Depending on your generation, you could ask anyone who is your senior, and they will say the same thing I’m about to tell you; working from home a decade ago was foreign and unheard. Today, with millennials, new trends and the importance of mental health and wellbeing, telecommuting and working from home is the new and upcoming style of work.
New technological advances and the intense focus in maintaining a healthy work-life balance, has incredibly resulted in more than half of Australians working from home, in some form or another.
In this new digital age, working remotely and via our smartphones and digital platforms, you have the opportunity to allow your employees to be happier, healthier, productive and highly motivated within your company. First, I’ll give you information and statistics that prove and show the benefits in why you should consider telecommuting.
By allowing your employees to work from home, it enables them to not only be happier, less likely to quit but also they find themselves to be more productive. With offices being quite distracting, working from home allows employees to focus and be in the zone.
Of course, some job requirements may require your employees to attend meetings and group workshops, or perhaps they need to tutor and mentor a recruit. Be that as it may, working from home even just one day a week can improve your employee’s satisfaction and commitment to work.
Better for health and the environment.
With the average commute time to be 54 minutes, and with individuals even spending 90 minutes or more travelling to and from work you can only imagine how much of a carbon footprint we’re leaving.
If you’re a company who’s thinking of going green, this is an excellent way of improving the environment. Not only by lowering your company’s carbon footprint, fossil fuel consumption, and energy usage but by cutting down on your employee’s commute time to work.
According to Heads Up, 1 in 5 Australians have taken time off work due to feeling mentally unwell in the last 12 months. With 45% of Australians between the ages of 16-85 experiencing a mental health condition in their lifetime, it is estimated that untreated mental health conditions cost Australian workplaces approximately $10.9 billion per year, as stated by the ABS.
How you can help prevent this or even assist is by giving your staff the option to be in an environment that is beneficial to them both mentally and physically.
Another good point is when your employees are sick. When your employees are working from home, they can still catch up on their hours by working in bed and using their breaks to go to the doctors. Much better than going to the office and getting more unwell, as well as everyone else.
Develops the work-life balance.
Having the opportunity to be home with your family is lovely, and it can even reduce the strain within families and couples. Also, being able to attend family or personal events can help in creating that work-life balance.
Your employee’s schedule can also be significantly improved by allowing them the time to pick up their kids from school perhaps, or comfortably doing their weekly shopping without the worry of shops closing. It adds flexibility to their schedule.
Within any company, big or small, you want to lower your costs by all means. By telecommuting, it can reduce your operating costs with office supplies, equipment, furniture, electricity, food and coffee supplies, office space/rent and more.
It can also reduce the cost for your employees such as tolls, petrol, car insurance and maintenance, coffee/lunch and parking/public transport fees.
Keeps the older generation in the workplace.
Within Australia, the retirement age isn’t slowing down. Most Australians are retiring past 70 years of age. With the average life expectancy increasing and the cost of living to jump, many elderly individuals are surpassing the expected period of retirement.
Help in keeping older generations in the workplace by offering them to work remotely from home. Remember that any full-time employee who has worked for your company for 12 months and is over 55 years of age can request for this, under Fair Work accordances.
Reduces employee turnover.
A 2018 survey from Australian HR Institute (AHRI) found more than half of millennial age employees (57%) leave their employer each year. With a 32% increase in staff turnover within Australian organisations, you can see how companies would want to figure out what their employees need to stay.
Now, employee turnover can never be eliminated, it will always be there as your workers will one day choose to leave, perhaps to stay at home or they want a different career path.
You need to understand that your employees all have lives outside of work and encouraging them to better their relationships with others and themselves is beneficial in reducing employee turnover. It also helps in knowing how to lower the numbers and create a work environment your team loves to be a part of.
Others may feel isolated and lonely, and even lose social connections within their workplace. Networking is always important, and telecommuting could affect this. There are always pros and cons with any concept or idea, and the only way to see for yourself if it will fail or succeed is to try it out. Have faith and do your research. Ask your staff what works for them and if they would be happier given this option. Will this benefit your company? Will this improve your employees’ performance? Answers are soon to come.