Telework 2012: Leap Into Major Advantages For Your Business, Employees and the Environment

Now that there are cloud solutions for every size business, communication tools that eliminate the need for desk phones (and even desks) and collaboration tools that let teams work together virtually, tethering employees to an office could actually be slow-tracking your business.
In fact, studies prove that teleworking (also called telecommuting) can give you a serious competitive advantage.

For example, management consultant firm Booz Allen Hamilton reports an increase in productivity of one hour per day for teleworkers. Cisco found teleworking employees “gave back” 60 percent of the time they would’ve spent commuting by working instead. And IBM determined that as long as employees have the tools they need to perform their jobs properly, everyone wins with teleworking. There are hundreds of other examples from companies of every size.
The key, of course, is having the right tools! And knowing how to use them. A haphazard telework plan or poor adaption strategy doesn’t deliver the same impressive results.
If your company is considering starting or improving a telework program, here are seven benefits you can expect:
1. Happier employees. Flexibility reduces employees’ stress levels, and knowing you trust them pays off big time in loyalty, commitment and more.
2. Healthier employees. Fewer colds going around the office is good for everyone (and their families) and also the bottom line: employees often continue to work from home even when they’re sick.
3. Richer employees. Teleworking cuts down on out-of-pocket expenses like gas, transit, food and clothing. Studies show employees save about $1,700 each year by working at home 2.5 days a week.
4. Less need for office space. Consolidate! You don’t need as much room if your employees aren’t there all the time.
5. Easier to scale up (and down). Square footage, parking spaces, furniture, office supplies and other tangible considerations all come into play.
6. Smaller carbon footprint. You save energy in the office plus reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions: 98% of your employees’ work-related carbon footprint comes from their commutes to and from work.
7. Less traffic. And fewer accidents. Studies show that even a small reduction in the number of cars on the road (3-5 percent) can dramatically reduce congestion.