It’s only natural that employers might have some reservations about opening the floodgates for workers to telecommute. After all, when employees work from home, they’re out of sight, and supervisors must cede a certain amount of control over when and where employees work. All of it comes down to one word: trust. Adrianne Bibby, career writer for FlexJobs, explains how recruiters and employees can convince management that telecommuting is a must.
Bosses have to trust that, once they allow telecommuting and other flexible job options, workers will be just as diligent and just as productive working from home as they are working from the office. And there’s a flipside to the “trust coin”– namely, trust on the part of at-home workers, who, in order to do their best, need to feel confident that they’ll be judged by the same quality and productivity standards that applied when they were working from the office.
For recruiters, telecommuting offers a number of benefits, making it a worthwhile cause to pursue within each company. Telecommuting allows recruiters to expand the search area beyond geographic boundaries, widening the candidate pool. It also deepens a candidate pool by including people who can’t work traditional office jobs: professionals with disabilities, military spouses, stay-at-home mothers, people in rural communities, and older workers interested in continuing to work during retirement, for example. Telecommuting allows recruiters to tap into each of these groups of candidates that may have previously been out of reach.
Furthermore, technological changes offer employers and workers great opportunities to embrace telecommuting and redefine the workplace. For this paradigm shift to be productive, it’s useful for employers to consider some of the great benefits of telecommuting. If you want to convince the management at your company that telecommuting is a good idea — not only for recruiting efforts but for the bottom line as well — these facts will help.
Here are three facts to convince managers that telecommuting is a must:
1. Cost Savings
A FlexJobs survey found that one in five respondents would be willing to reduce their pay by 10 percent in exchange for flexible work options. In addition, 7 percent would take a 20 percent cut in pay in exchange for greater workplace flexibility, including work-from-home options. Telecommuting can also lower operating and real estate costs by an average of $11,000 per year per employee who works from home full-time. The advantages of flexible job options to employers, including cost savings, are among the most persuasive arguments in favor of telecommuting as a great option for both businesses and workers.
2. Employee Retention and Satisfaction
It’s a widely documented phenomenon: employees who have flexibility options like telecommuting are more likely to be satisfied with their work and more apt to stay in their current jobs. An Intuit study found that 53 percent of telecommuters are not considering leaving their job in the next 12 months; only 46 percent of in-office workers said the same thing. Aetna found that annual voluntary turnover for employees who work at home is in the 2-3 percent range, as compared to company-wide turnover, which is about 8 percent. The option to telecommute is consistently listed as one of the top benefits of flexible work. Workers who know that their job is flexible enough to accommodate both major and minor life changes tend to be less stressed out, more trusting of their employer, more empowered to produce good work, and, well, happier!
3. Expanded Candidate Pool
Employers who offer work-from-home positions and other flexible work options enjoy choosing from a much larger candidate pool to find just the right employee match for their open positions. As an employer, you can greatly diversify your candidate pool by offering telecommuting options that can help you cast a broader net and attract qualified workers, including stay-at-home moms, millennials, military spouses, people with disabilities, and other candidates with great qualifications that meet your needs.
Telecommuting is quickly becoming a common way of working, and recruiters who can convince management that telecommuting is a must for their company will benefit greatly in the long run.