Quarantine and the new work-from-home reality can be difficult to cope with sometimes, but even this trying situation gives some reasons to laugh.
For the first time, a vast portion of the world’s population is in some form of lockdown at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. As an outcome, many companies are forced to resort to telecommuting to maintain their business operations.
By definition, telecommuting is a work arrangement in which employees do not have to travel to a central place of work, such as an office. Instead, they work from home using the Internet and various information technologies.
As such, telecommuting may be as old as the telephone. However, it has started to gain in popularity only recently.
Although today some companies are shifting their operations online almost involuntary, the benefits of telecommuting outweigh those of the traditional brick-and-mortar workplace structures.
In this article, we will discuss both the hidden and apparent advantages of telecommuting for companies and employees.
Benefits of Telecommuting for Companies
A significant benefit of telecommuting for companies is a happy and loyal workforce. Firms hiring remote workers have reduced operating costs, increased profits and higher attractiveness to talented and skilled personnel. In other words, a remote way of working can help your business compete and succeed in today’s marketplace much more effortlessly.
1. Getting insight into foreign markets
Companies that employ people from different states and countries can obtain more in-depth insights into unfamiliar markets. Firms have a chance to understand their international customers better with the help of remote workers who speak the same language as them, live in the same culture and get influenced by the same trends.
Having access to a talented employee base in various strategic locations may rapidly enhance the business’s presence across the world, which is simpler to achieve with telecommuting.
2. Saving on paid time off entitlements
When your employees work from home, they mitigate the risks of contracting infections on their way to work or at the workplace itself. Moreover, it is easier for an employee to work from home than in the office whenever they have a mild ailment.
Considering the above, telecommuting employees may be less inclined to take sick days when they feel under the weather or have minor health issues.
Another benefit? Sick employees cannot infect their healthy co-workers when they all work remotely.
3. Saving costs on office rent and procurement of equipment
Allowing employees to work remotely, companies significantly reduce business expenses by eliminating the necessity to rent office facilities or buy essential technologies, including computers, phones and other office machines.
Any company’s real estate needs are usually somewhat insubstantial when only a handful of critical workers needs to be on site. Besides, your business can save on utility bills as your team won’t use electricity, heating and air conditioning that much (if at all).
4. Controlling a toxic work environment
Power dynamics and conflicts between employees and management often result in a toxic work environment as every team member is forced to choose one side. Telecommuting can assist in eliminating this problem by minimizing the negative influences of office politics on personnel.
Of course, remote work prevents one from socializing with co-workers, but at the same time, it provides fewer opportunities for idle chatter and slacking on the job in the company of colleagues. Without gossiping and distractions in the form of overly relaxed teammates, your remote workers can actually become more productive than regular office employees.
5. Learning to adapt to different circumstances
By adhering to the remote work model, your company can survive many types of major global crises, such as the unfolding worldwide pandemic. Besides, as younger generations enter the workforce, businesses must be willing to remain attractive to younger job seekers.
The State of Remote Work study revealed that 68% of millennial job seekers are more interested in companies with flexible work arrangements. Therefore, although it was the virus that has promoted a rapid shift towards remote work recently, employers should assume telecommuting as either a part-time or a full-time option even after the quarantine.
Benefits of Telecommuting for Employees
Not including such core benefits of teleworking for employees as time and cost efficiency, there are other hidden benefits every telecommuter can enjoy. Five of them are listed below.
6. Spending more time with family
Any employee who works from home gets to spend more time with their loved ones and has an opportunity to perform job duties without compromising their family responsibilities.
Some may keep an eye on their kids or younger siblings while working. Others can use their breaks on cordial conversations with spouses or parents. In this way, telecommuting is capable of fostering unity in an employee’s household and may even lead to stronger marriages.
7. Avoiding an uncomfortable office space
The term “cube farm” refers to cramped office spaces where employees work in cubicles. The majority of people would find it unbearable to work every day in such an environment devoid of any warmth and joy. Besides, it is essential to remember that an office building with plenty of cubicles and conference rooms often turns into a Petri dish for germs and infections.
In contrast, working from self-designed workstations at home can be delightful, comfortable and safe. Additionally, it may reduce stress levels and boost productivity.
8. Convenient scheduling
Telecommuting is frequently associated with flexible work time arrangements, which makes it easier for employees to modify their work schedules in any suitable way. Without a predetermined timetable to adhere to, telework promotes a healthier work-life balance because telecommuters save time on the commute and can hang out with friends or take breaks at preferred times.
Also, having a chance to attend grocery stores and similar places while others are at work, remote workers with flexible time arrangements can often skip long lines.
9. Reducing stress levels
Even when your office is beautiful and has enough space, being confined to it can be stressful. In contrast, workers who telecommute say they experience less pressure than those who attend office on a daily basis.
This factor is critical to take into account since stress impacts not only the quality of professional performance but also the quality of one’s life as a whole. As a result, a person would eventually want to quit the job that makes them anxious and prevents them from living well. Thus, telecommuting is beneficial for both employees and their management as it fosters productivity on all fronts.
10. Improving skills
When employees cannot get help from colleagues in the office, they may be motivated to develop problem solving skills independently and become more proactive in terms of learning. Of course, remote employees can still ask questions and get help when necessary, but most answers are just a Google search away.
In general, remote employees have many opportunities to improve a variety of skills during the course of working from home. They can become more adept at writing concise emails, get familiar with software programs that track productivity and take different online courses to acquire new competencies.
The Basics of Telecommuting
Telecommuting can have some negative impacts for both employers and their employees when administered improperly, for instance, when workers don’t possess the necessary equipment or if your business has a poorly designed telecommuting policy.
However, even with all the advanced technologies and savvy personnel, some companies are struggling to implement remote work models successfully. To avoid that, you can read our guide on how to make telecommuting work to find a few tips on the arrangement of the remote work process.
Telecommuting is becoming more popular. Although every employee cannot telework, if the majority are working remotely, both your subordinates and your business will enjoy many benefits.
From gaining insight into new markets and more loyal staff to improved productivity and cost efficiency — the benefits of telecommuting for companies and employees outweigh all the possible drawbacks associated with remote work.
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