Telecommuting has been in the headlines recently, as several large companies have begun to pull their remote workforce back into the office. While the reasoning is likely complex, it’s caused a lot of employees to go from satisfied to disgruntled.
Telecommuting and flexible scheduling are employee benefits in high demand. Outside of salary, telecommuting is one of the most sought-after benefits across demographics. As technology grows, so too does the opportunity for companies to strengthen their remote work offerings. Trends in Telecommuting PDF
Currently, 3.9 million U.S. employees, or 2.9 percent of the total U.S. workforce, work from home at least half of the time, up from 1.8 million in 2005 (a 115 percent increase since 2005), according to the “2017 State of Telecommuting in the U.S. Employee Workforce” report by Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs.
Despite this increase, only 7 percent of U.S. employers currently allow employees to telecommute. Offering remote working options isn’t just a way to attract top talent both locally and across the country. It turns out that there are many financial benefits companies with this offering enjoy, and they can add up fast.
Employers can save over $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year, the report found. Across the existing work-at-home population, that potentially adds up to $44 billion in savings. If the telecommuting workforce expanded to include those who could and wanted to work from home, the potential employer savings could approach $690 million a year!
What’s more, the report estimates that absenteeism (31 percent), real estate (25 percent), and voluntary turnover (10 percent) costs will decrease for half-time telecommuters, with a 15 percent increase in productivity.
An interesting trend that came out of this report that HR professionals should note is that the average telecommuter is 46 years of age or older. It’s easy to think that telecommuting is for younger professionals and a benefit sought after solely by the millennial workforce. However, the report states that telecommuting is more common among employees over 35 years of age and most common among baby boomers.
That means if you’re looking to retain talent with advanced knowledge and experience, telecommuting will be appreciated. Plus, it’s a good way to compete against competitors when hiring, especially if you’re looking to reduce labor gaps and enhance organizational agility.