For decades, work has been defined by the office. You and all of your co-workers met in one building, and that was the only place you (hopefully) ever conducted work. But, that is all changing thanks to the rise of mobile devices and cloud-based solutions liked hosted VoIP systems. Now, thanks primarily to these two key technology trends, employees can do their work and access mission-critical resources from just about anywhere at any time.
But not everyone is on board with these newfound capabilities. Some of the biggest firms in world have since outright banned working from home, saying it inhibits collaboration and prevents teams from bonding. In particular, Yahoo shocked the business world last year when an internal memo banning telecommuting was leaked.
So, with all this in mind, where does this all leave your business? Well, despite what companies like Yahoo may think, teleworking has been proven effective. Don't believe me? Then consider these statistics first:
- According to an experiment conducted by Stanford economics professor Nicholas Bloom and Chinese travel agency CTrip, employees who work from home are 13 percent more productive than their in-office counterparts. In an opinion piece published in The New York Times, Bloom wrote that "[b]y saving office space, reducing attrition and increasing productivity, CTrip saved $2,000 per employee per year. This was such a success that the company expanded the option to most workers in its call center."
- Employees like working from home, and this helps to keep workers around for longer and ensure that new hires end up being a more prudent investment, according to statistics cited by Global Workplace Analytics. Approximately 67 percent of U.S. workers want to telecommute, and 95 percent of employers said that working from home helps to keep employees at the business for longer. This can really add up in the long run, as losing an employee can cost a business up to $30,000.
- Teleworking is also often cited for its environmental benefits, as it means there are less drivers on the road. Not only can this help to boost a company's green profile, but it means both commuters and at-home employees can spend less time stuck in traffic and more time being productive. Close to one-quarter of workers would be okay with reducing their paychecks by 10 percent if that meant their employer was more environmentally friendly.
- Companies that allow teleworking also have a much easier time finding talent, as they are no longer limited to finding workers located only in specific geographies. More than 40 percent of employers have cited a lack of talent as a concern, and a work-from-home policy can help alleviate this issue.
Of course, none of these benefits can be realized unless a company has the tools and infrastructure in place to support a teleworking initiative. This means that the systems and solutions available in the office need to be provided to at-home workers as well. This can be difficult, especially if the business uses a legacy office phone system. Luckily, this issue can be easily addressed when an organization turns to cloud solutions like hosted business VoIP.