More employees are telecommuting to work now than ever before. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 13.4 million Americans worked remotely at least once a week in 2010, a rise of more than 4.2 million from 1999’s count of 9.5 million. Telecommuting is increasing in prevalence because many companies are starting to understand that allowing employees to work from home or a remote location enhances the business’s talent acquisition and overall productivity and performance.
General Benefits of Offering Telecommuting
Giving employees and applicants the option to work from a remote location can result in happier, more productive workers. It can even improve recruitment because offering telecommuting opens up the opportunity for strong workers who may not live in the area or are able to commute to the main office the chance to work for the organization. In fact, because video, cloud and social technology is advancing so rapidly, it may become easier than ever for people to effectively telecommute.
There are many benefits to offering employees the ability to work outside of the main office. The New York Times reported the increased flexibility that comes with telecommuting can improve companies’ retention rates and reduce absenteeism and sick leave use. Forbes noted virtual workplaces allow employees to be more flexible with their schedules, giving them the chance to work when they are most productive and get more projects completed. Greater flexibility equals stronger productivity and performance in many instances, but Jack Nilles, CEO of management consulting firm JALA International, wrote in a blog about telecommuting that these benefits only emerge if workers with certain skill sets are allowed to telecommute and they are managed effectively.
“Properly managed telecommuters are more productive than their in-office-full-time compadres,” Nilles wrote. “[…] They tend to be better organized and focused than their in-office colleagues. They are more loyal to their employers, take less sick leave and are less stressed.”
Improvements to the Talent Pool – If the Right Tools are Used
According to Forbes, telecommuting is one of the best ways for companies to employ workers with in-demand but hard-to-find skill sets, such as technical abilities. However, need for an enterprise network to promote collaboration between office workers and telecommuters remains, and corporate recruiters must utilize the right recruiting software to tap into a greater talent pool. If a company wants to look for skilled, experienced workers who aren’t in the area, recruiters will have to sift through more applications.
This can be a time-consuming process if recruiting software isn’t able to effectively search and score candidates based on their requirements. Telecommuting offers many benefits to recruiting and overall talent acquisition if HR professionals then have the best tools to leverage these advantages.
Need to Promote Collaboration and Utilize Performance Metrics
When telecommuting is done right – meaning recruiters use the best software for talent management and those workers are then managed effectively – companies can experience numerous benefits. But businesses also need to understand they must have enterprise collaboration platforms in place so telecommuters and office workers are able to communicate with one another and the company’s internal culture is felt throughout the organization. If remote employees feel separate from office workers and the two groups are seen to be independent from one another, staff members may not feel like valued parts of the organization. Collaboration can increase innovation on both ends and result in stronger work and growth for the company.
HR professionals also should ensure there are performance metrics in place to gauge remote workers’ productivity, according to another Times article. Telecommuters need to be managed and their performance measured for the company to prevent turnover.
Jobscience | Creators of CRM-based Recruiting | The Science of Recruiting