Telecommuters: Should Everyone Return Back to the Office

A few weeks ago, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer made headlines by ending telecommuting at the tech giant. A week later, Best Buy made the same announcement, calling all workers back to the office.

The backlash was quick, but there were also defenders. For CEOs and leadership teams trying to turn the tide within their organization, some reactions supported the changes and said true successful collaboration cannot happen in a remote environment.

What do you think?

EDGE lives the benefits of telecommuting, as a part of our culture. All of our corporate employees are telecommuters, which has allowed us to tap the greatest talent and set up a work environment that maximizes their ability to serve our clients and consultants. Many of our consultants work remotely, serving organizations with specialized IT skills they may not want to or need to hire on a full-time basis.

Benefits of Using Telecommuting Staff

Improves employee satisfaction 

  • People are tired of the rat race. They are eager to take control of their lives, and desperate to find a balance between work and life.
  • Gen Y’ers are particularly attracted to flexible work arrangements. 

 Reduce attrition

  •   Losing a valued employee can cost an employer somewhere between $10,000 and $30,000.
  • Almost half of employees feel their commute is getting worse, which may cause them to seek alternative employment.

Reduces unscheduled absences

  • Telecommuters typically continue to work when they’re sick (without infecting others).
  • Telecommuters return to work more quickly following surgery or medical issues.
  • Flexible hours allow telecommuters to run errands or schedule appointments without losing a full day.

Increases productivity

  • British Telecom, Dow Chemical and many others show that telecommuters are 35-40% more productive.
  • Results suggests that employees spend 60% of the commuting time they save performing work for the company. 

Saves employers money

  • Partial telecommuting can offer real estate savings by instituting an office hoteling program.
  • Telecommuting offers an inexpensive compliance avenue with ADA for disabled workers.

Increases collaboration

  • Once telecommuting technologies are in place, employees and contractors can work together without regard to logistics. This increases collaboration options. 

Expands the talent pool

  •  Reduces geographic boundaries when looking for staff.

It does take effort to successfully integrate and manage telecommuters into a corporate environment. There does have to be additional effort to keep them engaged with the on-site team. In our next blog article, we will talk more about how to best manage telecommuters to get the best results for your team.

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