2003

Working From Home: A Win-Win?

BY RELEVANT ISSUE 61 / LIFE December 15, 2012

If you’ve ever dreamed of sauntering into work in your pajamas or dialing into a meeting from the comfort of your own couch, you may be closer to turning that dream into reality than you think. A recent study by Stanford and ongoing studies conducted by Global Workplace Analytics reveal a work-from-home option benefits employers and employees enough to give the perk its due consideration. If you need to persuade your boss to get on board, use the following talking points.

It increases productivity

Best Buy, British Telecom, Dow Chemical and other major companies report that telecommuting employees are 35 to 40 percent more productive than in-office employees.

It decreases burn-out

A telework experiment conducted by CTrip.com, a Chinese travel aggregator similar to Expedia.com, revealed that employees who work from home are 50 percent less likely to leave their jobs than their counterparts who work in the office. In addition, 95 percent of companies surveyed by Global Workplace Analytics report that telecommuting has had a “high impact” on employee retention.

It reduces absenteeism

Unscheduled absences cost U.S. employers $300 billion annually—that’s $1,800 per employee. Plus, 78 percent of employees who call in sick really aren’t. Yet studies show teleworkers tend to work from home when sick, since they have no risk of infecting others, and that they return to work more quickly following surgeries and other medical procedures.

It improves employee satisfaction

Global Workplace Analytics reports that 36 percent of employees would choose telecommuting over a pay raise, while a poll of 1,500 technology professionals revealed 37 percent would take a 10 percent pay cut for the chance to work from home. Sebastian Bailey, owner of the Mind Map and contributing writer for Forbes.com, says, “Choice is key … To be productive and feel fulfilled, people need to have a feeling of independence.”