When the topic of telecommuting or remote work is discussed, there is usually an understandable focus placed on how it affects workers. Nevertheless, offering employees the opportunity to work from home can also have a significant impact on businesses too and can actually provide a number of interesting benefits. It is important to understand these benefits and how they can be leveraged to maximize success.
Read on to find out more about how telecommuting actually benefits businesses. Or check out a full range of ViewSonic business solutions.
In many industries, telecommuting was already growing in popularity, but the COVID-19 global pandemic greatly accelerated adoption, as businesses were forced to find ways to remain active and productive while still protecting their employees’ well-being and observing social distancing regulations.
Both before and during the pandemic, attitudes towards work from home and remote work arrangements varied. While some embraced it, others were skeptical about how it would impact their business or workforce. Nevertheless, many organizations have since found that remote working has delivered some key benefits. In this article, we explore the issue of telecommuting in more depth and explain exactly how allowing employees to work from home could benefit your business.
Lower Rent and Equipment Costs
One of the most obvious ways a work-from-home arrangement will impact a business is by changing where employees are physically located. This can actually have a major positive impact on business finances because it potentially allows you to spend less on leasing your physical premises and buying or leasing equipment.
Even if only a fraction of employees actually opt to work from home, that still leads to an overall reduction in the number of people coming in each day. That means fewer workstations are needed, fewer computers are needed, and less money needs to be spent on paper, printer ink, and other similar resources that are used on a day-to-day basis. As a consequence, you may also be able to move to a smaller building, where the rental costs are lower.
These benefits can be especially important for small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly if a significant percentage of employees can be moved to a work-from-home arrangement. In the United Kingdom, a recent study carried out by PowWowNow found that London SMEs could save an average of £6,276 per month in rent if half of their staff worked from home. Clearly, similar savings would also be possible in other locations around the world.
Of course, the balancing act here is that fewer employees in the workspace can potentially mean more barriers to collaboration and the kind of spontaneous conversations that help to generate ideas. For this reason, to fully benefit from this, you will need to find ways to facilitate remote collaboration too.
This is likely to involve using communication tools like Microsoft Teams or Zoom, as well as comprehensive digital communication tools, such as myViewBoard. The latter can be especially useful when idea sharing is visual in nature.
More Talent to Choose From
Another key benefit associated with telecommuting is the option for businesses to widen their search for talent. Generally speaking, when a business is entirely office-based, it imposes a natural limit on recruitment efforts because any potential employees need to live nearby or be willing to relocate to within a realistic commuting distance.
If employees are able to do their work from home without any obstacles at all, it means this talent search can be extended globally. Even if physical attendance is required on occasion, this can still allow for more people to apply because long commutes on occasion are much more manageable than long commutes every single day.
This can be great news for businesses because the availability of more talent means the opportunity to find better-qualified people when vacancies come up. In certain industries, where some of the job roles are highly specialized, this can be vital, because local recruitment alone might fail to unearth the talent that is required. When a global talent pool is available and work is done remotely, recruitment can also be significantly faster.
Even in situations where advanced telecommuting equipment needs to be provided to new hires at the company’s expense, this is unlikely to offset the benefits provided by having access to talented people from across the globe.
Employee Productivity and Morale
An often-reported benefit for employees when analyzing work from home arrangements is greater morale or improved overall mood. This occurs for a number of reasons, with examples including the removal of the need to commute to and from the office, the removal of office-based distractions, and the potential to work more flexibly.
However, these benefits for employees also extend to the business they work for. According to statistics published by Forbes, for example, remote work has been linked to an output increase of at least 4.4 percent, along with a 40 percent reduction in issues linked to quality defects. Essentially, this means that, on average, telecommuting leads to more work being done, but also a higher standard of work being carried out.
Moreover, many businesses are benefiting from reduced levels of absenteeism. This can be explained by the fact that workers may feel unable to travel into a physical workplace and remain there for eight hours, but they may feel well enough to do some work from home. Similarly, some may feel they do not wish to spread illnesses like colds or influenza, even if they feel physically well enough to work, and this issue is eliminated if they can work remotely.
There is also a growing expectation among employees that telecommuting should be an option, at least some of the time. In organizations where telecommuting is not available, this could lead to a situation where workers start to look elsewhere. On the other hand, when they are allowed to work from home, employees’ expectations are being met and they become less likely to leave. This is crucial because turnover is often among the biggest business expenses.
Final Thoughts on How Telecommuting Benefits Businesses
Telecommuting has been a growing trend in recent years, and it is fair to say that its growth was greatly accelerated when businesses were forced to respond to the coronavirus outbreak in 2020. Interestingly, in addition to providing employees with various advantages, research suggests that telecommuting can also help businesses to reduce costs associated with rent and equipment, benefit from greater productivity levels, and choose from a wider talent pool.
To find out more about how ViewSonic’s workplace solutions here. Or learn more about remote work here: How to Work from Home: A 2020 Guide to Remote Work.