Are you trying to recruit new employees? Then you’d better be sure telecommuting is an option for your staff. Employees love benefits like telecommuting so much that they’re not willing to give it up, reports a recent survey by Staples. More than 70 percent of telecommuters in the survey say telecommuting is an important benefit they weigh when considering a new job.
Offering telecommuting not only helps you attract employees, but also saves you money. Ten percent of the survey respondents are willing to take a lower salary in order to keep telecommuting, 15 percent are willing to take fewer vacation days and 67 percent would give up other perks.
The benefits of telecommuting for employees
Why do employees love telecommuting so much? Their top reasons:
- Achieving a better work/life balance (74 percent)
- Reducing stress (69 percent)
- Saving money on transportation costs (69 percent)
Employees aren’t the only ones singing the praises of telecommuting: 65 percent of employers who allow telecommuting say they have happier employees as a result.
Benefits of telecommuting for employers
With big companies increasingly offering telecommuting, a small business competing for the same employees needs to take notice. How can you make telecommuting work for your small business?
- Make sure employees have the tools they need to work remotely. Technical problems, including poor Internet connections and lack of security, were the biggest complaint employees in the Staples study had about working from home.
- Stay in touch. It’s important to set up communication channels to keep remote employees in the loop (and keep you and the rest of the team in touch with what they’re doing). You can use IM and chat to touch base quickly, teleconferencing or Web conferencing tools for meetings, and project management tools to keep everyone on the same page.
- Hold workers accountable for getting the job done. Many bosses worry that employees who work from home are goofing off. Use regular reviews and check-ins to ensure employees are pulling their weight. Make sure your policies state that telecommuting privileges can be revoked if an employee is abusing them.
- Promote that your business is telecommuting friendly. Use your job ads, social media and website to share with potential employees how your business uses telecommuting and how it benefits both the company and the staff.
Once you try telecommuting, I’m betting you’ll be convinced of its value—and your employees will love you for it.