Telecommuting: Pluses and Minuses
The number of telecommuting positions in the United States was increasing prior to the onset of Covid-19 and that trend is now continuing at an accelerated rate because of the many advantages of working from home. General and administrative costs, i.e. rent, utilities, etc. are significantly reduced. Recruiting costs and the time required for recruiting are also reduced because most employees prefer to work at home. However, many company managers are reluctant to initiate or expand remote employment because of the apparent “lack of control”. They are concerned that remote employees won’t work diligently, will take inordinate amounts of time off and won’t focus on their responsibilities.
At CNI Recruiting we have found that telecommuting increases productivity and that most employees are happier and worker satisfaction is increased when working at home. An example that always comes to mind when discussing this topic is a highly successful Sales Representative who lives in Florida. Her home office is her pool, her desk is a patio table and her office chair is one of the lounges around the pool. If we assigned her a quota that was a reasonable stretch it was like money in the bank!
A study by Stanford University over a period of almost two years confirmed CNI Recruiting’s experience and showed an increase in productivity of at least 8 hours per week per remote employee. In addition the study found that telecommuting employees had fewer sick days, took less time off and had a fifty percent decrease in attrition compared to office workers!
Some employees have problems working at home. These problems include maintaining a schedule, distractions, and a feeling of isolation. Company management can help these employees to succeed by assigning more experienced remote employees to mentor them on how to establish and maintain a schedule, how to reduce distractions, and how to minimize feeling isolated by encouraging phone and electronic communication with other employees. Management should also organize department or company activities at the office or other locations. Perhaps the best way to mitigate the isolation issue is to offer remote employees the opportunity to work at the office whenever they like. A small number of work areas or offices can be designated for “visiting remote workers” and a simple reservation system will ensure that everyone will have a place to work.
Company leaders can resolve concerns about telecommuting by measuring the productivity of remote employees with appropriate reporting. This is easiest to do for sales personnel by tracking the number and dollar amount of monthly sales and comparing these numbers with sales goals, previous periods, and/or with employees who work in the company offices. Initiating or expanding remote employment increases productivity and reduces costs. It is worth serious consideration.
CNI Recruiting is a direct hire firm that recruits Sales, IT, Operations and Marketing professionals at all company levels throughout the U.S. Our recruiting fee is 15% of candidate first year base salary and we provide a nine month, no quibble guarantee in the event of resignation or termination for any reason. We leverage a database of over 120,000 candidates and an extensive national recruiting network. We also place client recruiting advertisements at our expense. CNI Recruiting was founded on January 1, 2010. Our headquarters is in New Jersey and we recruit throughout the U.S. For more information please fill out the form below.