Last week, we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of telecommuting from the perspective of the telecommuter. This week, we’ll review telecommuting from the perspective of the employer.
Telecommuting is now easier than ever with increased use of mobile technologies such as smartphones, tablets, and mobile internet/email. Telecommuting is a great way for a business to lower costs, but it’s essential that management and staff understand how to create a solid telework concept. Here are a few things to consider before implementing a telecommute program.
Telecommuting can save thousands of dollars in real estate costs for many businesses. Even without telecommuting, many employees spend more than half their time away from their office/desk. As the use of telecommuting increases, the resulting empty office space can easily be re-rationalized by desk- share, “hoteling” or other office-space strategies. With a bit of strategic planning, companies can save about one office for every three telecommuting employees.
However, having a brick and mortar office is not a thing of the past. Many clients and business partners still prefer face-to-face meetings in a traditional office setting. Whether it is a consumer who doesn’t understand or enjoy today’s technology or simply wants to get a better feel for who you are as a company in person, nothing is going to replace the office in the near future.
2. Employee Interaction and Productivity
They are many advantages for companies who allow employees to telecommute including: saving money, improved performance, reducing staff redundancy, and increased productivity. However, telecommuting is not for everyone and it can lead to problems such as lack of social interaction, insufficient IT support, and an ‘out-of-sight, out-of-mind’ mentality.
Some managers feel that distance inhibits collaboration. At the same time, managers may not be prepared to handle the unique challenges posed by employees who telecommute and employees may not have the discipline to use their time wisely. Other times, the nature of a business may make telecommuting less beneficial.
If you’re considering allowing employees to telework, we suggest having a written telework policy and have all management and staff complete telework training.
To learn more about traditional and non-traditional work space options, we recommend that you consult with a tenant representative.