Telecommuting began to rise in popularity within the past decade when fuel prices soared. While it immediately benefited employees who would no longer have to spend hundreds of dollars per month to fill their gas tanks, human resources managers also began to notice benefits. Telecommuting is a growing trend – about 40% of U.S. employees are working remotely either full time or part time . If you are considering implementing a telecommuting policy at your organization, keep these pros in mind when making your decisions and setting up the rules of your telecommuting program.
Employees who work from home may be able to start their workdays earlier and end later than they would if they had to commute. They may also experience fewer distractions, such as conversations at the water cooler or disruptions from coworkers chatting rather than working. On the other hand, employees who work at home may become distracted by household chores, the doorbell, television, and spouses or children who are also at home.
When employees work from home, your organization may be able to cut on some costs, such as utilities, office supplies and furniture. A typical business could potentially save up to $11,000 per employee per year . When telecommuting employees do come into the office, they may be able to use shared work areas. This might even allow your organization to be housed in a smaller space. Keep in mind that you may have to reimburse your employees for their work-related internet fees, pay phone bills for work calls and provide them with a laptop so that they can do their work from home.
Employee Loyalty and Retaining Staff
The flexibility of being able to telecommute may help to increase the loyalty of your employees. Employees who have young children may appreciate the ability to work from home on days when their childcare center is closed or when their child is sick. You may be able to retain your staff by offering the option of telecommuting one or more days per week. Your employees are sure to enjoy the time savings and experience less stress from not having to drive in weekday rush-hour traffic. The savings on gas and wear and tear on cars also benefits your staff, who may decide to stay with you for these benefits.
When your organization has a management position to fill, deciding how to hire for the opening can be a challenge. Promoting from within is often faster than looking outside of your organization. However, hiring from outside provides you with greater access to potential employees who may have a wider range of skills. However, there are many reasons to consider both options.
Promoting From Within
When you open up a management position to your current staff members, promoting from within can reduce the amount of time the position is vacant. There will not be a need for routine human resources activities such as checking on the applicant’s resume or references. This can reduce your hiring costs. Hiring from within means that you are already familiar with the employee’s personality, skill set and experience level. A study from Kelly-Radford found that senior executives fail, in general, 34 percent of the time when hired from the outside versus 24 percent when hired from inside your organization . Promoting from within helps to boost employee loyalty, allowing your staff to do their best because of the potential to move up the corporate ladder.
Recruiting From Outside of Your Organization
Even if there are qualified candidates for a management position within your company, there are many reasons why you might want to consider outside recruitment. Bringing in a fresh perspective allows your company to increase its range of skills. Recruiting an outside candidate may also be easier on supervisors and staff who might otherwise develop a contentious relationship with internal promotions. Top talent is attracted to companies that are using best practices and offer the opportunity for growth, not companies that always want to stick with what’s safe and comfortable . A new person may have more experience or relevant technological skills than the people you already employ. Outside recruitment allows you to capture the best talent from applicants locally, regionally and even internationally.
A positive corporate culture does more than keep management happy and demonstrate success to shareholders and investors – it also helps to retain the employees who make the organization successful. The 2016 Deloitte Millennials Survey said employees that stay within their organizations for at least five years are more likely to report a positive culture than others . It’s important to pay attention to employee turnover, as the average cost of a lost employee is approximately 38 percent of the employee’s annual salary . By building a better corporate culture, you can keep the top talent and experience within your organization.
A strong business culture is established upon a foundation of shared priorities. One way management can show that the concerns and priorities of the staff are important to them is by watching their pronouns. Rather than referring to employees as “them” and “they,” management can use inclusive pronouns such as “we” and “us.” Managers should also listen to employee conversations. When the staff members refer to themselves as a part of the organization, this indicates that the corporate culture is strong. An inclusive vocabulary allows for the development of shared priorities at all levels.
Successful business cultures also include listening. “When leaders share ideas and updates with their employees, open communication becomes second nature, and everyone feels equally invested in the company’s overall goals .” All management, from the lowest-level manager to the CEO, must spend time listening to the concerns of employees. Once concerns are heard, this gives the management the opportunity to present a thoughtful solution to the problem. Problems can be solved through respectful discussions and regular feedback to ensure that solutions are working for everyone. When ideas are heard and considered, everyone on the team will feel valued and more satisfied with their work.
Develop Bonding Opportunities
When your employees feel like they belong at your company, they will want to stay. Bonding activities as simple as walking meetings provide your staff with something to look forward to. Bigger events such as office potlucks and charity collections allow everyone to come together for a common cause. Even competitive contests can be fun, such as a contest for the best holiday decorations or the most over-the-top Christmas sweater. Bonding can also be done through shared activities. Consider having an employee volunteer day in which everyone in your organization works for a charity such as the local food bank or cleaning up a school playground or park. These simple activities allow employees, managers and leaders to come together and appreciate each person’s unique set of skills. Every person’s contribution has an exponentially positive effect on the whole organization.