Last year, when Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer banned telecommuting for her employees, the decision stirred a vigorous debate about whether it’s valid for any business to let employees work from home.
As I see it, any organization can boost the personal and professional productivity of its workforce through telecommuting. And the more widely it is embraced, the better for the company.
Therefore, it’s a smart move to integrate technologies that make the work-from-home process smoother and more seamless.
Telecommuting Success: It’s More Than Technology
However, simply putting new technology into place and allowing your workforce to telecommute won’t make your business productive. Successful virtual work initiatives still require effective management. Leaders need to engage team members (as if they were physically at the office) and make sure they are kept in the loop, so they remain psychologically and socially connected, even when they don’t share a physical office space.
5 Key Business Benefits
But that said, when virtual work options are implemented appropriately, the advantages are abundant. For example, here are five major ways companies can benefit:
1) Morale: Happier employees get more done. In many cities, employees deal with a grinding commute, only to sit in an office where they interact very little with their coworkers. Whether the telecommuting arrangement is permanent or just a weekly flex day, the reduced travel and stress can provide a tremendous boost in employee morale.
2) Talent Acquisition: This can be a significant advantage in both large and small markets, because the best talent isn’t always within driving distance. This is certainly affected by the scope of the position, but businesses that don’t require day-to-day physical access to a shared office can benefit by finding the best candidates, regardless of physical location. Telecommuting lets companies choose from a much larger talent pool when it’s time to recruit for open positions.
3) Productivity: If you have ever worked remotely you probably know that you can accomplish much more when the conditions are right. At many offices, constant distractions mean less work gets done than the company desires. While face-to-face camaraderie may help employees build relationships, beyond small talk, there isn’t much that can be accomplished sitting in a meeting room that can’t be accomplished from a distance, using collaboration tools.
4) Flexibility: Trying to bring teams together in the same space and time isn’t necessarily easier because everyone travels to a central office. The technology that companies adopt to enable telecommuting allows teams to collaborate in real time from anywhere members are located. Participants can access teleconferencing, web conferencing and telepresence from almost anywhere. So when people can’t be in the same physical place, the meeting will still go on.
5) Adoption: I have said this for as long as I can remember: ”Eat your own dog food!” Any business that considers itself a high-tech organization should adopt tools, structures and processes required for successful telecommuting. What’s more, these capabilities should be promoted as a way the workforce can achieve maximum productivity and work-life balance. Using this technology day in and day out can truly bring the organization closer. And the value of that connection can be priceless, as it translates to better selling, delivery and support of the solutions your customers need.
What other ways can organizations benefit from telecommuting? Does your company allow telecommuting? If not, why? Share your opinions and ideas in the comments below.
(Editor’s Note: This post was adapted with permission from an article written for and published in Commercial Integrator Magazine and republished by Millennial CEO.)
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