Telecommuting Impacts Employee Engagement

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    It’s 2014, aren’t we supposed to be flying around in Jetson style aircrafts and using conveyor belt showers? Maybe that’s a stretch, but telecommuting shouldn’t be such a far-fetched idea. In the next year, more companies are predicted to allow their employees work-from-home flexibility. Some are even including it in their list of benefits they offer employees.

    Those lucky enough to work for a company that allows for a flexible, telecommuting type schedule report the following benefits:

    • It’s no secret that commuting to and from the office can be frustrating and stressful. Employees who are allowed the flexibility to work from home are known to put in more hours. The hours they would spend commuting are spent working, which in return, allows them to be more productive.
    • By allowing employees to telecommute, you’re letting them know you trust them. You trust they are spending their time away from the office wisely.
    • Employees who telecommute have fewer distractions. They don’t get caught up in the ‘water cooler’ chats or impromptu meetings. Instead, they spend their time getting tasks done, with little or no disruptions.
    • With the proper collaboration tools in place, employees can stay connected and in step with their colleagues in a different location or time zone. Employees can respond to questions or posts when you have time, not when it’s dictated by a person’s physical presence demanding an answer.

    Employees aren’t the only ones who benefit from telecommuting, cost savings for employers can be significant. Reduced real estate costs can save organizations substantially, as well as energy costs. There are many different parties that can benefit from telecommuting, including the employee, employer, and the environment.

    However, there’s a fine line to how much the employee telecommutes. A Gallup article recently stated that employees who telecommute 100% of the time are at risk to experience low disengagement, whereas telecommuting 20% of the time resulted in the highest engagement across the board.

    Bottom line: trust your employees to work whenever and wherever they please, as long as they are meeting or exceeding expectations. If you provide a healthy and engaging work environment, then they may want to spend 80% of their time in the office. Leave it up to the employee to determine the best work space for them.

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