Maintaining engagement in the workforce is one of the greatest challenges facing modern businesses. It has a direct impact on productivity and therefore on the bottom line. For human resources managers, the topic has become so important that there's already a wealth of information available regarding strategies to keep employees happy and operating with maximum efficiency. One method that's gained traction in recent years is to expand worker flexibility through telecommuting.
The good news is that it's easier than ever for businesses to develop and implement robust telecommuting options for their staff. Increases in the availability of home broadband, as well as the global IT transition to cloud platforms and SaaS systems, have removed many of the barriers that previously prevented mass adoption of remote work policies. For HR professionals looking to upgrade their retention and engagement arsenal, the time for telecommuting is now. Here's why, and how you can convince your company to pursue it.
It's what employees want
Studies have already indicated that employees that work remotely tend to be far more satisfied in their jobs. What's surprising is that as many as 62% of professionals cited a lack of flexible options like telecommuting as the reason that they had left or considered leaving a position they already had. For any HR professional, that's a number that would cause many a sleepless night. The knowledge that creating a telecommuting program could prevent such a large amount of turnover and help to retain top talent should be enough to convince even the most obstinate management to consider a telecommuting proposal.
Infrastructure costs dramatically reduced
In crafting a plan to pitch to business managers, nothing motivates as well as raw cost savings. Early adopters of telecommuting have realized some pretty dramatic operating cost reductions over the years. In these unpredictable times, especially for the UK, every penny counts, so there’s really no better way to persuade someone than to show them raw data about all the money saved. In case of long-distance business relationships which sometimes simply require face-to-face meeting, at least make sure to inform yourself on best currency deals before any money is squandered.
There are also savings to be found in leveraging employee internet connectivity. When combined with migrations to cloud services for business tools, the financial gains can be significant. By the end of 2020, estimates indicate that there will be more than one billion broadband subscribers globally, so the global workforce is already equipped for telecommuting. Demand for access is so widespread, that even governments have gotten into the broadband market. Australia, for instance, offers internet service via NBN plans via a government-owned fiber-optic network.
Productivity will rise
As an obvious side effect to a happier and more engaged workforce, businesses that offer telecommuting options almost invariably see spikes in worker productivity. There are a number of studies that support this conclusion. In addition, available data from businesses that have already embraced telecommuting indicates that their employees have a tendency to put in more work hours than their co-located counterparts. Remote workers even tend to get things done when they are sick or on vacation. This is the kind of employee engagement that even money can't buy.
Staying ahead of the competition
The last and most important reason to consider a telecommuting plan is the fact that it's becoming so common that it's going to become harder and harder to compete for top-flight employees without it. In a rapidly digitizing world, no business can afford to fall too far behind the times. The factors we've already covered are only the obvious benefits that are already apparent. With business titans like Richard Branson already touting the benefits of telecommuting to both companies and their employees, companies that have been resistant to the changing employment landscape are forced to change their tune.