there’s no sign of stopping in the new year. Most companies have begun to offer telecommuting as a perk. This allows employees to avoid long commutes, have more control over managing their schedules and spend more time with their families, making workers a lot happier. It is a sense of freedom.

According to a 2009 Forrester report, by 2016, 43% of the U.S. workforce — 63 million people — are expected to work from home; 34 million people already do. This trend is driven by a number of factors, including professionals’ desire to have control over their day-to-day work life. Many large companies track and report the efficiencies and benefits they gain from remote work policies. It’s much easier to recruit and retain great talent when you are giving employees what they want while helping them excel at their jobs. More and more people want the freedom to decide where, when, how, and with whom they work. Do your best to provide that freedom.



Who Benefits from Telecommuting?

In a struggling economy, telecommuting offers a beneficial alternative to traditional work for both employers and employees. Organizations that employ telecommuters see benefits across the board. Growing companies demand a way to keep productivity and employee retention rates high while keeping overhead costs low. Telecommuting may be the answer. Though telecommuting does have some drawbacks, its benefits far outweigh its negatives.

People worldwide are telecommuting for various size companies.  For the employee, this means spending less on gas, no more business casual office attire, and working in a comfortable and quiet workplace. Employees wake up for work and commute just steps away to their home offices. Commuting enables the worker to avoid the stress and dangers of rush hour traffic and reclaim many hours of time that weren’t even being compensated anyway.

When telecommuters are on the clock, you often see that they are “working” but some are shuffling papers in an effort to look busy. This type of busy work and other office distractions lose money for companies across the country. Experienced teleworkers manage their time efficiently and work in a comfortable, distraction-free environment.

There are a variety of other benefits for the employer.  If you run a small business or organization, keep reading to learn how telecommuting can improve the overall efficiency and quality of your company, making it more eco-friendly.

  1. Increased Productivity – Contrary to what many organizations believe, research has shown that telecommuting actually increases productivity among workers. Improved productivity leads to more efficient operations which allows you to be more environmentally friendly.
  2. Higher Retention Rates – Finding and recruiting quality staff is time consuming. With telecommuting, your employees are satisfied and are more likely to stay with your company long-term. Again, studies show that employees who are allowed to work remotely, are happier than those who aren’t. This level of employee happiness can save you a significant amount of money in the long-run by reducing costly employee turnover.
  3. Competitive Edge – Due to the difficult process of recruiting, organizations need an edge over the competition in order to hire and keep exceptional talent. That’s exactly what telecommuting offers.
  4. Cost-Effectiveness – Believe it or not, employees aren’t the only people who see telecommuting as a benefit financially. Employers reduce costs associated with the office itself–the size of the office, the furniture, the electricity used, the cost of heating, cooling the office space and other overhead costs.

In conclusion, employers should begin exploring telecommuting for their work environment as an option.  You can embrace cloud-based productivity and collaboration platforms such as Google Docs, Office 365 and Dropbox, and even online tools like Skype and Facebook that enable communication.


Is Telecommuting Right for your Organization?

As a result of the technological advances that have occurred to promote web-based collaboration in the workplace, telecommuting is quickly becoming a standard to the current workforce.  Telecommuting is defined as a working arrangement in which employees are able to work from a location other than the normal work-site and utilize technology to complete their work and communicate with co-workers, customers, and managers.  In an effort to remain competitive in the market and provide a working environment that provides employees with the work/life balance they are looking for, you may want to consider implementing a telecommuting plan in your organization. Many factors need to be addressed and researched before you decide if telecommuting is right for your organization.  Before taking the next steps to creating a telecommuting plan, it is important to consider many factors including contractual and customer requirements.  The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology has written a white paper on telecommuting from a scientific perspective.  Please read more.

The Forces Driving Workplace Change

According to the Telework Research Network, thirty million Americans now work from home at least one day a week, with that number forecast to increase sharply in the coming years. This means that the future will have remote workers who will be hired to work online, from anywhere they want. Clearly, flexible workspaces. that allow employees to work when and where are becoming a staple in some of the nation’s most successful companies. So, are flexible work policies just a ‘perk’, or do they deliver when it comes to the bottom line? Employees report that they are more productive and more engaged in their work when there are able to balance the demands of work with other aspects of their lives. Improvements in physical and mental health are also associated with workplace flexibility. The International Facility Management Association (IFMA) produced a book “Work on the Move: Driving Strategy and Change in Workplaces” that examines the forces driving workplace change and its effects. Please read more.

8 Rules To Make Telecommuting Work

Far too often, we hear about the negatives of telecommuting but there are many more positives. If implemented and managed properly, telecommuting could be beneficial for the employer and employee. Statistics show that nearly half of U.S.-based companies currently have employees who telework, or work from outside the office. When companies offer the option to work virtually, managers are concerned about actual time spent on the clock and productivity level. There are many tools and information readily available that can prepare companies. Understanding when and how to use the essential tools, you too can make telecommuting work for your company. Please read more.