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Employees experience the true benefits of telecommuting


Many of today's firms give their employees the opportunity to work from home in hopes that greater flexibility will make the workforce more productive. While these policies often improve the happiness of staff and make the enterprise more attractive to prospective employees, allowing the workforce to telecommute can also open expose the company to the risk of data breach, stressing the need cyberliability insurance.

Once the proper protections are in place, small-business owners want to see if employees who work from home are truly as or more efficient than staff members who choose to work in the office. A new poll from Harris Interactive studied how working from home can really influence productivity.

Telecommuters producing in the workplace
Many people who don't work from home may struggle to see the benefits completing tasks outside the office. However, 64 percent of respondents said working from home increases productivity and work output with 60 percent of men claiming to be more efficient at home and 68 percent of women touting the benefits of working remotely. Giving employees the ability to telecommute is also a quality employee retention tactic used by many small-business owners. More than 60 percent of respondents said the option to work from anywhere plays a role in whether they decide to stay at their employers.

Working from home provides several benefits
While increased productivity is something members of the workforce enjoy when given the option to telecommute, there are other aspects of working from home that make such policies more attractive for job seekers. Forbes referenced a 2012 whitepaper from Microsoft that pointed out some of the other advantages of working remotely. Sixty percent reported enjoying the work/home balance they are able to achieve, 55 percent said they enjoy the ability to save on gas and 44 percent reported having fewer distractions when they work outside the office. However, many small-business owners aren't quite sold on telecommuting.

"Business leaders assume employees who work remotely and take advantage of the policy are not really working," the whitepaper stated. "This is because of the loss of control. Employers lose direct oversight and cannot witness productivity firsthand."

Small-business owners who are able to ensure the productivity of their employees outside the office have a happy staff and see an improved workflow.

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