Employee satisfaction is good for business. It’s a fact! Happy employees equal lowered turnover rates and, perhaps most importantly, increased revenue.
As more and more companies realize this, they become increasingly competitive in offering the best company culture in a bid to attract top talent and, consequently, stand out from the crowd as one of the best places to work. And one of the many ways to accomplish that is allowing employees to work from home.
Gallup found that 37% of US employees telecommute an average two days each month, four times more than the 9% found in 1995. In 2013, 34 million Americans worked from home, and that number is expected to almost double by the end of the year. It’s, therefore, safe to say that telecommuting is clearly the future of work.
If you find yourself torn between two camps, those of pro and anti-telecommuting, we’ve put together this list to show you that telecommuting is, in fact, the way to go.
Here are seven reasons why you should let your employees work from home.
1. You’ll Save a Lot of Money
On average, it takes about $65,000 to start a business, according to the Babson College, a figure that can include everything from buying equipment to paying employees. But letting employees work from home on a full-time basis can significantly cut your business costs to next to nothing. And what with $5,000 per month being spent on rent for an 811-square-foot office in New York City (or an average $74 for every square foot, making the Big Apple the most expensive city for office space), that’s $60,000 that you can save in just one year. According to data from TheSquareFoot, it costs an average $14,800 a year to rent office space in NYC for a single employee.
And you don’t only save money on rent when it comes to telecommuting; you also save money on office supplies (about $200 per year – per employee), and snacks and drinks.
2. You’ll Attract More Talent – No Matter Where They Are
Seventy-two percent of employees prefer working from home. That means that, by offering telecommuting opportunities, you attract at least 72% of job seekers. In other words, you expose yourself to a larger pool of candidates, and the good thing is that you’re not limited by geography. You can hire someone from wherever they are in the world whether that’s the States, Mexico, England, Australia, Japan, or even Tristan da Cunha (the most remote archipelago in the world).
Moreover, employees from other companies will be jealous of the remote work arrangement your own company offers that theirs doesn’t, and who knows? You might just attract your competitors’ top talent.
3. They’ll Be More Productive
Telecommuting = happy employees = increased productivity = financial success for the company. In other words, telecommuting is good – really good.
In fact, Professor of Management at the San Francisco State University, John Sullivan, told The New York Times that “if you want productivity, then you want people working from home” after Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer famously abolished the company’s work-at-home policy back in 2013.
And while there’s a whole debate surrounding working from home and productivity levels, pro-telecommuters can rejoice in the fact that working from the comfort of your home (possibly in your pajamas) can increase your performance by 13% more than your in-office counterparts.
4. They’ll Waste Less Time Commuting
The average American spends 200 hours a year behind the wheel or on a bus, and almost $2,600, getting to and from work. Of those 200 hours, 38 are spent stuck in traffic. And it sucks more if you live in the major cities like Los Angeles and Washington DC where you spend 61 and 67 hours, respectively, just sitting in your car and slowly inching along the freeway.
Those 38 or, worse, 67 hours wasted commuting to work can instead be put to better use when you let employees work from home; added benefit is the fact that you never have to worry about anyone being late for work again.
5. They’ll Be Happier
In a 2011 survey, Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of US office supply chain Staples, found that 80% of all telecommuters surveyed had a better work-life balance. Meanwhile, their stress levels had dropped an average 25%, and 73% of work-at-home workers said they were eating healthier. Finally, the survey found that 76% of respondents were more willing to spend extra time on their work – which brings us to our next point.
6. They’ll Be Less Likely to Quit
It’s a well-known fact that employees are less likely to quit their jobs when they are happy – and Staples Advantage’s survey has shown us that working from home has that effect on people.
An improved work-life flexibility boosts employee morale which, in turn, improves talent retention and increases loyalty by eliminating the risk of burnout. And we all know how devastating burnout can be – not only does it put your employees’ health and wellbeing at risk, but it can also lead to high employee turnover and, subsequently, give your company a bad rep.
7. They’ll Take Fewer Sick Days
Offices are a germophobe’s worst nightmare, and we can’t say we blame them. In 2012, researchers at the San Diego State University and the University of Arizona identified 500 types of bacteria lurking in 90 randomly chosen offices in the US, and a different, more recent, study conducted by the University of Valencia found that the trip tray of your office coffee machine was home to up to 67 different types of bacteria including enterococcus.
Working from home, meanwhile, helps minimize the chance of getting sick or spreading viruses, which means that employees will take fewer sick days – and that’s good news for you, considering the expensive price tag that comes with sickness absenteeism. Moreover, beyond employees’ physical health, their mental well-being will greatly benefit from telecommuting, too, as they won’t feel the constant need for a vacation.
Can you think of any other reasons why you should let your employees telecommute? Perhaps you already do and can attest to its many benefits? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below, and don’t forget to share this article with any business owners you know who might be interested in allowing their employees to work from home!