Many business owners might grumble at the thought of letting their staff work from home. After all, doesn’t that increase the risk of them lounging around in their pajamas and not doing their work? In reality, telecommuting is becoming a broadly accepted business model, and one that appears to work for a significant number of industries. Are you on the fence? Here’s what might convince you to change your mind:
Maintain Your Professional Image
In your mind, working from home means answering your home phone with children crying in the background, or having your important business letters sent to a residential address. However, if you consider virtual offices, those are not valid concerns. Having a virtual office means you get a professional phone answering service, mail forwarding to a prestigious corporate address, and the façade of a legitimate business in a desirable part of town. You may work from your living room at home, but your clients are none the wiser.
Cut Down Operational Costs
Did you know that office rent in the East Bay Area in California has risen by 53 percent since 2012? The figures are not all that dissimilar in other areas too. If you’d rather not pay close to $60 per square foot of space every month, then telecommuting could be the next best thing. All you need to pay for is your home’s rent or mortgage – something you would already be paying anyway. Say goodbye to office rent, utilities, and more.
Broaden Your Talent Pool
If you have a niche industry, you may face the constant battle of trying to fill vacant positions. Not everyone who is right for the job lives in your town or city. By working remotely, you immediately expand your staffing opportunities. All of a sudden, you can tap into the expertise of people all around the world. More than five percent of people now work from home, so it’s clear to see business owners see the value in it.
Imagine never having to miss your child’s football game again, or being able to attend their sports day or see them off to school camp? For many people, that would be a dream come true. Telecommuting offers that work-life balance of which many parents can only dream. The benefit of providing telecommunication in your workplace is that you also enjoy better staff retention. Workers with more flexible working hours are going to be appreciative of what you offer them and will be less likely to want to give it up.
Fewer Days Off
Lost productivity in the workplace due to absenteeism costs, on average, $84 billion every year. You can go a long way to reducing this figure by offering the option of telecommuting. Those parents who take time off due to sick children or a lack of childcare will be able to keep working, and closed roads due to accidents or natural disasters are no longer a barrier to working either. The list of valid excuses for not showing up for work is now far shorter.
Office chatter can take up a lot of time and valuable resources – with a reduced likelihood of a paper trail for relevant information. If everyone is telecommuting – using cloud-based unified communications systems, team networks and other online tools, there’s less chatter and more critical communication.
Telecommuting might not seem like a good idea at first – especially if you’re picturing all your workers slacking off at home. However, the results speak for themselves. You can cut costs, retain staff, and still keep your professional image. It’s a win-win situation.