When Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer banned telecommuting for her employees back in March, the decision stirred a vigorous debate throughout the InterWebs about the validity of businesses everywhere letting their employees work from home.
The way I see it, telecommuting can boost the personal and professional productivity for any organization’s employees, not to mention that the more widely it is embraced, the better for the organization that can integrate technology to make the work-from-home process even smoother.
However, just putting in the technology and allowing your team members to telecommute won’t make your business productive. It comes down to managing your teams (as if they were there) and making sure they are kept in the loop so they don’t become disconnected by not being in the office.
The advantages of telecommuting are abundant, and with that said, here are five major ways your company will benefit from allowing employee telecommuting.
- 1. Morale: Happier employees get more done. In many cities employees deal with a grinding commute only to sit in an office where they interact very little with their coworkers. Whether the telecommuting arrangement is permanent or just a weekly flex day, the reduced travel and stress can provide a tremendous boost in employee morale.
- 2. Talent Acquisition: This is great in both large and small markets because the best talent isn’t always within driving distance. This is certainly affected by the scope of the position, but many businesses that do not require day-to-day physical access to a shared office can benefit by finding the best candidate regardless of physical location. Telecommuting lets companies choose from a much larger talent pool when it comes time to recruit for open positions.
- 3. Productivity: If you have ever worked remotely you probably know that you can get so much done when the surroundings are right. In a lot of offices there are constant distractions that lead to less work getting done than a company desires. While the camaraderie is good for the employees and I would never refute that, beyond a little small talk, there isn’t a lot that can be accomplished sitting in a meeting room that cannot be accomplished using collaboration tools.
- 4. Flexibility: Trying to get teams physically together in the same place at the same time time isn’t necessarily easier because everyone comes to an office. The technology that companies adopt to enable telecommuting allows companies to collaborate in real time from anywhere that team members are. Teleconferencing, web conferencing and of course Telepresence all can be accessed from just about anywhere. So when people can’t be in the same place the meeting will still go on.
- 5. Adoption: I have said this for as long as I can remember: ”Eat your own dog food!” Any business that considers itself high tech should have the tools required for successful telecommuting. Even more importantly, they should be promoting it to achieve maximum productivity and work-life balance. The use of the technology to truly bring the organization closer together day in and day out is priceless as it relates to better selling and delivering the solutions that your customers need.
Does your company allow telecommuting? If not, maybe it should.
What other ways could your organization benefit from telecommuting?
This article was originally written for and published in Commercial Integrator Magazine and can be found here.