Telecommute Company Policy: Your Next Smart Business Move

telecommute company policy

The option to telecommute, either part-time or full-time, is still more of a perk for most companies than a standard part of the daily operating procedure. Even though 43% of employed Americans are now making use of more flexible working opportunities, many companies are hiding from the future and all of the benefits that come with remote work—unable (or unwilling) to grasp the various benefits that a telecommute company policy can afford.

Of course, some forward-thinking business owners are on the right track. They realize that trends are clearly moving towards a focus on flexible work as the best way for doing business, rather than focusing on the same ol’ stale strategies. As technology evolves, many of the barriers that had limited telecommuting opportunities are starting to disappear, and the aggravating standard of spending countless hours in an office cubicle is starting to fade away as workers and employers alike embrace the benefits of telecommuting.

In February 2017, Virtual Vocations conducted a work at home benefits survey of more than 2,300 jobseekers. The results of the survey showed that people from all backgrounds and ages now consider flexible work to be a priority, and smart companies will need to understand that gaining and retaining top talent all begins with an effective telecommute company policy.

Paying for Productivity, Instead of Time

So, why is a telecommute company policy so effective?

In simple terms, it begins by changing the way that businesses think about their employees. Rather than asking them to work according to a specific amount of time (9 to 5 for instance), it asks them to complete a specific set of tasks.

When someone commits to working in an office for a set number of hours, the moments spent “working” aren’t necessarily spent productively. However, if you told your employees they could have the rest of the day off as soon as they complete their assigned tasks, then you could find that hours of effort quickly get condensed, and workers find a way to become more efficient in their efforts.

The fact that workers know that they should be present within an office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. doesn’t, by default, mean that more work gets done. Instead, it often means that tasks are dragged out, and more time is spent lurking around the water cooler. However, a research study conducted by the National Communication Association found that employees who spend most of their week telecommuting to work are generally more satisfied with their jobs than those who spend all their time sitting in a traditional office. This is because working remotely generally alleviates more stress than it creates.

Results of the study pointed to the fact that remote workers are typically shielded from much of the stress and distraction that is common within the workplace such as interruptions, office politics, frequent meetings, and even information overload.

The Cost Benefits of Telecommuting for Businesses

One of the major benefits of creating a telecommute company policy, as we outlined above, can be linked to matters of employee satisfaction. Telecommuting makes employees happier, because they have more work/life balance, and happy employees are 12% more productive.

A more productive, and satisfied workforce means great things for your business bottom line. After all, happy employees will often get more done faster, which means that your business can grow at a higher rate. Of course, there are other ways that a telecommute company policy can have a positive impact on your expenses.

By allowing employees to work from home, you can save on overhead costs, rent, and other expenses related to traditional in-office workforces. That means your office space can potentially be minimized without having a negative impact on your overall work output. In total, some studies have found that businesses can save around $8,000 a year per employee when they implement a telecommute company policy.

Telecommuting Policies Keep your Business Moving Forward

Another benefit of telecommuting policies is that they can reduce absenteeism and help to maintain streamlined operations within your business. Mobile and remote workers can continue to be productive during periods of bad weather, when children are home sick, and in various other instances where a regular employee might need to take a sick or personal day. By reducing your unscheduled absenteeism, your business can use its telecommute company policy to increase staff morale and save on thousands of dollars’ worth of lost productivity.

Teleworking programs also allow businesses of all shapes and sizes to maintain operations during times of emergency, including severe weather events, and when concerns over health epidemics arise. That means, no matter what’s happening in the economic climate, your company can continue to grow and thrive.

Telecommuting policies not only keep your business moving forward on a day-to-day basis either, they can also ensure that you appear more forward-thinking to your customers. Implementing a policy for telecommuting means that your company can start to do its part for a greener environment. After all, fewer commuters mean that there are fewer cars on the road, which often translates to reduced fuel consumption and less air pollution.

An Infographic from Fast Company outlines that around half of the U.S. workforce has the option to telecommute at least part-time. If those people did all work from home for the time allowed to them fifty percent of the time, their decrease in oil consumption would equal around a third of the yearly Persian Gulf imports made by America. At the same time, the reduction of greenhouse gasses would equal the amount that might be saved if the complete workforce of New York state never drove to work again.

Using your Telecommute Company Policy as a Retention Tool

Today, the average workforce is more competitive than ever before. Across the country, industries are growing, which means that any business that wants a shot at success will need to think carefully about the things that they can do to expand and develop their business in the eyes of upcoming talent.

Not only can telecommuting save your money a considerable amount of cash on things like maintenance and utilities, but it can also be used as an incentive that helps to set your company apart from other businesses, and convince your key employees to stay with you for longer. After all, more workers than ever are now seeking out flexible schedules to help them achieve a more comfortable work/life balance, and implementing a telecommute company policy can go a long way towards boosting employee satisfaction.

However, it’s important to make sure that you approach telecommuting with positivity, as if your employers feel as though you are offering the option reluctantly, this can have a negative impact on morale. Employees don’t want to feel as though they run the risk of losing their jobs if they take advantage of their options available to them. In addition, you’ll need to make sure that your telecommuters continue to feel like a part of your team. Communicate frequently, and keep all of your staff members in the loop with important work issues.

Accessing the Global Workforce

A telecommute company policy allows employees to access a more valuable working environment, while giving employers the chance to reach out to a more diverse range of employees. Today, the work environment is broader and more profound than ever before. The experts that you need within your company may not be within your local town or city, but a telecommuting solution allows you to expand your search for talent to places across the globe.

This means that groups and teams can work together at any time, from anywhere, without any restrictions. Effectively, a business that telecommutes can remove the restrictions of a standard office space, and open opportunities that might allow that company to grow more efficiently and effectively. If you don’t need someone in your team to be standing in your office to take advantage of their skills, then telecommuting allows your business to choose from a much larger talent pool when recruiting.

Once you’ve recruited all your talented team members, a telecommuting solution also means that you can bring everyone together without having to worry about travel restrictions and schedule concerns. Teleconferencing, web presence and telepresence software means that virtual meeting spaces can be shared across the globe.

Introducing your Telecommute Company Policy

Implementing a telecommute company policy is a smart decision for any business in this time of tightened budgets, increased competition, and dangerous environmental circumstances. Telecommuting offers a range of important advantages to companies brave enough to let themselves explore the opportunities ahead of them.

Today, companies who have successfully introduced telecommuting into their business model have already begun to reap the benefits. One study found that working remotely lead to a 13% productivity increase in US employees. That means that your employees are generating more money for your business, and you’re spending less in terms of overhead costs.

Introducing a telecommuting company policy is easier than you think; all you need to do is figure out which positions are best suited to the plan, how you can supervise your workers, and how many days a week your employees should be allowed to telecommute. As you progress, you’ll find a pattern that works best for you, and your company.

Are you working to implement your own telecommute company policy? Share your answer when you connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook and Twitter. We’d love to hear from you! 

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Virtual Vocations is an online service that connects job-seekers to hundreds of hand-screened, legitimate telecommute job postings. We believe in sharing what we’ve learned about finding and keeping telecommuting jobs.