When people talk about the benefits of working from home, they usually focus on how it helps employees. After all, just getting rid of rush hour and commuting sounds like a dream to the average office worker. But what they don’t talk about is something that might be interesting to your business – namely, that employers can benefit just as much from these programs as their employees do.
According to a study compiled and released by Microsoft in May of 2011, the business advantages of staffing remote employees can be enormous.
First, there are the obvious benefits:
- Not having on-site staff reduces the overhead costs associated with running a company.
- Real estate needs are greatly reduced; because only a handful of vital staffers need to be on-site, a company of 50 can operate efficiently in an office sized for 10.
- Cuts down on the cost of computers, phones, electricity, heating and air conditioning, and all the other little necessities that keep an office operating. When employees work remotely on their own devices, you save big.
But more than that, there are the financial benefits that are difficult to quantify in bottom-line terms. The study quoted Christine Durst, an expert in the benefits of employing remote workers.
Because companies no longer have to hire people willing to live nearby, the talent pool grows and as we all know, better and smarter workers mean more efficiency and more profit. Furthermore, with employees spread out all over the country or even the globe, you’re able to operate in more time zones, meaning there really are more hours in the day. By hiring Californian employees, a New York company can operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. without anyone working overtime.
On top of that, allowing your employees to work from home can reduce absenteeism, tardiness and their associating costs. If employees are happier, turnover rates will be lower and new-hire training costs will decrease. Not to mention with a more motivated workforce, you wind up getting more work for less money.
Perhaps the most interesting of the study’s findings was this: of the 3,600 employs surveyed, only 41 percent said they worked from companies with established telecommuting policies, and only 15 percent said they believed their company offered flexible work arrangements. Companies that aren’t willing to invest in technologies like video conferencing that allow employees to work efficiently from home are leaving money on the table. By offering your employees the flexibility of working remotely, you can easily beat the competition by having a better, more motivated staff and saving a small fortune in overhead.
- Dan Lothringer
Dan is a contributing writer for VideoConferencingSpot.com