It’s about the People, not the Place
January 11, 2011 @ 10:31 AM | By Sara Steele
According to an article on NewObserver.Com, about 2.5 million people, excluding the self-employed, work from home. And some studies estimate that up to 50 million American workers could easily telecommute to work. It is expected that twice as many public sector employees as private sector workers will telecommute during the next several years.
There’s no doubt that companies of all sizes are increasingly beginning to understand the business value that comes along with remote working environments. New Media Campaigns, a Carrboro-based web development company experienced this first-hand. When confronted with the possibility of losing one of their top website developers, they had two options: 1.) let him go and spend time and money on replacing him or 2.) allow him to telecommute from his out-of-state home. Ultimately, the company chose the latter in order to keep their talented employee. Since this time, they have opened the door for other employees to telecommute and even view the virtual office as the ‘cornerstone of the company’s long-term success.’
Unlike New Media Campaigns, many companies are still skeptical of telecommuting, believing that it will impair the productivity, company culture and work environment. However, if telecommunication is done right, then employees can actually achieve better work performance and quality of life and save the company money. Here are some interesting findings from a recent Cisco survey about their employees:
- Employees spend about 63 percent of their time communicating.
- About 40 percent of its employees are not located in the same city as their manager.
- The average employee telecommutes two days a week.
- About 60 percent of the time saved by telecommuting is spent working, with the balance on personal time.
- Two-thirds of those surveyed said that their work improved.
- Four out of five respondents reported an improved quality of life as a result of telecommuting.
So, what is the key to success? First of all, hiring disciplined and self-sufficient employees is a must so you know they can be trusted to work on their own. Secondly, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open with the right remote meeting technology. InterCall's audio, web and video conferencing solutions make it easy to do just that by providing you with simple and cost-effective solutions to connect with anyone in the world.
How about your company? Do you have success or horror stories about telecommuting to share?