It’s Monday morning. You hear the beeping noise from your alarm clock. You get up, ready for the work week ahead. While still in your pajamas, you head to your morning pot of coffee, make some breakfast and shuffle over to the kitchen table or maybe your home office. You sit down and open up your computer and start opening emails from the weekend, or maybe a report that’s due in the next couple of days. This is what more and more employees in America are becoming accustomed to: Telecommunicating.
Since 2005, telecommunicating has grown by nearly 80%. But what are the benefits of telecommuting for both the employee and the employer? And what do you do if your employer doesn’t allow telecommunicating at the workplace quite yet? Here are the facts and some helpful tips about telecommunicating in today’s modern workforce.
1. Harnessing technology: With today’s technology advances, not only the computer or internet, but the ability to do everything virtually from your phone, it is easier to make working from home an option. Without technology, telecommunicating would be impossible. A company has to be willing to provide the employee with the correct software and programs to ensure the employee will not run into any snags while working from home. The idea is the employee should be able to do everything from home that he/she would be able to at the office.
Company Tip: Be sure to supply software, including programs needed, access to files, printer and possibly a fax machine. The more accessible the employee is, the more seamless working from home will be.
2. Increased Productivity: The American Telecommuting Association reported that employee productivity rose by 10-15%, while Work at Home Success cited reduced absenteeism and decreased burn out feeling among employees.
3. Cost Savings: This is a benefit to both the employee and the employer. If those with compatible jobs and a desire to work from home did so just part time, the national savings would total more than $700 billion, according to Global Workplace Analytics. Employees can save money by cutting driving time down, not having as much ware on their car and save on fuel costs. Employees would also not have to purchase an extensive wardrobe for work. They may still have meetings and need to dress appropriately, but would need fewer options. Also, one of the biggest perks of working from home for families is there is no need for child care. As for companies, they can actually reduce overhead and real estate costs since there would be fewer employees to house. A typical business would look to save about $11,000 per person per year.
4. Disaster Avoidance: Another major benefit telecommuting brings to employers and a company is the ability to keep a business functioning during or after a crisis. For example, in the event the base office is without power or destroyed, telecommuting employees dispersed at remote locations can offer service continuity.
5. It’s actually more “green”: Working from home can actually help the environment. A study done by the Consumer Electronics Association in 2007 showed 850 gallons of gasoline would be saved by employees working from home. The study also revealed that would save enough energy to power 1 million households in the US for a whole year.
What to do if your company doesn’t offer remote working
Telecommuting can be seen as beneficial to employees for many reasons, but what do you do if your company doesn’t offer that option?
Here are some helpful points to consider:
- Try writing a formal proposal. Be sure to include a list of companies that currently practice telecommuting and the success they have experienced with it thus far. Be sure to also include cost savings that would show it would be in the companies’ favor to allow you to telecommunicate.
- It’s all about patience. Companies may be hesitant to allow employees to work from home 100% of the time. Expect them to have you come to the office a couple of times a week at first. Others may just say to come in on a needed basis. Whatever they decide, be sure to follow until the company becomes more comfortable with working from home full time.
- Be productive. Before you ask to work from home, you may need to establish yourself as a conscientious, dependable employee. This is not generally a privilege you can expect as a new hire. Your boss will need to trust you before they let you work from home freely and be confident that you won’t be dialing back on any of your responsibilities.
- Emphasize the pay off. It’s best to express your desire to work from home in terms of the company’s interest, rather than your own. So instead of saying you need a break from office politics and gossip, you might want to point out that the two hours you would otherwise spend commuting could be devoted to work.
Working from home is going to see an increase as more employees can achieve a successful work/life balance with work, a family and personal obligations. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 50 million workers both could and want to telecommunicate. This new way of working will surely not just be a fad, but an option that more workplaces will have to consider.
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